Barbados (Xmas Version) _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byTypically Tropicaland reaching number 1 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date23/12/1975Duration of dance - 3.06 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Cherry, Lee, Mary, Ruth, Sue _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
While musing about the next routine on this section, I was thinking how unusual this cold weather at the moment is, with the freezing wind and the snow in large parts of Europe, and I reckoned we needed something to warm us up. And what could be more (heart)warming than this glorious routine which combines the cold and frosty weather with thoughts of summer and traveling to the Caribbean!
Typically Tropical was actually a duo comprising Stewart Peters Hughes and Jeffrey Calvert (thanks Wikipedia!). The mock reggae song was originally intended for release in November 1974 but the label wisely delayed the release until summer 1975. The record took a few weeks to get off but ultimately reached the peak position in the British charts in August of that year. Captain Tobias Wilcox' follow-up single "Rocket Now" did not rocket up the charts though, rather it bombed completely.
This is a record that I remember very well from the extremely hot summer of 1975, it just seemed to match the overall mood of this season. Although this wasn't quite my kind of music (I was more into progressive rock at that time), I had to admit that somehow I liked the song, and a few weeks later my brother bought the single (see picture!).
The Pan's People routine on the first of the Christmas shows for 1975 is a true fan favourite and deservedly so. How would Flick Colby forge a bridge from the cold season to the dreams of summer? Well, if you don't know the answer yet, you will know after you watched this routine.
This is a dance which is absolutely top notch. From the scenery to the (change of) dresses, from graceful dance moves (including solos and duos) to a snowball fight, it's all there. So how could I possibly rate this dance anything less than 10/10?
For once, I'm certain about my Dancer of the Day, and while I really enjoy Sue's solo, and Ruth looks gorgeous in this routine, the star for me is Mary "Jane" who seems to have so much fun, it's simply contagious (watch out for her little slip at 2.57 mins).
Now take me out of this cold and fly me to Barbados!
An attempt at irony seems to be the order of the day here, a song about a hot & sunny day in the windies, & here we have a Pan's People routine, with a wintery, moon-lit, snow scene in London, presumably to tie in with that Christmas '75 TOTPs edition.
But the ladies do look fetching in their fur-coats, there's heaps of sauciness, whereby they periodically show off whats underneath, but at least it's tastefully done, Sue seems particularly enthusiastic about this.
Mary, also seems to be really enjoying herself here.
Naturally it all culminates in a snowball-fight.
What a great choice for this week Vin. This version of Pans People is my favourite and this particular dance is way up there with the best. There isnt a single thing about this i don't like. I like the start were all the girls are freezing cold in their furs coats (hopefully fake), then the singing starts and the bikinis are revealed. Just wonderful. I enjoy all the high kicking, surely no girl on TOTPs could kick as high as young Mary, a sight to behold.
Theres so much going on, Lee, Sue & Cherry looking up at the skies, Mary & Ruth looking down at the ground, just brilliant how Flick fashioned that part of the routine, it worked so well. But favourite part has to be when Mary pops up bang on cue with the "Mary Jane" lyric. Of course the snowball fight is fun with Sue chucking the first one.
Christmas 75 was in my opinion a pretty decent time for Pans, 3 of the 4 routines were good, if not very good. I know im in a minority but i also like the one every dosent like.
Dancer of the day, gee how hard is this. Normally this would be Sue, no question, but `Mary` is just so gorgeous in this, so shes my girl today.
My rating is, well it can only be 10 out of 10. Vin i think this routine will top your Pans list.
Great Winter fun and a fine choice from the Thread-architect I agree. This concept is brilliant; I live with someone who'd shoot me for saying this, but they look fantastic in those furs too. It`s pure joy watching the revelation of those lovely bikinis and I would say Ruth wins this battle with her lovely golden suit, although there's plenty of strong competition, with leopard-print and polkadot coming in joint second for this observer. Oh to be that lucky Snowman Ruth gives a good old warming Winter hug. I agree Mary is great in this too but I must do my duty and say she's only the second best high-kicker in TOTP History. The snowball fight is a great way to finish and I give Cherry the edge in this one, with some of her attacks being from mercilessly close range! Anyway after all this I am giving 9.5/10 and my DotD goes to Ruth although it is truly a close call.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
This apt routine, given our cold weather at present, does a fine job in warming hearts with its playfulness.
