Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

The Schleuniger dance in Abersee

Applicant: Matthias Beinsteiner
Province: Upper Austria, Salzburg
Domain: Performing arts
Year of inclusion: 2014

The Schleuniger – old manuscripts also refer to it as the Schleiniger – is a form of music and dance found exclusively in the Salzkammergut region. A special local variant of the Schleuniger can be found around the Wolfgangsee (also known by its older name of Abersee), which is to say: in the communities of Abersee, Strobl, St. Wolfgang and St. Gilgen. With a duration of ten to twelve minutes, this so-called Aberseer Schleuniger is a very long and complex dance, a fact that strongly influences the vocal and instrumental parts and the choreography. The marked rhythmic element of the Schleuniger consists in stamping steps and leaps by the dancers, and – even more importantly – in the group’s hand-clapping in the middle section of the dance. In the area around the Wolfgangsee, the Schleuniger is played and danced mostly at weddings. Depending on the wedding guests and lead dancer, this dance can proceed in various manners – but its basic structures (jumps, chain-form, singing and clapping) remain in place.