Oberbairing Schuhplattler

Oberbairing clips
Oberbairing 5 2-2-22 Vogel.mp4
Oberbairing c 1-27-22.mp4
Oberbairing 6 2-2-22 Trompetenecho.mp4
Oberbairing Ausmarsch.mp4
Oberbairing Autobahn.mp4
Oberbairing Linzer Bua
Oberbairing (outdoors).mp4

Oberbairing, Austria

There are two somewhat distinct groups performing the Schuhplattler today. The first are the Trachtenvereine, or traditional costume clubs, many of which were founded in the latter part of the 19th century. Their mission has been to preserve the tradtions, custumes and dance styles of the various towns and districts in Bavaria and Tyrol.

In their competitons and festivals, the European Trachtenvereine, and perhaps even moreso the American, Canadian and other emigrant groups, tend to be highly regulated and conservative with regard to the details of dress and the kind and style of dance allowed. Although many Trachtenvereine welcome children in the hopes of preserving their traditions for the next generation, it has sometimes been difficult to attract middle and high school students and to give them the degree of training that a really good adult group often has.

From the early decades of the 20th century, on the other hand — and especially since the 1950’s — new, less formal Schuhplattler groups have appeared in the German-speaking parts of Europe. These groups are focused less on preserving tradition and more on adapting, evolving and perfecting the dance itself. Although they often perform the standard Schuhplattlers, they do so with a contemporary energy and excitement that draws in the crowds. Old dances are given a new twist, often accompanied by livelier music or stronger slapping and stomping.

Among these contemporary Schuhplattler performers are some top-notch children’s groups like the Oberbairing Kinder, the Jungen Wimberger and a few others, that are associated with adult groups but perform in festivals and competitions on their own. Like their adult counterparts, they dance not only with precision but also with a zest and enthusiasm that can leave audiences cheering. In watching these youngsters perform, one has the sense that the Schuhplattler is not only tradition, culture and skill, but more than anything, it’s fun!

2015 Upper Austria Competition

The Kinder Schuhplattler Oberbairing is the youth group of the Original Altenberger Schuhplattler from Oberbairing and Altenberg Bei Linz in Upper Austria, about 120 miles from Vienna. Founded in 2009, the Oberbairing Schuhplattler group is composed of about 20 youngsters, aged 7 to 14. They are highly skilled and disciplined dancers, with a varied repetoire and a strong, sharp, rythmical sound.

Competitions & Repertoire

The Oberbairing Kinder won first prize in the youth division of the 2015 Upper Austria Schuhplattler Competition and came in 1st or 2nd in each of the previous four years. Several of the photos on this page were taken at the 2015 Oberösterreich competition in Altenberg Bei Linz and the 2014 competition in Steinerkirchen.

At Schuhplattler competitions, one seeks to impress the judges and the many expert dancers in attendance. Performing for festivals and senior centers, on the other hand, involves pleasing the public, many of whom have little understanding of or interest in historical accuracy or the finer points of Schuhplattler choreography. Groups that perform in both venues need a broad and varied repetoire. The Oberbairing Kinder have dances that show off their skill, dances that are just plain fun, and dances that do both at once. Among their Schuhplattlers on this website are:

Autobahn — This Schuhplattler is often used as an entrance dance. Does anyone know what is the significance of the hands at the forehead?

Bankerlplattler — The bench dance puts some variety in a longer Schuhplattler program. It gives audiences a new sound (benches slamming on the stage), a new position (up on the benches), and new dances steps to enjoy.

Vogelfänger — In English, the Bird Catcher (or Fowler). This Schuhplattler is performed to Haushammer music (or vice versa).

Watschen — This is a “fake fighting”dance that is especially popular with kids.

Schuhplattler As Service

The Oberbairing Kinder perform not only at festivals and Schuhplattler competitions, but also at retirement centers and nursing homes, thus combining service with performance. This photo is from a performance at the Senior Center Franckviertel in Linz. Excerpts of the video can be seen on our Links page, and the complete video is available on YouTube.

Many of the videos on this page come from a recent performance for the residents of the Volkshaus Franckviertel in Altenberg Bei Linz. The complete performance (with introductions in Austrian German!) can be seen on YouTube. Here the young prize-winning performers are enjoying lunch with their hosts.

A local newspaper ran this photo, with the caption, "The Oberbairing Children's Schuhplattler just fly through the air. The children... headed by Günter Mayr, visited on Thursday, May 3, 2012, the residents of the seniors' residence St. Anna Caritas during the Maypole Festival of 2012. The great achievement of the young Schuhplattlers was enjoyed by all."

Watschen Plattler

2015 Upper Austria Competition

Jugend Volkstanz Fest in Gmünd

Linzer Bua Plattler

Oberbairing in Winter

Altenberg bei Linz

Autobahn Plattler

Tropetenecho Plattler

2015 Upper Austria Competition

Glocken Plattler


Altenberg Bei Linz

2014 Upper Austria Competition

2014 Upper Austria Competition

Glocken — This gives the dancers a chance to show off their bell-ringing skill. One false step, however, and they can wind up with a sprained ankle or a crushed bell.

Holzhacker — Some groups add real wood chopping to this dance. The wildest version we have seen can be found on our Video Snippets page.

Linzer Bua — This dance (“Linz boy”) is named after the Austrian town of Linz, about 8 miles from Oberbairing and Altenberg Bei Linz.

Trompetenecho — This Schuhplattler works well with either an accordion or a couple of trumpets.

Ausmarsch — This exit dance combines a vigorous Schuhplattler with the march offstage.

Oberbairing, Austria