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Beethoven Ball

April 27 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

$10 – $30
DTSJ Calendar

The Beethoven Ball is a nineteenth-century Viennese ball and dance workshop that will allow participants to experience and appreciate the ballroom dance music of Beethoven’s era in its original context. The event will build on the highly successful Beethoven Ball that was presented by the Beethoven Center in April 2022.

Much music of the Classical period is inspired by dance—notably the minuet movements of symphonies and piano sonatas—but few people today are familiar with the minuets, waltzes and country dances of Beethoven’s day. Participants in the Beethoven Ball will have the opportunity to learn the steps of these dances at an afternoon workshop led by Joan Walton (SJSU dance faculty). At the ball itself, participants will have the opportunity to perform these dances to live musical accompaniment by SJSU’s Collegium Musicum, led by Dr. Gordon Haramaki (SJSU music faculty). The music will consist of original ballroom dance compositions from Beethoven’s period, including music sourced from unpublished manuscript performance parts recently digitized by the Austrian National Library, some of which has not been performed for more than 200 years.

The program for the evening ball will be based on the balls that took place in Beethoven’s Vienna, and for which he composed his ballroom dance music. These balls were primarily social occasions at which participants engaged in a combination of dancing, listening to the music, and socializing. The San Jose Woman’s Club is an ideal venue for us to recreate this environment, as there is a stage for the orchestra to perform on, and the dance floor is large enough for tables and chairs to be set out around the edge of the hall for participants to mix and socialize, watch the dancers, or listen to the orchestra. Balls in Beethoven’s time also often included a theatrical performance or a choreographed dance performance as part of the program alongside general social dancing. Our ball will include dance performances by the San-Francisco based Danse Libre (https://www.danselibre.org/) and Dance Through Time, two of the nation’s premier groups dedicated to recreating the social dances of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The groups will perform minuets and country dances to Beethoven’s music, based on original eighteenth- and nineteenth-century choreography.


April 27
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
$10 – $30
Event Category:


San José Woman’s Club
75 South 11th Street
San Jose, CA 95112 United States
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