I prefer the amended costumes on the final routine compared to the plain bikinis worn by Mary, Sue and Cherry in that rehearsal picture - they add character, as well as continuity to that summertime version of the dance with the leopard-skin printed one.
My dancer of the day is also Mary for her joyous high-kicks and pleasing smiles to camera. For some reason, I think Cherry's eyes look heavy and tired at the start? Not that it takes anything away from the routine IMO.
Fabulous fun filled dance in which all the elements work perfectly. If it had survived I'd have been giving a maximum to the July trip to Barbados and this second visit deserves nothing less than a 10 as well. And for my DotD, for having remembered to pack her leopard-print number once again it has to be Sue.
This is a cracking pop song. They really don't make 'em like this anymore. Not least because it's not one for the politically correct this, what with a white man imitating a West Indian bus driver in Brixton. They would prefer The Vengaboys' by-numbers repurposing. Fair enough, let them fly to Ibiza to eat pizza, but I'm going to Barbados with these beauties.
This is an absolutely wonderful routine. You're right Vin, this is just the tonic for this interminable winter. Thank you. A classic opening, you just know from the mischief on Cherry's face as she warms herself that she's got a surprise in store for us. And what gifts they bear (or should that be bare?). Gold, fruit for the senses, and much myrrh. (Sorry for that). The 'whoa' displays and high kicks are a joy and everything moves along supremely well. And there's something about Mary...she is STUNNING. I think she must be the prettiest of all the TOTPs dancers. The 'Mary Jane' moment of sublime synchronization is the highlight of an exceedingly rich dance. The snowball fight is the perfect piece of post-sherry anarchy to finish it all off. Mary catches my eye the most, but to ensure my verdict isn't overly coloured by her looks I'm going to be strict and use that botched high-kick as an excuse to deny her the DOTD. Instead it goes to Cherry for an impeccably judged performance.
I'm just imagining Flick, affording Mary the same treatment, if she was here assessing these routines retrospectively. You can just imagine any good choreographer punishing a dancer with every false move that they make, & making somebody else Dancer Of The Day, contrary to popular opinion.
Fur coats and bikinis and dancing
Great song which has lasted for ages
Girls look really happy
remember this at xmas
Lose 1 mark for :
Prefer the other Barbados surviving routine even if the girls were not featured for long. The 1st weeks routine wiped would be 15/10.
Bikinis of different colours and fawn fur coats not brilliant colour scheme
Choreography - like to see the girls interacting more quickly and more moves- some great high kicks here but minus a fraction.
Lee looks like she is a bit less into it than the rest
Cherry is dish of the day by a long way her shivering smile at the beginning just cheers everyone up.
9 from me only- I love it but its not my idea of a 10.
Just a little addendum to Vin's notes on the song if I may. Hughes and Calvert didn't stay content with merely jetting across the Earth to sunnier climes for long. They went on to write Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip's 1978 hit 'I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper'. Another gud 'un if you ask me.
This was a record i bought in the summer of 75 ,during the school summer hols along with jive talkin by the bee gees ,a very good pop catchy record to set a dance routine to,its a pity the full routine from july as gone missing ,it would be nice to see again dee dee and babs jetting off with coconut airways ,but ive got to say that the xmas routine came up trumps ,i love the set design of the snow the moon etc ,and pans people both dressed for the winter weather ,and underneath the fur coats ,bikinis for the sun in barbados ,the routine deserves a 9 out of 10 ,i find it very hard to pick an individuall dancer on a lot of the pans routines ,i love some of cherrys,and ruth expressions on this dance ,but i suppose mary just gets that extra vote from me vin