Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

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Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

RYAN
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This post was updated on .
Ive always been interested in looking at the lists of attendances and trying to work out whether a dancer was on a planned holiday or whether she was absent for other reasons, mainly illness i guess. I like most of you would prefer to see the whole dance troupe on show. Its akin to having your best 11 players out on the field for a football match. On saying that quite often some great dance routines were performed with a girl missing, `Don't Push It Don't Force It, Supernature, Down Down, Young Hearts Run Free` to name but 4 instances.

On looking at the lists what strikes me immediately is that Legs & Co appear to have lots more time off for holidays than their contemporaries Pans People. Ruth for example always seems to be available and so to Babs. Surely Pans didn't go through some years with no break ? Looking on Vin's excellent Pans list i can see a two week period in Feb 75 when just maybe the girls were granted two weeks leave. It could well be that was the start of dancers on the show being granted holiday time.

Anyhow, below ive listed some examples of notable absences. Some of these are booked holidays, but some are left to supposition and ive tried to come up with theories for them. Please feel free to add your fourpenith worth or to simply de-bunk them.
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Sue 08/Jan/1976 Itchycoo Park.


I used to think that maybe Sue was simply unwell on this and missed it for that reason. But we all know that Sue was fond of a extended Xmas holiday, she did so twice with her time in Legs. Heck the woman earned that right ! Now i wonder if this was another example. The fly in the ointment on that theory is the 1st January routine `In Dulce Jubilo`. But that would have been filmed before Xmas with the intention of using it on the Jan 1st show? This would give the Pans girls and indeed the choreographer a good break, and if my theory is correct, Sue an extra week. Come on Sue, if you read this please put me right.
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Lulu 17 & 24/June/1976 Young Hearts Run Free  & The Flasher

Just a couple of months into the Ruby Flipper stint and Lulu is away for a couple of shows. I did ask Lulu this on her Q & A and she answered with `Yeah i must have been on holiday`. After landing every teenage girls dream job id wager the last thing she would want to be doing was spending time away from television. So why was she away ? My theory is that this was a family holiday that had been booked for months, way before she even contemplated her new found job vocation. Id say with her growing up fast, this was something like a last family holiday and she didn't want to let mum and dad down.
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Cherry 5/12/19/Aug/1976

Cherry spends three consecutive weeks away from Ruby Flipper. No way would a 3 week holiday period be granted. Then again, Cherry was an exception. Its my belief she had a very flexible working understanding with Flick in this year and she was waiting for the right time to come along before she departed TOTPs. I think this moment came in the first week of August and she danced her last on the show. What evidence do i have for this ? Well her name vanished from the end credits. No other resident dancers name ever disappeared off the credits ever, even when they were on holiday  or absent. Patti was away for 5 weeks in 81 yet her name stayed in place.

So how come Cherry came back ? I reckon whatever she was doing simply didn't work out or was delayed for a while and she returned for a spell until her permanent departure a month later.
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Patti 26/Dec/1976 December '63 - Oh What a Night

No dancer wants to be absent from a Christmas show but this happened to Patti on the 26th. I think we once asked Sue about this and she told us Patti was feeling unwell. I guess sometimes we have to take onboard that females do feel unwell a dozen times a year and that could be a reason (and also a reason why some dancers did miss routines). I like to think though it may have been a dodgy mince pie consumed in the BBC canteen that did for Patti.

The other theory i have on this is thus. Now i have no idea when the Xmas routines were filmed. Im guessing around the middle of December. Its worth noting that Patti became the first Legs girl to miss a routine with her absence from the 16th Dec show when Legs & Co danced to `YNGTHIYBMY`. How about if the Boxing day Four Seasons routine was filmed on the 16th. That would account for no Patti. Could be she was ill that day. Maybe the other Xmas routines (which were known about well in advance) were filmed on other days in December when Patti was present. This is all very much conjecture and probably wrong, but plausible, yeah ?
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Gill 24/March/1977 - Sunny

I only realised this from the recent `Legs & Co TOTPs shows they appeared on` listing i made which ive buried deep in LISTS. Here is the link
http://one-for-the-dads.979225.n3.nabble.com/Legs-Co-TOTPs-shows-they-appeared-on-tp4163222.html

But Gill quite obviously had a planned fortnights holiday in which she missed two weeks on the show 3rd and 10th March. Thats fine, no probs. She then comes back for a week the 17th (Moody Blue) and is again absent on the 24th. This to my mind is a classic illness day as she wouldn't have another holiday booked.

