Teaching Kindergartners the Schuhplattler
The Karwendler Plattler Kinder are from Scharnitz in the Austrian state of Tyrol, about 16 km north of Innsbruck. The town is located in the Karwendel mountains, the largest range of the Northern Limestone Alps. It was founded in the early Middle Ages and was once an important commercial route between Germany and Italy.
History of the Karwendler Plattler
The Karwendler Plattler was founded in 1986 to rediscover the lost Schuhplattler traditions of Scharnitz. It was an exclusively adult group until 2006, when 28 six to twelve-year old boys and girls began weekly practices. The girls’ costumes were sewn by hand by the dancers’ mothers, while the boys’ were purchased, and in December the group performed for the first time in the Scharnitz community hall.
Soon the youngsters were dancing nearly as well as the “old hands” and had mastered nearly all the plattlers. Only the Wood Cutter Plattler posed a problem for them, not due to any lack of skill, but simply because the logs were too heavy to carry!