Don Quixote, suffragettes and puppets who come to life: Aufguss World Championships get creative
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Don Quixote, suffragettes and puppets who come to life: Aufguss World Championships get creative

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We see more cultural connection by the increase of professional dancers, artists and actors becoming MOAs, and that makes the shows become as mindblowing and mesmerising as on any global stage of art – hot or cold
Lasse Eriksen, jury member and board member of Aufguss WM

For the first time, a woman has been crowned top aufguss master in the world at the Aufguss World Championships, held last month at the newly built Spa Berendonck in The Netherlands.

Karolina Jarzabek of Poland, whose performance of ‘Magic Night - the story of the puppet who came to life once every 7,000 years,’ earned top honours in the single team category.

Poland also won in doubles, as Katarzyna Klajn and Lukasz Dluzniewki’s humour-filled interpretation of the Spanish masterpiece Don Quixote, inspired the international jury, as well as their professional waving skills.

Aufguss is an entertaining, communal sauna ritual that – at its simplest – involves an aufguss master waving a towel to distribute the sauna’s heat, usually set to music and with essential oil fragrances adding to the experience. But the top sauna masters can get very creative, weaving in storylines, costumes, and complex movements to enhance the experience.

Over 350 participants of the national qualifiers took part in the 7th annual Aufguss World Championships, and the final included almost 100 participants from 11 qualifying countries in a multi-day battle.

The world’s best 30 teams and 31 Single Aufguss Shows were presented in the sauna for approximately 200 guests at the Wellness centre Thermen Berendonck, with a daily guests topping out at 1,200 people.

The five-day event gathered sweat enthusiasts from around the world, including representatives from the Japanese Sauna Association and Russia.

“It’s a celebration of getting the sauna and sweat family together to share what we all love the most: a wonderful löyly (sauna steam), and creating positive memories,” said Lasse Eriksen, development manager for Farris Bad in Norway, who is both a jury member and board member of Aufguss WM, which organises the event. “There were many amazing shows shared inside the cabin, and definitely a lot of magic was created that participants, guests and the jury will carry within their hearts and memories forever.”

Eriksen reports that the shows are constantly evolving, with mastery of the waving techniques growing and more creative and inspiring young MOA`s (master of aufguss).

“We see more cultural connection by the increase of professional dancers, artists and actors becoming MOAs, and that makes the shows become as mindblowing and mesmerizing as on any global stage of art – hot or cold,” he said.

Other stories told through the aufguss championships include second place winner Ondrej Sochurek`s interpretation of the film Billy Elliot, and the third place winners from Italy, Chara Demetriou and Morgana Salvadori, with the story of “The suffragettes” about women fighting for votes in the early 20th century.

The next Aufguss World Championships will take place from 7-13 September 2020 at the Palac Saturna / Termy Rzymskie in Czeladz, ́ near Katowice in southern Poland. The venue includes a Colosseum sauna with a capacity for 300 people.

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For the first time, a woman has been crowned top aufguss master in the world at the Aufguss World Championships, held last month at the newly built Spa Berendonck in The Netherlands.
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