Viennese Waltz King

Every now and then, we feel like we need a bit of “fluff” to detoxify from the sombre heaviness of what’s going on around us.

Here are two films about the music of Johann Strauss II, aka “The Waltz King”.

  1. “The Great Waltz” - 1938
    The Great Waltz - Luise Rainer, Fernand Gravey, Miliza Korjus 1938
    A pop-up will appear on the screen. Just click “Close” on the very bottom of the pop-up, and that gets rid of it, and gets you access to watch the film.

  2. “The Waltz King” - 1963 (Disney film)

One takes the “plots” with a grain of salt (and I tend to wince when live animals are used in films), but what struck me were two aspects of the musical performances:

a) The musical scores in the 1938 film were amazing to my own ear – therein one can get a taste of Strauss’s music in a way, and with a passion, that is very rare nowadays (I have heard modern orchestras approach Strauss’s music in a “ho hum” “blah blah” style which can be mind-numbing)

b) The Viennese Waltz dance in both films is quite fabulous – presented with beauty and elegance

Recently, a Giza member posted an article relating to how some scientists use principles of yin-yang to study the positions of particle movement.

While that article actually has nothing to do with the pieces of “fluff” that I posted above, it got me wondering about circular movement just when we watched these two films, and that made me stare, with new eyes, at the Viennese dancers when they danced the waltzes. I noticed that each couple engaged not only in “spin” but also a kind of simultaneous “orbit” around the dance floor about an unseen centre. (Perhaps somewhat like whirling dervish/sufi whirling). I couldn’t stop staring at this movement of the Viennese dance in these two films, and wondered: how and why did one even come up with inventing this kind of dance? It also got me wondering about whether anything relating to the physics of motion may be embedded in old dances of various world cultures.

If you need a “break” from the cultural darkness, these films might bring some temporary sparkle to your day.


Look forward to checking these out later, thanks for posting!

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Thanks for sharing. That was delightful and very charming. Looks like there are more movies to enjoy in today’s ‘vast wasteland’ of contemporary ‘culture’. :wink:

I relate to that feeling, Margaret --“vast wasteland of contemporary culture”.
I wonder if our the vast (intellectual) wasteland is the culture.

We don’t often find films that we enjoy (forget about finding anything via google – we rely more on word of mouth these days), and don’t come across many films without the disturbing subliminal messaging in the scripting. Even the films of the 1930’s and 40’s had all kinds of unpleasant undertones. Often the films leave one feeling down and out, probably deliberately using the Affektenlehre technique to depress peoples’ spirits and leave them deflated.

Here’s a Strauss operetta, with a typical crazy plot around infidelity (a theme that ran through Strauss’s own family life): “Wiener Blut”, lovely music, with no commercials.
Click on the “CC” icon (closed caption) for the English subtitles:

Neither of us ls keen on themes of infidelity, but we take into stride these crazy plots in the world of operetta – we really love the music and singing and talented musical artistry of the composers and performers.

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