But it makes me wonder when dancers miss these odd routines through illness whether they have been off for the Monday, Tuesday rehearsals or just the Wednesday taping and if indeed routines had to be altered to accommodate late changes. Ive always considered the routine to `Sunny` to be a bit of a cluttered one what with the set design. So having an extra girl would have made it even more so.
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Patti absent 21/28 April and 5 May 1977 Hotel California

Patti was away for 3 consecutive weeks. Now there was me sating no dancer would be allowed to have 3 consecutive weeks away for a holiday. But judging by the tan Patti came back with she clearly did have a good holiday. But im not convinced she'd be allowed 3 weeks. Did she come back with the dreaded Mediterranean lurky which did for her on the 5th May show.  If so then she would have been the 5th and extra `hombre` in the routine. She would have easily fitting in too with her superb tan.
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All the above may be the ramblings of a disillusion fan but i do like to think ive made a good case for each example. Id love to read your thoughts of those and any other holiday/absence related routines.
RYAN
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

VintageVideos
RYAN wrote
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Sue 08/Jan/1976 Itchycoo Park.

I used to think that maybe Sue was simply unwell on this and missed it for that reason. But we all know that Sue was fond of a extended Xmas holiday, she did so twice with her time in Legs. Heck the woman earned that right ! Now i wonder if this was another example. The fly in the ointment on that theory is the 1st January routine `In Dulce Jubilo`. But that would have been filmed before Xmas with the intention of using it on the Jan 1st show? This would give the Pans girls and indeed the choreographer a good break, and if my theory is correct, Sue an extra week. Come on Sue, if you read this please put me right.
I thought we already knew the reason:
http://one-for-the-dads.979225.n3.nabble.com/ITCHYCOO-PARK-January-1976-tp4036137p4054809.html
and
http://one-for-the-dads.979225.n3.nabble.com/The-Continuous-Quiz-tp4079999p4084965.html
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

Mikey
I guess its impossible to really look at Pans People absences as there is such a massive amount missing, but I can't imagine Babs being present for every single routine for the 7 1/2 years she was there. There are a few absences known about however.

Flick missing the last 4 months of 1970 (on screen) due to working with a stage show, looking at the October 1970 show that exists she is still given a choreographer credit though.

Ruth missing in Sept 1971, see Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and also this



Andrea, from Make It With You and River Deep Mountain High, probably just holiday.

The Cherry August 1976 thing is unusual and i'm sure she was looking for the exit door by that point as she started in A Chorus Line not long after.

Another unusual absence set up for Ruby Flipper was 20th May, just 2 weeks after the new dancers started and 4 are missing.
My love must be a kind of blind love, I can't see anyone but you...

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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
VintageVideos wrote
I thought we already knew the reason:
Thanks for your reply Vin. You may have known the reason, i didn't or simply forgot. Anyhow ive attached a yellow dubunked label to that theory.
RYAN
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Mikey
Mikey wrote
The Cherry August 1976 thing is unusual and i'm sure she was looking for the exit door by that point
She was done with TOTPs all through 76. Although it was September when she left if the right opportunity had come along earlier she'd have been off sooner.

I still think that so called holidays were a bit of luxury in Pans Peoples times. I think absences were mainly down to illness rather than holidays. I'm lead to believe that the choreographer only took a holiday at Christmas time when she went back to the Sates. Maybe she thought her dance troupe should do the same.
RYAN
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

VintageVideos
In reply to this post by Mikey
Mikey wrote
Andrea, from Make It With You and River Deep Mountain High, probably just holiday.
Andrea missed Make It With You because she was sick.
http://one-for-the-dads.979225.n3.nabble.com/MAKE-IT-WITH-YOU-03-09-1970-tp4055317p4124351.html
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

VintageVideos
In reply to this post by RYAN
RYAN wrote
You may have known the reason, i didn't or simply forgot.
Sorry if I sounded rude, I was a bit in a hurry when I typed my reply this morning. This is actually an interesting topic. As Mikey said, it's difficult to say how often a dancer was missing during the time of Pan's People as so many routines were wiped. What we do know, for example, is that Dee Dee was suffering from a viral disease as of late 1974, that's why she was absent during all of January 1975.
Maybe it would be a good idea to create a table of known absences and their reasons, provided there is enough info available.
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

RYAN
Administrator
VintageVideos wrote
Maybe it would be a good idea to create a table of known absences and their reasons, provided there is enough info available.
Yes good idea. I never knew about Dee Dee's viral disease. I simply assumed her dodgy ankle was playing up and she had to rest it. See there is stuff to be learned all the time.
RYAN
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

Mikey
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
Thanks Vin, yes i forgot about 'Give Me Just A Little More Time' being Andrea less too.
My love must be a kind of blind love, I can't see anyone but you...

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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

Colm
In reply to this post by RYAN
Didn't the PP time-off in February 1975 coincide with Cherry's first wedding? Likewise, L&C's week off in June 1979 around the time of Pauline's marriage (followed by a week where they didn't appear, despite being scheduled to).

I remember a theory discussed, perhaps on here some time ago, that Lulu's RF break in June 1976 might've been down to sitting/revising for O-Levels, but I don't know if that's now been discounted.

Funnily enough, I was thinking earlier about Patti's extended break in 1981...

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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

AC/PD
Welcome back, Colm.

Good to hear from you.

