Before the introduction of Que Tal America on the previous edition of Top Of the Pops, the host mentioned holidays in his intro.
Once again an inevitable holiday mention occurs within the link and rightly so, given that the song and dance routine on offer transport us to an idyllic vision of classical Spain.
"Las piernas y la empresa" ('The legs and the company' in Spanish) triumph against the difficulty of dancing in amongst the excessively diminutive set of crumble-free arches, so constricting that it my well have been influenced in part by the artwork of surrealist painter M.C. Escher, whose works specialised in corruption within the field of physics. That set looks to be diminishing as we watch.
That lovely background of fast-changing skies appeals, especially the pink one, as do the six ladies in classical Spanish dress.
It's clear that this is an ocasion for serious and stern expressions, due to the contemplative nature of the song : the two dark-haired latinas looking stern. On the ropey UK Gold version, Patti looked like she was sporting a chest-wig whereas the clarity of the BBC4 reshowing now reveals that to be a set of peacock feathers.
A shame that the routine ends just as the song starts to increase in tempo. Also a shame that I can't discern with absolute certainly Rosemary from Gill when smile-free and with tied-back hair.
Last week, Gill was seen mouthing a four-lettered word. Towards the end of Chiquitita, Pauline appears to do the same.
Four letters...ends in 'it'? Looks like 'wait' to me.
DOTD : Gill
Well Heart of Glass was always going to be a hard act to follow, and so this week we get a sedate performance in a spanish setting at costa del television centre. Its a pretty mournful Abba song, and so Flick is relying on the ladies (dressed in traditional spanish outfits) to look sombre as they weave in and out of the arches avoiding the pillars and each other. One good thing about this is the close-up ratio appears higher than usual, particularly for Gill and Lulu. Once the track gets into full swing the background changes from pink to blue and the dancing begins, only to abruptly end a few seconds later, how annoying.
Despite some obvious issues (Sue being almost invisible for example) i do enjoy this one, so 8/10 seems fair.
"Las piernas y la empresa" ('The legs and the company' in Spanish) triumph
against the difficulty of dancing in amongst the excessively diminutive set
of crumble-free arches, so constricting that it my well have been influenced
in part by the artwork of surrealist painter M.C. Escher, whose works
specialised in corruption within the field of physics. That set looks to be
diminishing as we watch.
Yup PD... just what I was thinking! haha
Lovely song this, and a dance reminiscent of Let Em In except they're dodging in and out of some partly built Andalusiam hacienda. In fact, the set reminds me a bit of Ali Fraser's Spanish villa in Auf Weidersehn Pet.
Lovely though it all is, it's not the most moving of dances. But having said there's not much to go on until the tempo picks up and it must be a bugger to choreograph all that weaving in and out.
They don't seem too sure when to actually stop dancing though, and it goes slightly pear-shaped as the music fades down and the applause fades up.
But not too worry. A 7/10.
And although Patti and Gill might catch most people's eye, my Dancer of this St Valentine's Day is Lulu, for her little piece to camera about half-way through.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Lulu lulu lulu.
Lulu lulu lulu.
Hmmm come to think of it the routine was probably modelled on the famous painting "Las Cuatro Mujeres" by the renowned Spanish painter Él No Puede Bailar, who lived in the 19th century near the village of Movimiento de la Cadera. The similarity is striking:
And when the stewardess is near do not show any fear
Thought the choreography was good bearing in mind the amount of set there was to navigate around. The flamenco feel worked really well for the song and routine. Gill and Pauline really suited the Spanish Señorita look, stunningly gorgeous. Good stuff!
Not one of my favourite Abba tracks but the routine fits the song well. Lovely dresses and some serious exressions amongst the ladies. Sue doesn't seem to get much screen time here but my DOTD goes to Gill, beautiful and serious at the same time. Can't say the routine is overly exciting though. 7 overall.
I know some members were perplexed with the attitude on a certain social networking site, that the routine somehow didn't go with the song. Whilst illogical (Captain), I can understand that 'Chiquitita' is now associated with winter, having been performed twice during ABBA's 'Snowtime Special' in the Swiss Alps and subsequently spawned a snowman backed promo video as a result.
However, It was the Legs & Co routine that came first and it receives the rightful and expected Iberian treatment.
These hot blooded senoritas are not to be trifled with, as they twirl around the arches and stop to give us their tempestuous glare. I like the changing hues of the sky, which represent a full day of dancing - unfortunately this is not reflected in the duration of the song, as it is cut painfully short.
As for Patti appearing to sport a hairy chest, I can only surmise that a certain enthusiast of hers and veteran of this forum, had gone to see her in her dressing room before the performance and had stuck his nose in places he shouldn't have, resulting in the loss of his toupee and that he was too embarrassed to point out it's new resting place.
7.75/10. DOTD Gill.
I like Abba, and I also like this track, even though it is one of their slower numbers and takes a bit of time to get going. Another great performance by our lovely girls here, with lovely Spanish style dresses and scraped back hair, and plenty of weaving in and out of arches and all looking rather serious, which suits the tempo of the song just fine. It's just a shame it all finishes just as it could have really started. Some nice shots of the girls but why so little of Sue?
I have always liked Abba and have a fair few of their singles/albums. I remember this released at the time and felt disappointed that Legs and Co were dancing to this. I wanted to see Abba but obviously now I appreciate the dance more. This song should have been a No.1 but with Blondie at No.1 in various formats it did not really have a chance. It would be the first single of their up and coming disco opus album Voulez Vous. This track did fairly well in America too as did the Spanish version which was issued separately. I felt the b-side Lovelight was a lovely track and could have made this single a double a-side.
When I watch this dance now I find it really enchanting to watch. Love the fixtures and the outfits and it does tend to resemble loosely Mardi Gras by Paul Simon in terms of the routine. They all looked beautiful but I cannot see much of Sue. I will award the best dancer to Patti as she looks like Joan Collins in this and I will give this one nine out of ten.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
The Kid seems to have attracted the attention of a couple of gum-chewing teenage trollops, but never mind, we are about to meet some rather more sophisticated ladies in the guise of six senoritas strolling around the archways of their hacienda.
Chiquitita is the least danceable Abba number the girls got to perform to, but it's an excellent record nevertheless. And we certainly get the feel of a reflective evening, although the minimalist set confines things somewhat. The lighting is rather atmospheric too, going from a pensive red sky to the fresh blue hope of a new day as the song picks up.
The flamenco dresses are superb, and with the hair pulled back into buns there's that evocative Iberian authenticity, which can be so cliched if not treated with a certain subtlelty. For instance, I'm glad Flick resisted the temptation to include a moustached Floid picking out the tune on a classical guitar, his face shadowed by a sombrero.
Frustratingly, this routine ends just as things start getting lively. It's Gill who gets the most camera time, but it's the olive-skinned Patti who comes across best as the hot-blooded latino lady forced to repress her passion in the face of sorrow.