University of Bayreuth, Press Release Nr. 035/2022 dated 22  March 2022

On the Thurnau dancefloor - historical ball in the castle being organized

The Ahnensaal hall at Thurnau Castle is to become a ballroom on 30 April. This is thanks to a small booklet and many committed students. 

The discovery of a dance booklet from the estate of Thurnau’s Counts Giech is the occasion for a special dance welcoming May. On 30 April 2022, starting at 7 p.m., an historical ball will take place in the Ahnensaal hall at Thurnau Castle.

The dance booklet describes dances that were danced in Thurnau in the 18th century. They have been reworked and reconstructed as part of a project by the Research Institute for Music Theatre Studies (fimt) at the University of Bayreuth.

Under the direction of Dr. Silvia Bier, students from various disciplines have been developing an event that will bring together artistic and scientific work, and most vividly present research results to the public. In April, Giech's dances will come back to life for the first time in almost 300 years.

Guests can expect an evening full of dancing, singing, historical costumes, and castle atmosphere. There will be both display dances and the opportunity to join in the dancing yourself. For those who would like to learn some of the moves in advance, there will be a "dance lesson" on historical dance on the day before the ball - but even without previous experience, you will be most welcome to join in the dancing on the evening of the ball.

The project group cordially invites you to participate in this special event. The project is supported by fimt, the University of Bayreuth, Schaulust e.V., Studentenwerk Oberfranken, Universitätsverein Bayreuth e.V., and the district of Kulmbach.

Admission is free, but the number of tickets is limited. Ticket reservations and further information from 21 March at

About the project

The 18th century dance booklet discovered in 2020 in the old castle library of Count Giech in Thurnau was the subject of a seminar on historical dance at the University of Bayreuth last semester. Students developed the idea of organising an event in the style of an historical ball on 30 April at Thurnau Castle to present the find, so significant in terms of regional history, to the public and to familiarise them with the find - including the opportunity for guests to join in the reconstructed dances. Under the direction of Dr. Silvia Bier from the Research Institute for Music Theatre Studies at the University of Bayreuth, students from various disciplines have now conceived a programme that aims to recreate the festive culture and dance practices of the 18th century.  The authentic setting is the Ahnensaal (hall of ancestors) in Thurnau Castle, the original banqueting hall of the Counts Giech. The dance booklet itself is displayed in an exhibition case in the foyer of the Ahnensaal.

Silvia Bier

Dr. Silvia Bier

Research Associate at the Research Institute for Music Theatre Studies

Phone: +49(0)9228/99605-21

Jennifer Opel

Jennifer OpelDeputy Press & PR Manager

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5357