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HYBRID EVENT (via Zoom / Rm. 225 @ SJSU King Library)

Presented by Dr. Erica Buurman, School of Music and Dance & Director of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies

Today’s ballroom dance culture has its origins in Vienna in the decades around 1800, when the ballrooms of the aristocracy were opened to the public. For the first time, members of all social classes could waltz together in the city’s glittering ballrooms, and composers like Beethoven and Mozart provided music for the latest fashionable dances. The world of the public ball ostensibly removed the rigid hierarchy associated with courtly dancing before the upheavals of the French Revolution, where dance was used primarily as an opportunity to display aristocratic manners. Yet as European monarchies sought to retain their relevance in nineteenth-century society, they found ways of reinventing their public image in ways that harnessed the new dance culture — ways which have left their trace in the dance and music of the period.

Erica Buurman is Director of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies and Assistant Professor in the School of Music and Dance at San José State University. Her research centers on music and culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Vienna, particularly Beethoven and music for social dancing. Her publications include chapters in Cambridge Companion to the Eroica Symphony and the forthcoming Beethoven in Context, and a monograph, The Viennese Ballroom in the Age of Beethoven (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

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  • Laamsha Young

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