Lulu herself has stated that she sat her exams in the Summer of 1975,  the year before her Ruby Flipper career commenced, so family holiday is the likely reason for her absence.
Pauline's Honeymoon accounted for her absence from the Cavatina performance whilst her August 1978 holiday caused her to miss Supernature, Version 1 of Three Times A Lady and Brown Girl In The Ring.



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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

VintageVideos
In reply to this post by Colm
Colm wrote
Didn't the PP time-off in February 1975 coincide with Cherry's first wedding?
Indeed it did Colm. That's why I added the note "Cherry's honeymoon" for those two weeks in our Pan's People list.
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

RYAN
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In reply to this post by Colm
Hi Colm, good to see you back on OFTDs and thanks for contributing to this thread.

Firstly on Lulu. We do know that she certainly wasn't taking exams. I must admit that thought used to cross my mind in the early days of the forum but i did change that to the holiday theory and took the opportunity to ask her on her Q&A session. Here is her answer.



I still can't get my head around the fact she left school a year earlier. Whats that all about !

Interesting angle you raise on the wedding absences. All i can say is very plausible and maybe a good excuse for Legs to take a fortnight off in 79.

We've never got to the bottom of the Patti 81 5 week absence. Probably best not delve to deeply into this, as it could be anything, but id suggest a Legs & Co related injury. This most likely happened off-screen, rehearsals or cabaret.
RYAN
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

Old Grey Whistler
I have always been of the impression that Pans People were effectively a self employed unit who worked for the BBC as well as other broadcasters, whereas Legs & Co were employed directly by the BBC. If so then perhaps the Legs girls had a basic holiday entitlement in line with other BBC employees.  It seems that once Michael Hurll took over, the troupe were largely absent as a group rather than individually.
I would think it unlikely that Flick would allow more than one dancer to be on holiday at a time, so I'm guessing that perhaps Lulu was ill for Silver Lady while Rosie was on holiday.
Gill was absent for 3 weeks out of 4 between 15/06/78 and 6/7/78 so I would guess that she was ill for The Smurf Song, while Patti was on holiday (I don't blame her if she had a convenient migraine!), then came back for a week before having a fortnights holiday.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

RYAN
Administrator
Old Grey Whistler wrote
I have always been of the impression that Pans People were effectively a self employed unit who worked for the BBC as well as other broadcasters, whereas Legs & Co were employed directly by the BBC.
I've always considered both Pans & Legs to simply work for the BBC Monday to Wednesday rather than being directly employed by them. They made the majority of their income away from the corporation undertaking private work at weekends mainly. Im guessing that some of that income may have been payable to the BBC though as they were allowed to use the names Pans and Legs on such away day ventures.
RYAN
Doc
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

Doc
I think there was a difference between the two. Pan's were created away from the BBC and then later employed by them. Legs and Co were created for the BBC and when the dancers appeared on other non BBC programs they used the name Ruby Flipper instead. Whilst I've not seen any paperwork to confirm it I believe the BBC owns or owned the rights to the Legs and Co name. As for using the name in caberet, it would have been seen as promoting the TOTP brand.
Still living in 1979
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

Willoway
In reply to this post by RYAN
Probably drifting away from the original intention, but here are a few random examples of absences:

1968 Babs: For some reason was in the gallery for the Belgian RTB productions



1969 Ruth: choreographed "Decidedly Dusty" and was absent for a while, not sure if she missed any TOTP (PP attendance was still intermittent) but certainly Penny Fergusson filled in for her on the Frankie Howerd show (any excuse to show this great photo with Dilys Watling). PP were definitely filming Frankie Howerd in June 1969. Ruth also seems absent from the Jean Ferrat en Peter Sarstedt show broadcast 24th May so it may have been an extended break.



1970 Louise: Who can forget the somewhat odd story of "Lie Down I think I love you", though if Louise actually spent any time rehearsing or performing for this is unclear.

And every night we'll have a dance
Cause what's a vacation without romance
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

AC/PD
A damaged ankle sustained during rehearsals for Love Is In The Air accounted for dear old Lulu sitting out a trio of dances over a two week period in May 1978 - Legs Co Disco and You're The One That I Want in addition to the aforementioned.
Extra Time for recovery presented itself when TOTP was replaced on 1st June by the World Cup match between West Germany and Poland, a game for which Lulu might have failed the fitness test.
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

RYAN
Administrator
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AC/PD wrote
A damaged ankle sustained during rehearsals for Love Is In The Air accounted for dear old Lulu
Does make me wonder how many routines would have been altered or affected by dancers going lame or ringing in sick. `Love Is In The Air` for example is a routine which could easily accommodate a sixth dancer and id wager the routine didn't have to be changed hardly anything owing to Lulu's ankle niggle.

Must have been annoying though if they had rehearsed a set routine on the Monday & Tuesday and come Wednesday taping one of them couldn't perform for one reason or another and the routine had to be changed drastically. Suppose we'll never know.

RYAN
HG
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Re: Dancers on holiday or sometimes not.

HG
In reply to this post by RYAN
Was the reason for Patti being away for those five weeks in 1981 something to do with her MS?