kocherlball

July 15, 2012

This morning, Beth and I got up at 4 a.m. to cover the Kocherlball, a traditional Bavarian dance. Held once a year in the early morning hours of the third Sunday of July, the ball was originally an opportunity for the cooks and maids of the 18th century Bavarian nobility to find their future spouses. Nowadays, it is organized by the Cultural Department of the City of Munich to celebrate the city’s Bavarian heritage. Every year, thousands of people flock to the Chinese Tower in the English Garden to dance to the traditional music under the guidance of two dance masters.

It was one of these events that sound so amazing to shoot – Lederhosen, Dirndl, traditional dances, etc. – but turn out to be much harder than you think. The sheer masses of people everywhere are overwhelming, and you don’t really know where to begin. It is hard to get a good sense of place and an overview over the dancing crowds, and you quickly feel like you’ve exhausted all your visual possibilities. Nevertheless we had a lot of fun, and I think we complemented each other fairly well. Where Beth had some great moments, I think I got some nice scene setters. Look out for Beth’s pictures on her blog, here are mine:

People arrive at the Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) in Munich's Englischer Garten city park for the 2012 Kocherlball early morning Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Thousands of people participate in traditional Bavarian dancing at the 2012 Kocherlball under the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Visitors of the 2012 Kocherlball sit in the beer garden at the Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Dance masters Magnus Kaindl and Katharina Mayer lead the dancing crowd at the traditional Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People dance traditional Bavarian dances at the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

A couple kisses during the traditional Kocherlball dance at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People dance traditional Bavarian dances during the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People dance traditional Bavarian dances during the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People dance traditional Bavarian dances during the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People in traditional Bavarian attire watch the dancing crowd during the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Thousands of people fill the beer garden at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten during the Kocherlball, a traditional Bavarian dance, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

A slug crawls into an abandoned beer mug during the Kocherlball, a traditional Bavarian dance at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

A couple dances away from the bath rooms during the Kocherlball, a traditional Bavarian dance at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

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