Homely Girl _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byThe Chi-Litesand reaching number 5 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date11/04/1974Duration of dance - 3.20 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
The Chi-Lites formed in the late 1950's as the Hi-Lites. But when they realized that name was already in use, they added the C as a tribute to their hometown Chicago. They first charted in the US in 1968, but it was 1971's "Have You Seen Her" that gave them their commercial breakthrough, followed by their sole US No. 1 "Oh Girl". Success in their homeland proved elusive though as they never made the Top 20 again. Things were different in the UK where they scored no less than five Top 10 singles - not counting a rerelease of "Have You Seen Her" in 1975.
"Homely Girl", a Chi-Lites original later given a successful reggae treatment by UB40, peaked at No. 5 in May 1974, ending a two years absence for the group from the Top 30. Legend has it that the rather high chart position is not least owed to a classic Pan's People performance after which the record jumped from No. 22 to No. 11!
The rewritten fairy tale of the ugly duckling turning into a beautiful swan emphasizing that true beauty comes from within and may need time to unfold, is presented by Pan's People in an unparalleled literal performance. Freckled, ragged and mousey is how they appear when the routine starts only to morph into beautiful young girls later on.
Granted, there isn't too much actual dancing here. But that is more than compensated for by the girls acting out their comedic talents. There are just so many great moments, it is impossible to name them all. My favourite is the indignant expression on Cherry's face in response to the phrase "You look better in the dark!". And last but not least they do look very lovely indeed in their baby-doll nighties (which were thankfully dusted off after having been used three months earlier in "Hip Hug-Her").
There can be no doubt that this is a true classic Pan's People performance, suitable to demonstrate even to non-fans why they were so popular.
[compact critique] This is a true classic, with humour, great close-ups, perfect visual accompaniment to the song, two outfits, camera trickery... Everything came together here into what is probably the trademark routine for the "famous five" line-up. 10/10 DotD Cherry (but very difficult to choose between them)
The ladies, are certainly 'homely' girls, to start off with, no pretence at being all dolled up to impress somebody else during a first date, more likely, they're ready for a hard day's grafting at the local workhouse during the Victorian era.
But eventually we do see the dancers looking much more glamorous, as if the the working day's finished, & now they're ready for the evening ball, at the local dance hall. The very different scenes are alternated, which goes to show that Pan's People, can do very different dance routines, just like certain other great dance troupes, & nobody can say that their dance routines lacked variety, such as the impression one mat get from watching many earlier dance routines.
One of my favourite shows with Noel on top form and audience participation which is great to watch and which is sadly missing from much of '76 - '79.The routine is one of their best.I love Dee Dee's eager schoolgirl,and Louise's shy glances but most of all i love Cherry turning around in indignation then sadness just before morphing into a beauty.10/10
Nice idea from Flick and its good to see Pans doing a bit of role play. Im finding myself trying to pick faults and i have to admit i cant really find any, but at the same time this doesn't somehow pack that wow factor. All 5 dancers play their parts to the full, though its a song that i find a bit tedious.
Rating--I think ten is a bit much for me, so im at `9.5 out of 10`.
For DOTD, well 'Cherry' is an ideal homely girl and her early transformation is enough to get my vote.
( I wonder if the cockney bird doing the intro was a homely girl ?)
Well the sight of Mr Edmonds with his shirt open almost to his belly button didn't do me any good but the rest of this short story is all just fine and this is one of my absolute favourite pre-Sue dances. The dowdy schoolgirls turning into head-turning baby dolls is inspired and fits the song oh so well. As Vin says, there are some tremendous expressions to be seen here and I find it all very entertaining. The insulted Cherry is perfect and my DotD too and I'm continuing my December 10/10 run with no hesitation at all for this classic performance even though I acknowledge that it's not the dance-steps but the whole rest of the package (song/ideas/appearance/expressions) which totally wins me over
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
There's something so essentially Pan's about this one that it seems almost a must for any TV show compiling a montage to remind the general viewer what they were all about. The ugly duckling motif is particularly apt as when the girls bob forward side-on these dresses give them a duck-like shape! Top marks for the thought put into the tomboy styling and the glum and immature role-playing. The first transformation is a lovely moment and all the more successful thanks to Cherry showcasing her prowess as an actress once again in that scene. And tears from the baby of the troupe rarely go amiss! Dee Dee comes a close second racking her little brain before her lightbulb moment and busting a gut to answer teacher. So true! I like the subtle mirroring such as arms dejectedly behind backs in childhood arising triumphantly in womanhood. A deserved selection for Magic December, the only slight fault for me is the bloomed half of the jigsaw coasts a little on their beauty, it would have benefited from being a little dancier.
There are some nice moments in this routine with Pans showcasing their acting almost as much as their dancing. That said, although I like it, it is not amongst my favourite PP performances so a score of 8.5 out of 10 feels about right.
DOTD is Cherry.
Super routine that taps into the ladies acting ability rather than focusing on the dancing. The dowdy 'sisters of forest gump' role playing is very well done, each girl a different character, i particularly liked Dee Dee's class swot, Louises shy demenour, and of course the tearful Cherry. The editing to the 'beautiful woman' parts works well, but this more graceful side is probably less interesting than the heavy footed dancing shown on the dungaree clad parts, especially when they lean on each other in a circle (nice metaphor there maybe).
What a fabulous, simple routine by Flick and our dancers; DeeDee, Babs, Louise, Cherrie and Ruth. For me this is one of my favourite routines ever.
This is a retelling of a 131year old (at the time) story using popular music and dance; of the 'Ugly Duckling' by Danish Hans Christian Andersen.
No props were used whatsoever, only the dancers and their costumes.
Sometimes the simplest is the best!
This is a story about a ridiculed youngster (duckling) who emerges into a reviered individual (Swan).
My dancer of the day is Cherry because she opens the routine beautifully with a most convincing hard done to, shy youngster. Really it is hard to differentiate a preference between the dancers because they all do a wonderful job. Louise looks absolutely stunningly beautiful as she emerges into this young woman. There again so do the other FAB ladies.
I've never much taken to baby doll costumes but they do work very well here. The mood lighting makes them glow softly, enhancing the stature of these developing princesses.
I took my wife to see UB40 perform this in concert. They did a great job of it, but this Pans People routine coupled with the Chilites track is simply awe inspiring. This story is sung in such a beatifully way and is devastatingly effective. You really feel impact as the story unfolds from the dancers dramatic gestures and expressions.