Hello and welcome to the "Comments on Pan's People Dances" section. I wrote most of this post two days ago actually, not anticipating what would happen on Sunday evening/night with two 'lost‘ Legs & Co. routines turning up. Everyone’s still in a state of shock here I assume, so I wondered for a moment if I should delay the launch of this new feature. But then again, it’s been advertised for today, and why not start it now that everyone’s excited!
So it's my pleasure to be your host and present a new Pan's People routine each week. This section will be very similar to the "Comments on Legs & Co Dances", I'll be giving a few details of the dance first, post a screen grab, add some of my own thoughts, and then it's up to you to comment. It would be nice if you rate the dances the same way as practiced on the Legs & Co section, but of course this is not obligatory.
After a bit of thought, I concluded that it wouldn't make much sense to present the dances chronologically, as the earliest dances that are available from the late 60s and very early 70s - with all due respect to the dancers - aren't exactly the most exciting. So I decided for a random pick each week. This will make this section a bit more interesting.
And what better way to start off than with maybe the best known (yet somewhat controversial) routine:
GET DOWN ________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byGilbert O'Sullivanand reaching number 1 in the UK charts ________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date25/12/1973Duration of dance - 2.34 mins ________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Louise, Ruth ________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Gilbert O’Sullivan scored his second No. 1 in the UK with this song in April 1973 but it wasn’t before Christmas Day of that year that Pan’s People were called to dance to this. While Gilbert’s lyrics were occasionally accused of being misogynistic, he insisted that this song was indeed directed at his dog! Yes, sure…
Maybe the most literal interpretation Flick could think of for this song, and I’m sure she did it with a wink. The idea was to have exactly one dog per dancer, but dog’s have other ideas as Pan’s People had to realize pretty soon when one of the dogs simply got up and walked away. What a bad dog baby! Rumour has it there is a second version of this routine in the BBC archives with not one, but two dogs walking away. Has anyone ever seen that?
It’s supposed to be a fun routine, but sometimes these all too literal moves make it drift almost into absurdity. Nevertheless it’s certainly one I like watching if only for the beautiful smiles the ladies are giving us towards the end. It’s not an easy one to rate, definitely not a top routine but also not one of the worst. So after a bit of thinking, I would award it 8 out of 10. My Dancer of the Day would be Dee 'Cat on a hot tin roof' Dee. What are your thoughts?
Nice choice for starters Vin and i agree this is one that everyone remembers. It does make you wonder how many takes they did on this, ive seen one on YT were two of the dogs clear off. Im also sure ive read somewhere that the girls were not over keen on this one, maybe they were just pretending to be dog lovers ?
I have to say though the dancers look most appealing in their different coloured outfits, cant choose between Louise or Dee Dee for whos the most ravishing. I have to say also, and don't take this the wrong way, why do Pans People seem more like sex objects than what Legs & Co ever did ? That could be an opinion i formed during those pre-politically correct days. What happened to TB in the final second of this, isn't it supposed to be the host who pinches the audience girls ass ?
Its enjoyable, and the dogs are being very good, so i will award it 8 out of 10.
I think Flick's literal interpretation helped set her dancers apart from the others although it was taken a little too far here. Bab's seems close to a dress malfunction or as Ronnie Barker could have put it, she's close to revealing Beautiful Babs.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
Some DJ's did rather build them up as such during their intros and the BBC made no secret of using them to attract male viewers.
It would have been interesting to see how Pans People would have fared if there had been the sexiest woman in the world votes that magazines such as FHM run each year. I'm sure at least one or two of them would have got in the top 10, not necessarily because they are any more attractive or sexy, but because they were very famous and seen on the TV each week by half the country.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
ah nostalgia from xmas day 1973 ,as i am a very nostalgic person anyway ,as ive said on this forum many times before ,this routines takes me way back to xmas day in 1973 ,i remember watching pans act out get down whilst sitting in front of the tv at home ,and like i once said before ,i really cant remember why this year in 1973 we werent at my grans watching totp ,because we went there every xmas afternoon until she died,anyway thats beside the point im reminising too much ,back to the routine ,yes i know its now been played to death ,but i still think its a lovely catchy song ,and pans all look lovely ,and the literal choreography is classic ,like i say i can almost feel like its xmas day again in 1973 when i see this dance ,i remember also having 4 of those hallmark totp albums that were released that year as part of my xmas pressie ,you know the ones you bought from woolies with a cover girl on the front ,12 tracks for 79p sang by the top of the poppers session musicians,anyway its definitley a 9 out 10 for this one ,cheers
A much-maligned routine, but I adore it. It's fun and never aims to take itself seriously; the Pan's women have tongues firmly in cheek throughout and they adapt suitably to the early bath one of the labradors decides to take.
