Despite the horribly wet and windy weather I had a lovely morning when I came across some jaunty tunes at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden during my trip to the UK. The little garden of the church is an old favourite of mine where I've been before to sit down and admire the roses.
This time sitting down was out of the question but when I went inside to have a look at the charity christmas card sale I discovered the London Firebird Orchestra rehearsing for their concert "A Viennese Whirl - A magnificent selection of Viennese favourites by Johann Strauss II, reminiscent of the famous Vienna new years day concerts, performed alongside other Austrian classics by Haydn and Mozart."
I just couldn't resist sitting down on the church benches and listening for a good thirty minutes, my feet bobbing in tact to these amazing waltzes. How uplifting and inspiring! I instantly felt myself being transported back to the middle of the 19th century when the waltz was still considered "risque" by the London Society, because couples actually touched while dancing.
"The waltz arrived in England in 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars when Wellington's officers brought it back from Continental Europe. Influential dance master and author of instruction manuals, Thomas Wilson published A Description of the Correct Method of Waltzing in 1816. Almack's,
the most exclusive club in London, permitted the waltz though the entry
in the Oxford English Dictionary shows that it was considered "riotous
and indecent" as late as 1825. The waltz, and especially its closed
position, became the example for the creation of many other ballroom
dances. Subsequently, new types of waltz have developed, including many
folk and several ballroom dances." (Wikipedia).
The Waltz has always been one of my favourite dances and I'm now longing to get whirled around the ballroom by a handsome beau to some Strauss Waltzes....