Got your attention, didn't it? Of course, we don't want any fisticuffs, on an appreciation blog for the TOTP dance troupes. But just wondering....
I am often being reminded on this forum that the good thing (??) about Ruby Flipper's demise is that it allowed the creation of the 'best' dance troupe ever, or words to that effect. In terms of dance ability and creative and interesting routines would Legs and Co easily triumph over any version of Pan's People? Who would win in a danceathon a la Saturday Night Fever?
Whilst appreciating both dance groups... I would have to say Legs and Co would win that contest hands down as overall they were better dancers,sorry...no offence meant. I think that during their time they were called on to be more versatile and diverse with their routines as Flick was never shy in "sending up" certain songs if required...ie,Smurfs, Babys dressed up lurex nappies, Bumble Bee and delightful flowers to name just a few. And yet on the flip side they could be as alluring,sexy and suggestive as you like. Pans People may have been somewhat raunchier,but there certainly wasnt as much light and shade to their performances. As to one specific overall dancer for the dancerthon....tricky one,but I would have to say Sue (and its nothing to do with her being my favourite) but purely on her years of experience as a dancer and having worked through many styles of both music and dance....Jethro Tull,rock,heavy metal,disco,punk,ballet,contempory ballet and from interviews she was also a great tap dancer. On her achievments alone, she would be my first choice.........Patti would definitely come as a close second. Dave.
I'd agree with most of what Dave has said although credit must be paid to Flick for some of the difference. As she gained in experience and confidence I would suggest she developed so many more new and interesting routines for Legs. Of course in Sue, Patti, Gill, Lulu, Rosie and Pauline she had a much more versatile and varied group of dancers than previously, which allowed her to explore new ground.
As I've said before Legs were the better dancers, they were the better looking and, contrary to popular opinion, they could be when required the raunchier. Sue and Cherry get right Down Down and Ruth is not that far behind but Babs, even if she hasn't fallen, is a distant fourth by the Canal Turn. In contrast Gill, Lulu and Rosie are all causing temperatures to rise on that Boogie Night while Patti and Pauline strutting their stuff have the heart monitors racing. And as for Sue, or all four of her. Well cardiac arrest for any sane male viewer can only be seconds away.
hi carl , i personally can see no battle at all over the dance troupes i know everyone had their favourite girl in the troupes but every girl was professionally trained and were unique in themselves and all blended together thats what made them the popular successful dance troupes they were ,flick will admit the older she got the more professional she became as a choreographer but i love all pans people members and all legs and co members the same as i do their dance routines
Carl baby, now this is what I'm talking about. In the good old days I would have jumped on this one with gusto but sadly I'm a changed man and now I think before I sound off cos I had to apologise too many times before. I do agree with Dave though that Flick and her Troupes improved constantly right up until the "Zoo experiment" exploded in our faces. I think Pans were great dancers but they were of their time and dance moved on from the late 60's into the 70's and early 80's. The songs got a bit more dance friendly too in the Legs years: you only have to look at Jez's lists of Pans routines. Some great music in those early TOTP years but by golly it was a bit tough to dance to some of that stuff unless you had acid or at least weed in your veins. (not saying that Pans did but it might have helped with Mary Hopkin and Herman's Hermits). No wonder Pans all loved Motown cos it was the only really consistently decent dance music there was back then. All in all though I wouldn't change a thing and if I'd grown up a few years earlier I think I'd be more attached to the Pans People stuff than I am but I like to think Patti would still have the best parking spot in the garage.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
The point to remember is that without Pans People becoming the most famous and liked dance troupe of the British public in the early '70s there would not have been the emergence of Legs & Co. When the Ruby Flipper experiment was considered to have failed due to the general TV viewer's disinterest the BBC found it necessary to then revert to an all girl line-up, much to Ms. Colby’s reluctance.
Carl has performed a valuable service for the forum in championing Ruby Flipper, what I find most appealing in their routines is that they offer cheerful entertainment, providing a feel-good factor that reflects a lot of the popular music of that year of 1976. For sure, in part criticism of the music then, (and a few years prior) most of it can be seen as being overly pleasant, with no political or rebellious message songs and aurally very sweet sounding, but ultimately artificial: The Saccharin Years, before the onslaught of Punk Rock!
From this decision by the BBC to once again use an exclusively girl setup (apart from Floyd’s guest appearances) Legs & Co. were established with an emphasis on a raunchier image than either Pans People or Ruby Flipper, made by the BBC to retain the male TOTPs audience.
In reference to raunchiness: Was it not Legs & Co. that popularized the use of suspenders in dance routines? Ruby Flipper’s last performance featured them; with ‘Play that Funky Music’ was this an indication of future developments? How often are suspenders shown in Legs & Co. routines? Someone please make a thread on this! (From memory, 'Black Betty', 'Funkin' for Jamaica'.) Other dance troupes then followed suit, (Hot Gossip for example.)
For me what is of importance are the outstanding routines from all the troupes, that are noteworthy by having a certain magic due to the melding of choreography, music and individual brilliance by a particular dancer or dancers.