An improvisational dance performed upon my vintage Patti Bros accordion, a 3/5 reed instrument in LMM configuration.
This improvisational Valse is based upon the idea that dance is often spontaneous, expressive, and joyously alive. Although the title does not refer to an individual character specifically, I have never forgotten the enchanting cinematic roles played by several film-version Princesses from the 1940's. The first one I can remember is June Duprez who plays the beautiful Princess in Alexander Korda's spectacular fantasy film "The Thief of Bagdad" (1940), one of the most magical films ever created. Duprez is perfectly cast in this film opposite John Justin as Ahmad, with fantastic Technicolor production, a wondrous screenplay and dialogue, memorable cinematography, lavish set design & costumes, and fabulous special effects. Who can forget the magic flying carpet or the flying white horse or the Genie who appears out of the smoking green bottle? June Duprez looks absolutely lovely in this Arabian fantasy film, one of the all time great classics in cinema.
The second image that comes to mind is that of Josette Day who plays Belle in Jean Cocteau's 1946 masterpiece "Beauty and the Beast." Cocteau directed this cinema classic with superb attention to detail, featuring marvelous set design and costumes, expressive music by Georges Auric, Henri Alekan's sensational cinematography and near magical integration of all elements. Josette Day captures the beauty of the story through her memorable portrayal of Belle, both repelled by and attracted to the Beast played by Jean Marais (Avenant/ The Beast/ Prince Ardent). Long after I watch this film, I simply cannot forget the astonishing visions captured within the heart of this fascinating fairytale.
The third image that stirs in my memory is that of Moira Shearer in the 1948 classic "The Red Shoes," Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's sensational ballet film which features Jack Cardiff's brilliant cinematography, superlative art direction by Arthur Lawson, masterful production design by Hein Heckroth and memorable music composed by Brian Easdale. Moira Shearer illuminates the hard work and dedication of the professional ballet dancer, and she is aided by a superb cast of actors and dancers. Robert Helpmann created the choreography, with Sir Thomas Beecham conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the ballet sequences. Moira Shearer as Victoria Page lights up the ballet stage, the silver screen and the intense drama of the unfolding artist's story. We sense the struggle between Art and Life, the contest between Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) and Julian Craster (Marius Goring). Although ultimately a tragic tale, the marvelous beauty and artistic talents of Moira Shearer are abundantly displayed throughout the length of this fascinating film. Here is the majesty and the agony of the ballet dancer revealed and ultimately preserved for all who love the art of dance.