My score: 9 out of 10
My Dancer of the Day, if we are doing this: Louise (has some lovely close-ups)
An interesting routine, if ever there was one, I feel that we only had this, as it was christmas, with those dogs, this routine had novelty value written all over it in permanent black ink. The dogs themselves seemed to take it all in their stride, although one obviously felt that they'd had enough within the first minute, & went, erm walkies, without so much as even a hint of melodrama. But at least the girls seemed to enjoy their company, looking very stylish, it's just a shame the dogs didn't seem to appreciate that.
Louise finger to cheek
Dee dee W Hand movement
the opposite up down girl movements that were also used in summer time city
Louise looks really classy and imperious- the star of this one
remember watching this at xmas
don't like - :
Cherry paired with Babs like little and large and their pattercake is out of time- cherry too fast
they are sort of prancing around rather than dancing
wish this had been wiped and down down and get down tonight night saved.
too much finger wagging.
outfits colour clash a bit
dogs because flick said they smelt
routine too centred around the dogs rostrum
Ruth's intro is cut off a bit
this is the most well known but is not the best by a very long way
so it is classic pans but will never be in my top 10 and I don't watch this one too often
I have a lot of catching up to do on the Legs and Co comments thread, so I better make sure I don't lag behind on the Pan's People one. I see you're picking the routines at random VV, I hope you don't confuse yourself about what's been done before, when you get towards the end of your choices!.
I like humorous and novelty routines and this is one of the best!. When the dog jumps off the bench and the golden labrador turns to look and then the other dogs follow suit has to be one of my favourite TV moments!.(Where the hell's he going?!!.)
The flooring is quite bleak on this one, like something from a bathroom, but the colourful outfits make up for that.
If you are doing Dancer of the Day for PP routines , then my vote goes to Cherry for her blown kiss at the start. 9/10.
I like this one. Sure it's one of the ones they always drag out in clips shows to try and make out that PP were silly, but it's so much fun. All smiles and no seriousness at all. And it is a nice jolly dance too.
I'm amazed that only one dog buggered off! Maybe if they did refilm it after 2 had gone they'd realised that just one going was as good as they're gonna get so left it at that!
I like the colours, I think they work too and I don't mind the literal stuff or the finger wagging either - there's worst literal moves in other dances and the finger wagging is fun.
The opening sequence is a bit odd - with each girl sort of introducing themselves, but then suddenly seems to work when it cuts to the dogs. The last thing anyone was expecting! And then after that it wasn't long before I'd managed to get the image of the Tony's teenbopper with the pig-mask on out of my head. She looked like she was about to hold up a post office!
One thing that I think can be a problem occasionally with PP is the platform shoes they wear which of course were all the rage back then. They must have been terrible to dance in and can make some of the moves look a bit 'clompy' from time to time.
A 9/10 from me, and DotD is between Louise and Cherry... although Babs must get a mention too. But I'll go for Louise for the her look to camera at 2.36 if nothing else.
This is probably a contender for Most Famous Routine ever on TOTP so we've all seen it many times of course. Sure it's a little hokey and cashes in on the cute animal thing (although they could have had puppies instead if they'd sedated the whole litter!) but by golly this really works especially as an Xmas routine. Part of the set looks like a London Underground Bathroom but nevertheless I love the colourful joyous ladies and there are some classic moments with the Dancers seen in great close-ups. Also it bounces along in perfect harmony with Mr O'Sullivan's tune. I have to say that it amazes me that Louise manages to smoulder despite the setting so for that she definitely deserves the DotD prize although Cherry and Dee Dee chase her home almost making me want to reincarnate as a 1973 Labrador next time around. Anyway I am giving 8.5/10 as this is undeniably fun to watch. Lastly that dog who wandered off really has to be kicking himself for missing the goodbye kisses.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds