In preparation for the Dubai Opera Ball, the choreographer of the debutantes waltzes, Alexander Hysek is putting people through their paces so that when February 17 matures into a promising evening, all those who take the floor will have a footwork ...

By Suzi Wonder (Contributor)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 16 Feb 2005, 12:24 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:11 PM

which is as dazzling as the occasion itself.

Following in his father's footsteps, Hysek is a dance instructor at Austria's famous Elmayer Dance School and has subsequently taken over his father's mantle selecting the debutantes who open the Vienna Opera Ball. Not only does Hysek teach dance, he also instructs students in the strict code of etiquette every young Austrian learns in preparation for their coming out into society. He spoke to City Times.

Tell us about your background and how you got involved with the Vienna Opera Ball?

I studied tourism management and I wrote my master's thesis on the Opera Ball. So I wrote about the Vienna Opera Ball and its impact on Vienna's tourism and economy. I was a debutante when I was 18 and that's when it started. I was so excited and it is such a wonderful feeling to come out and be part of one of the most prestigious social events in Vienna. It was such a great feeling and it was like a fairy tale. I've always wanted to work with the ball and be involved with the Opera Ball so it's really like a dream come true.

What are some of the challenges you face as a choreographer for the Opera Ball?

There are so many couples that you have to instruct and its such a challenge because there are talented couples and not so talented couples, but at the end everyone has to dance and waltz correctly but thank goodness, with a lot of patience and learning, so far it worked. But it's typical in Viennese society to learn the social etiquette and how to behave on the dance floor. That's just Austrian culture.

The Waltz is such a graceful and harmonious dance so what if you want to dance at the Opera Ball but you have, shall we say, two left feet?

Well, firstly you must take some waltzing lessons. In Vienna, it takes weeks or close to two or three months for the debutantes to learn to waltz properly. It's quite difficult. First you start with the right waltz, because it's a little easier than the original Viennese waltz which left turn.

You've had some waltzing lessons here in Dubai. So, I'm sure you've had people who come to you and say, "I've never ever waltz before, so where do I start?"

You start with the very basic steps and slowly, very slowly but surely, you will learn the waltz. But I'm sure they will be fine on the dance floor on the night of the Dubai Opera Ball.

You've been involved with the Vienna Opera Ball, The Viennese Opera Ball in New York City and now, you're involved with the very first Dubai Opera Ball, so what do you expect on the big night?

I expect a real fairytale because it's so beautiful here. The Ball in Vienna is a fairytale and it will also be a fairytale here but it would be a different one because you can go outside because it's like summertime here. It's very cold in Austria now so that's the special thing about Dubai.

More news from