Metnitz “Centre of the Dance of Death”
Metnitz Dance of Death game
The Metnitz Dance of Death developed from the liturgical plays that were customary towards the end of the Middle Ages. In the geographically self-contained region around the market town of Metnitz, this literary treasure has been preserved until today. This play is performed in accordance with the many handwritten records that were kept by the local rural population over the centuries and adapted to the respective spirit of the times and linguistic usage. The actors are recruited exclusively from the residents of the municipality, and in some cases the roles of the people depicted have been passed down in the families concerned for generations.
The performances take place in the churchyard between the ossuary and the parish church. A stand with over four hundred numbered seats for spectators guarantees every visitor a good view.
The Dance of Death play impresses spectators with its simple and straightforward language, and the way in which the Grim Reaper approaches his victims.
For some he comes as a skeleton who takes them by surprise, for others he appears as a redeeming paternal friend. The many “faces” of Death and the convincing acting of the rural amateur actors mean that the spectators feel that they too are involved in the scene, and feel that Death is calling them too in his final sentence:
[“All of you who have had your life
given to you by the hand of God,
step up to my round dance for your blessed end!”]
Performance dates 2026
Friday 31 July; Saturday 01 August; Friday 07 August and Saturday 08 August
8:15 p.m. flag parade of the Rifle Corps Metnitz.
Welcome and attunement to the Dance of Death.
9:30 p.m. Dance of Death play at the ossuary
If the weather is bad, the performance will take place in the parish church.