An outing with a basket and food? In a park-like setting? Stuck-up? No standard association is applicable, no pattern fits – this is a customised arrangement; always tempted to stand out, but remain approachable. Hosted by those bonded by their time at the Theresianum in Vienna; traversing generations, crossing borders. From the Theresianum Alumni for their friends, guests and themselves.
A story which begins in the 19th century, when the Imperial court reigned and grand Viennese households entertained – dinner, evening gowns, music; Theresianum graduates present. Return invitations are extended, to a completely different gathering, however:
Keywords ball, Viennese waltz, banquet provide clues to the name: for remuneration, some contribution must be made. The Theresianisten-Picknick establishes itself, continues to be held; during the inter-war years after 1918, and even during the Occupation in the 1950s – until the present day, always reflecting its era: first as a dinner with musical accompaniment without dancing, then a set date firmly anchored in the Viennese carnival season, later a summer ball and now an early September dinner-dance in a verdant setting. The venues: originally the Le Palais restaurant in Vienna, followed by the Pallavicini Palace, the House of Industry, the Auersberg Palace, and now Laxenburg Palace.
The evening: a private cocktail. VIPs and the media? – hardly any; and if at all, then inconspicuous. Theresianum Alumni don a yellow rose boutonniere at the cocktail before the ball. The opening choreographed by the Elmayer Dancing School, including debutants from the school; recent graduates present themselves, are admitted to the ranks of the Alumni. A traditional opening sequence: entrance of the dignitaries to the strains of a polonaise, the debutants choreographed dance, the opening declaration “I declare the (so-and-so manieth) Theresianisten-Picknick opened” - „Alles Walzer“, the floor is open – ballroom dancing to classical music , Latin-American rhythms, a disco; in between a gala dinner, anecdotes, background stories. At midnight the interlude special is followed – as expected –by the “Quadrille” and the “Danube-Waltz”, repeated at 2 o’clock; finally, to announce the end, “Brüderlein Fein.”
The Theresianisten-Picknick: living tradition, carried into the future by the alumni – timeless, contemporary.
Anna und Andreas Nödl