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Schuhplattler in Munich
Schuhplattler in Munich
Type: Paartanz ( Society dance )
Music: Folk music
Time signature : mostly three-four time
Origin: Upper Bavaria , Tyrol and Salzburg
List of dances
Postcard from 1924 ("Greetings from the Allgäu - Schuhplattler")

Schuhplattler or Schuhplatteln is the name of a dance from the Eastern Alps . Schuhplattler also describes the people performing this dance. The dance, which is characterized by characteristic handshakes on the thighs and shoes, originated from the Länders . In the course of its history, the Schuhplattler has been the subject of significant transformations: the individual pair dance, which is presented with regional differences in relatively free forms, in which the boy wooed the girl dancing with him, became in today's practice a largely standardized group dance without female, mostly performed for exhibition purposes Participation.


The popularity of dance in large parts of the Eastern Alps , which began to expand rapidly in the 19th century, and the relatively late onset of a scientific study of folk dance make research into the origins of the Schuhplattler difficult. Karl Horak identified parts of the federal state of Tyrol , South Tyrol , Salzburg and Upper Bavaria as central areas in which he could prove a down-to-earth tradition. In any case, the Schuhplattler evolved from the Länders . Originally it was a single couple dance without the intentional simultaneity of movements and characterized by the spontaneity of the dancers.

In three-quarter time with a country man, the boy completed a series of jumps and hopping movements according to the rhythm of the music. He “flatted” (hit) himself on the thighs, knees and soles of his feet, “ pasched ” (clapped) his hands and stamped his feet. A short waltz round dance with the girl formed the end. What these dances originally looked like has been handed down from records in South Tyrol. In Lüsener Deutschen, for example, four eight-bar figures from the country are followed by the eight-bar figure “ German dancing ”: “The dancer turns on the right in front of the dancer in the direction of the dance; the dancer follows her fluttering ... Older dancers, who find it difficult to flatten, already dance waltzes in the 5th figure. ”The 6th figure is followed by a round waltz dance. In some areas, acrobatic figures were also danced, such as the “pomace” on the ceiling: the boy leans on the shoulders of his partner and stamps his legs on the ceiling or kicks his legs together (1824).

At least since the first excursion of the Zillertal Rainer family of singers abroad and the “Tyrolean Evenings” held there (1824), the former advertising dance has been transformed into a show dance. This development was continued by the traditional costume preservation associations that were established in Upper Bavaria from 1883 and later in Tyrol. The clubs standardized a dance that was largely determined in its forms, which over the course of the following decades superimposed the originally still existing regional variants. At the end of the 19th century, Schuhplatteln also became popular in cities such as Graz , Munich and Vienna , i.e. far outside of its traditional area of ​​distribution.

The French and world traveler Hugues Krafft wrote one of the clearest reports on the Schuhplattler in 1886:

“Lovers of folk dances get their money's worth in Partenkirchen, because on Sundays and public holidays you can see couples dancing to music everywhere in the large squares. Preferably the Länders, a leisurely waltz popular with girls and boys. The biggest attraction, however, is always the Schuhplatterl [sic!], Even for the local farmers. It is a highly unusual jig: when one couple starts it, others form a circle. While the dancer is briefly separated from her partner and continues to follow waltz steps, the dancer has to perform a series of difficult movements to the beat of the music. He turns on his own axis, pats himself on the thighs and legs, falls on his knees or jumps in the air and throws his hat, while he utters a joyful "Tju-hu". - Schuhplatterl is not allowed to everyone who wants to. Those who are allowed to and master the dance are cheered on with strong applause ... "

- Hugues Krafft

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the “Burschenplattler”, an innovation that diverged even further from the original character of the dance: the Schuhplattler became a group pair dance performed by boys, in which the participation of girls was superfluous. In the 1950s, the “Marschplattler” (e.g. “Holzhacker”) was brought into being for tourist reasons. It abandons the three-quarter time that was previously mandatory and is only performed by boys. In recent years, new Schuhplattler groups have formed in many places, some of which reinterpret the tradition of Schuhplattler with acrobatic figures.

Legends of Origin

There are several legends of origin for the Schuhplattler . Allegedly, a dance was described in the knight poem Ruodlieb as early as 1050 , which is said to resemble the later Schuhplattler in gestures and movements. In fact, when describing the dance in the medieval epic, no clapping on the thigh is mentioned.

The most famous legend of origin goes back to the dialect poet Karl Stieler around 1875. Accordingly, the Schuhplattler is based on the mating dance of the wood grouse .

Schuhplatteln today

Nowadays, the Plattler is practiced in many places by local folk and costume clubs. Traditional costume is usually worn when Schuhplatteln , and z. B. in the price platters - this is a tournament in which several clubs and groups come together to compete in individual or group competitions - in addition to the accuracy of the dance, particular attention is paid to the originality and completeness of the festive costume.

The classic and modern interpretations of Schuhplattler helped the Schuhplattler to achieve a small renaissance, because Schuhplattler are more and more engaged as a special contribution on television, at large trade fairs and events and bring this traditional form of dance back to a broad audience. The show platters can be recognized by their clothing, which is not so splendidly decorated.

The forms of Schuhplatteln that are controversial in folk dance circles include the following variants:

  • Dirndl platters (shoe platters by women-only groups) are not seen with pleasure in traditional costume associations. Nevertheless, a number of women's Schuhplattler groups have emerged in Austria and South Tyrol in recent years.
  • Children who are too young are also often rejected.
  • The Schwuhplattler group was founded in Munich in 1997 with exclusively gay members.
  • The use of accessories that are perceived as kitsch is also often rejected, such as chopping wood on the stage, cooking junk on an open fire while playing, using coordinated cowbells and others. However, all of these forms are welcomed by the public, especially as a tourist attraction in tourist areas.
  • The waddling dance is a variant of the Schuhplattler that emerged as a tourist attraction at the beginning of the 20th century.


Web links

Commons : Schuhplattler  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Thomas Nussbaumer: Folk music in Tyrol and South Tyrol: since 1900; of "real" Tyrolean songs, landscape musicians, "cultivated" folk music, folklore and other manifestations of folk culture . Studien-Verlag, Innsbruck 2008, ISBN 978-3-7065-4656-0 , pp. 182-190.
  2. Yearbook of the Austrian Folk Song Works , Volume 56, 2007, p. 103, ISBN 978-3-900198-15-2 or Illustrated Wiener Extrablatt , September 22, 1908
  3. Yearbook of the Austrian Folk Song Works , Volume 56, 2007, p. 57, ISBN 978-3-900198-15-2
  4. Marcus Spangenberg, Sacha Wiedenmann (ed.): 1886. Bavaria and the castles of King Ludwig II. From the perspective of Hugues Krafft / 1886. Louis II, ses châteaux et la Bavière selon Hugues Krafft . Schnell und Steiner publishing house, Regensburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-7954-2470-1
  5. Michael Henker: Bavaria, Germania, Europe: History in Bavarian. Catalog book for the state exhibition of the House of Bavarian History in cooperation with the museums of the city of Regensburg, Verlag F. Pustet, Regensburg 2000. ISBN 3791717073 , p. 88
  6. ^ Robert Roßmann: Myth of Bavaria. 3rd edition, SüdOst-Verlag, 2003. ISBN 3896820788 , p. 58