I'LL FIND MY WAY HOME (Broadcast 17 December 1981)
Written and composed by JON AND VANGELIS reaching number 6 in the UK charts
Dancer - Sue
Although not as well known as the score for Chariots of Fire, which Vangelis had composed earlier that same year, I'll Find My Way Home is another memorable number. A collaboration with Jon Anderson, lead singer of Yes, it was released on 1 December 1981, some forty-nine days after Legs & Co had made their final appearance on Top Of The Pops and Flick Colby had moved on to directing the shows new dance troupe Zoo.
However, rather than entrust this number to the new troupe Flick instead called upon her friend and colleague, Sue Menhenick of Legs & Co, to create the dance interpretation she had envisaged. After Sue's seven year tenure on TOTP, first with Pans People, and then Ruby Flipper and Legs & Co, it was also by way of a thank you from Flick to Sue for all her work, and provides us, the viewer, with one final stunning performance from an outstanding dancer.
Keeping the celestial and spiritual quality of the music and lyric in mind Flick has visualised Sue as a genie or djinn, a mythical creature who in many traditions acts as both guardian and companion on our journey. Sue's mastery of technique, as evidenced by her series of chaînés turns, which would have been equally at home on the stage of Sadlers Wells or the Bolshoi Theatre, imbues the routine with an etherial, sprite-like quality, while her moves are embellished by both the 'halround' effect and the creative use of lighting to add further to the mood. Flick's choice of a pink and blue colour palette completes the symbolism.
The dance routine was recorded in 2 VTs during the afternoon rehearsal slot and while this is a solo dance performance it is also, of course, not only a collaboration between dancer and choreographer but, albeit in a different way, between dancer and audience. Throughout her career on TOTP Sue not only brought wonderful dancing to the routines, but also that ability to connect and communicate emotionally with the viewer whatever the role, and this provides us with one final example of her special talent. This would be the very last time that Sue and Flick worked together and so it was a sad and nostalgic day for both, but as those giant wings enfold all in their care it is an optimistic and uplifting finale to a wonderful body of work. Thank you Sue, and thank you Flick.
Note: Although some references indicate Sue was a member of Zoo this was not the case, but for administrative reasons this performance had to be categorized under that heading.
Further comments and ratings are welcome and from this true Sue fan it is a 10.
What a lovely status Suefan. This reads really beautiful. I have to hold my hands up and say "I was not a big Legs & Co fan" but when I started acquiring my own collection of them I said to one person I could not wait to see this and he said "you will absolutely love it" and he was so right. On first viewing I was transported and have always watched it over and over and have tired of it. I even purchased a Vangelis CD with this track on it. It is a most beautiful piece of music and also a lovely dance. I always feel quite emotional watching it but Sue looked really beautiful in it. Her make up was perfect.
I could only offer Sue ten out of ten for this and would call into question anyone else who ranked the dance lower.
Thanks Sue for performing this. I just hope one day you will prepare your autobiography. I am sure it will be a winner.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
I could only offer Sue ten out of ten for this and would call into question anyone else who ranked the dance lower.
Why call someone into question just because they rank it lower than a ten. A bit quite uncomfortable with that line of thinking. