Come bounce, leap and twirl along with our Dance Groups while you listen to Today's Concert below.
Dancing at Christmas has been a popular pastime for centuries and the bouncing, leaping, twirling, kicking and choreographed horseplay that goes along with dance troupes is an eternal crowd pleaser at Christkindl markets.
German dance troupes perform folk dances wearing traditional Tracht, or folk costume, such as Dirndls for women and Lederhosen for men.
A favourite dance is the Schuhplattler, where the dancers stomp, clap and strike the soles of their shoes (Schuhe), and their thighs and knees with their hands held flat (platt) – all accompanied by fast-paced music.
Schuhplattlers often imitate the various professions of the time – the Mühlradl (Miller's Dance), the Holzhacker (wood cutter), and the Glockenplattler (Bell Dance).
Want to know more about the history and traditions of Christmas? Ask your local library to borrow:
Ask your local library to borrow: The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas, written by John Matthews, published by Quest Books in 1998./p>
The Transylvania Club is a Transylvania Saxon-German organization which immigrated to Canada to establish their new home in Canada. Founded in 1951, Musikprofessor Walter Scholtes and organizer John Werner established the Transylvania Band and in 1954 boasted a band membership of 50 people. In 1966 Steve Schatz Sr. reorganized the band and as the new musical director, formed a new band and incorporated the Hofbräu name which operated under the Transylvania Club with the goal to preserve the familiar music and sounds of the old country.
In 1969 the Hofbräu Band was the first and only German band that participated in the original Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. They introduced the drinking song “Ein Prosit” and the now famous “Zicke-Zacke” theme song. They continue to perform at Oktoberfest today and have played every year since its inception.
Today, the Transylvania Hofbräu Band consists of a 30-member band that rehearses on a weekly basis and consists of both men and women aged 20 to 88. The band consists of German, Canadian, Swiss and Austrian nationalities.
They have performed throughout Ontario as well as in the United States for various homecoming events (Heimattag), weddings, anniversary, senior homes, picnics and Oktoberfest functions. The band has also travelled back to Austria and Germany several times to participate in a cultural-musical exchange tour playing for various Saxon and German communities. Over the past fifty (plus) years, they have produced a record “Oktoberfest Klänge”, several videos and CDs and also have been featured on the Rogers Cable System.
Director of Music: Andrea Emrich
The Transylvania Dance Group consists of our youth ages 15 to 26. They perform traditional folk dances throughout the year in two different costumes: the traditional Transylvanian Tracht (folk costume) and German dirndl and lederhosen costume. They take part in multi-cultural events, Oktoberfest, raise money for charities and are very active in our daily club life.
In addition to performing throughout the USA and Ontario, and most recently Austria and Germany, they have taken on the responsibility of being ambassadors for the club during visits of youth from across Europe and the United States. Their president for 2017 is Justin Schatz.
For more information visit the Dance Group page on their website.
The Concordia Enzian Schuhplattler Verein has been performing together as a group for over 30 years comprising of a wide age range and multi-generations. The repertoire consists of traditional folk dances including waltzes, polkas, cow bells, whips and, of course, schuplattlering – all accompanied by a live accordionist. The costumes and dances represent the Miesbach region of heritage.
You may have seen them perform at numerous events throughout the years such as Oktoberfest, Trachtenfests, weddings, etc. They have even been fortunate to travel to Germany and throughout North America to compete in many events.
They are a social group with a dancing habit and the spirit of gemutlichkeit continues throughout the year.
For any further information, please visit their Facebook page.
The Schwaben Dancers are an energetic, Germanic folk dance group who love to entertain and electrify their audience. Their dances draw on their ancestral cultural origins from the Rhine region and blend them with the regional influences of the Danube River Basin. A plethora of artistic infusions from the Alps skirting the Carpathians across the northern Balkans to the Black Sea molded this distinctiveness.
The cultural richness is further enhanced by several centuries of Hapsburg influence. In addition to a classical repertoire they have a selection of non-traditional choreographed compositions. By merging long-established steps and patterns with contemporary music they demonstrate a variety of styles and tempos. From the leisurely and uncomplicated to the nimble and intricate, a group engaged in extending the horizons of folk dance.
The Men's ‘Tracht’ is typical for many cultures in the region. It consists of a black vest with silver buttons and black pants. The modest ensemble is completed with a white shirt and black shoes. Men also have the option to decorate their vests with pins.
The Ladies' ‘Dirndl’ is the standard costume for performances. It consists of a black bodice with an aubergine skirt. Accenting trim lines of the outfit an aubergine rope with black and aubergine ruffle. Under the dirndl, a white cotton blouse is donned and petti pants (bloomers). The apron worn over the dirndl is an aubergine satin with black lace tied in the front, on the left side. The side the apron is tied on determines their marital status. The dirndl is worn with white ‘trachten’ socks and black character shoes with 1-2" heels. Ladies also have the option of decorating the top portion of the dirndl with pins.
An exquisite piece, the Ladies' ‘Tracht’ is worn for more formal occasions and performances. It consists of a burgundy skirt worn with a black lace apron tied in the back. Under the skirt, there are two starched white petticoats to add additional fullness. On top, a black velvet vest with a white cotton blouse is worn. White ‘trachten’ socks and black character shoes finish this costume.
In the past, they have travelled as far as Germany and Hungary to demonstrate and learn about their culture. They were co-participants at the opening celebrations of the Donauschwäbisches Zentralmuseum in ULM in 2000. They journeyed to competitions and gatherings in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Detroit and most recently Cincinnati.
They perform numerous times throughout the year, at many different locations and events. Locales closer to home include Niagara Falls, Orillia, Toronto, Windsor, Leamington, Delhi and Milverton (just to name a few). They have performed at Casino Rama, the main stage at the Vancouver Olympics Torch Relay 2010, and at the Toronto Waterfront Festival: Tall Ships Challenge. They are especially busy during Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, North America’s largest Bavarian festival, where the Schwaben Dancers perform throughout the region — and march in Canada’s greatest Thanksgiving Day parade.
And finally, to end the year, volunteering to perform at the Kitchener Christkindl Market.
The Alpine Dancers of the Alpine Club (Kitchener) have been performing German/Austrian folkdances and Schuhplattlers since 1979. They entertain throughout the year on television, at conventions, celebrations, weddings, Gottscheer Reunions in Canada and the USA, and Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest.
Since 2008, we have also competed in the So You Think You Can Tanz competition. We have been crowned champions of this annual showcase in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2017. This friendly competition also earns us the spot to perform at the upcoming festival opening ceremonies.
The Alpine Dancers performed at the Ontario’s Celebration of the 50th Jubilee of Her Majesty’s Reign and chatted with Queen Elizabeth II. They were featured in the Kitchener-Waterloo Musical Productions of “The Sound of Music” at the Centre in the Square in 2011.
For more information, visit their website.
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