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Art & Culture

Creativity meets zest for life: Urban Dance in Salzburg

They dance, battle and perform – on a world-class level, in the middle of Salzburg. I’m talking about members of the Urban Dance movement, a movement which definitely landed on fertile ground here in this city of Mozart. Welcome to the Austrian capital of creative dance!

Putting creative strength to the test at “Flavourama”

It’s set to begin in just a few minutes! I push past a group of young people who, just like me, are hunting for a place to sit in the crowded hall of SZENE Salzburg. Today, this creative institution in the heart of the historic district has transformed itself into a high-energy playground for male and female dancers from around the world. The name of the event: “Flavourama”. Friends told me it was still one of Salzburg’s hidden secrets, even though they’ve hosted Flavourama here for over 10 years and, with over 2000 guests attending the full weekend, it has now become the third-biggest dance battle in Europe. Just behind the international big boys Paris and Amsterdam. I am very impressed. Salzburg, an El Dorado for Urban Dance? Who would’ve thought it?

Over 30 nations, united in dance

In the center of the hall, a vacant area indicates the dance floor, around which the colorful throng of spectators is gathered. Those in the front rows have made themselves comfortable on the floor – which is where I also find a gap to squeeze into. My neighbor gives me a friendly smile and scoots over a little. I’ve barely had chance to settle in when the live DJ turns down the sound system and things get going. “Are you ready for Flavourama?”, the question echoes through the hall. And hundreds of throats immediately yell back: “Yeah!” The first battle opponents are already stepping onto the dance floor – let the games begin! Hip-Hop and House dancers from over 30 nations get together here once a year to battle it out and see how their creative dance skills measure up. I allow my eyes to roam across the hall – standing, sitting and dancing everywhere are people of different ages and different places of origin. All of them united by their love for creative dance, for music. And they all descend on Salzburg to indulge their passion.

Like Michael Jackson at his best

My head rocks to the beat of the music as I watch the two dancers on the stage. The battle opponents rotate on their own axis in sleek motions, glide across the dance floor practically like Michael Jackson did in his prime, or show off their agility and body control by throwing in some breakdance. The really spectacular moves and steps are rewarded by applause and encouraging calls from the public.

Watch or join in – everything is possible

My neighbor leans over to me and whispers something in my ear. “What did you say?”, I ask her. She smiles and says louder: “Are you going to join in today?” I stare back, a little aghast. We get to dance, too? When the battles are over, Doris, who, it turns out, is also a passionate dancer, explains to me that members of the general public are invited to actively take part in Flavourama as well. Which is also the case at the many other Urban Dance events held in Salzburg – whether International Easter Dance Days, Hip Hop goes Theatre or Circle Industry, with its international Hip-Hop and Breaking Festival.  

Salzburg, the secret capital of Urban Dance

Salzburg has always been very fertile ground for creativity. And so it should be no surprise that here, in the shadow of famous music festivals and musical geniuses, yet another genre has taken root that draws people from around the globe to the city of Mozart. Whether Hip-Hop, Breakdance, Street Dance, House or Locking – there is an incredible wealth of creative dance events, workshops and performances. What do they all have in common? A positive energy and unbridled zest for life that is irresistibly exciting and compelling. We look forward to experiencing this refreshing mixture again soon – at the next Urban Dance events in Salzburg, the secret capital of creative dance.

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