Ashgabat has hosted the 4th Viennese Ball, a spectacular and flamboyant event, which once again added a splash of color to the country’s vibrant cultural life, having become a unique bridge between the two cities of Ashgabat and Vienna.
Looking back, a 2008 official visit to the Republic of Austria by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov paved the way for and marked the beginning of creative cooperation between cultural workers and artists of Turkmenistan and Austria.
Accomplished folk and pop singers, musicians and dancers, who were part of the Turkmen delegation then, gave a big concert at Vienna’s Ferstel Palace, celebrating national culture in the city internationally known as Europe’s capital of music.
The Austrian-Turkmen Society, seeking to introduce Western Europe to modern-day Turkmenistan, its ancient history and distinctive traditions, has become a unique platform promoting friendship between the two countries.
Over the years, the Society has contributed to implementing plenty of joint projects in the field of culture, information exchange and cooperation, and the Galkynysh Turkmen-Austrian Symphony Orchestra (celebrating its 10th anniversary this year) has been formed.
By tradition, in Ashgabat, the Viennese Ball takes place in the square outside the State Cultural Center of Turkmenistan, which has played host to some great celebrations joined in by representatives of the art world from different countries.
To mark the occasion, the Mukam Palace is running an exhibition showcasing talents of Turkmen carpet makers, jewelers, and other craftspeople.
Residents of Vienna now have an opportunity to appreciate the skilled craftsmanship, exquisite beauty and quality of their handcrafted goods thanks to a representative office of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs that has been working in the city since June 2017.
The event started with a patriotic composition, followed by Austrian composer and conductor Carl Michael Ziehrer’s ‘Polonaise’, which was played by the State Symphony Orchestra of Turkmenistan. According to the strictly observed protocol, 25 couples made their grand entrance before the Ball’s official opening ceremony began.
The dancers’ outfits accented the solemn atmosphere of the true Viennese Ball with the men traditionally dressed in white shirts, black tailcoats and trousers and the women in ball dresses in tender colors with must-be delicate bouquets of flowers.
During the evening, numerous event-goers, who gathered outside the State Cultural Center, enjoyed wonderful music by Johann Strauss, Veli Mukhatov, Aman Agajikov, Danatar Khydyrov, Danatar Ovezov, Chary Nurymov and other composers, and were captivated by beautiful voices of the best Turkmen singers and Austrian opera singers.
Guest stars Andreas Jankovič and Neivi Martinez had arrived in Ashgabat to share the joy of the celebration of music with the people of Turkmenistan.
Among those invited to the Ball were Marek Bobošík and Marta Nitranová from the Slovak National Theater, who also perform with Austria’s Johann Strauss Ensemble.
The event also featured the State Dance Ensemble, popular ensembles, such as Serpaý, Galkynyş, Laçyn, and children’s groups, including Ruhubelent Çagalar, Joşgun, and the group of young violinists Mukam, among others.
During the evening, President of the Austrian-Turkmen Society Neda Berger took the floor to congratulate everyone with the important event and thank President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for his support and patronage of the Viennese Ball.
The Viennese Ball in Ashgabat was a truly unforgettable experience for all its participants.