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Innerschweizer Trachtentänze 4

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This CD comprises four experienced ensembles from Central Switzerland who regularly accompany dance groups in traditional dresses.

This content was published on June 18, 2010 - 17:19

Before 1800 only ensemble dancing existed in Switzerland. Dancers moved around a distinct object like a tree and accompanied themselves by singing. With the triumph of the waltz in Europe from 1800 on, couple dance became popular in Switzerland as well. Not surprisingly the country's geographic and social diversity was mirrored in a wide array of dance styles. Many were influenced or wholly taken over from abroad such as the Allemande, Montferrine, Mazurka or Schottisch. Others were purely indigenious as the Hopser (Sauteuse) or Ländler. Only a few contemporary witnesses like Albert Gos or Pierre Bordier, both from Geneva, tried to notate the dance patterns and music of their time.

Dance in Swiss traditional dresses

It was only in the early 30s of the 20th century that the Swiss Association for Traditional Dresses (Schweizerische Trachtenvereinigung) under their secretary Louise Witzig put dancing on the agenda within their circles. Witzig was impressed and influenced by such a dance event she had attended in Southern Germany. So by the 50s dancing in traditional dresses had already become a mass movement in Switzerland. Educational methods were laid down, which precisely recorded dancing patterns and related accompanying music. Additionally this music genre was produced by a specially launched recording company. Among dancers of these days Zoge-n-am-Boge, Streichmusik Alder, Vieux Champéry, Neunermusik Stans or the Sachsler Trachtämusik became very popular music groups representing different styles from all across Switzerland.

From 1993 on the Swiss Association for Traditional Dresses launched the recurring Brauchtumswoche (Customs Week) Fiesch in Canton Valais. This national meeting is entirely devoted to dance in traditional Swiss dresses. It intends to introduce the young to this culture and to give the experienced insight into the state of art. Not at least it should bring forward exchange on new exploratory styles.

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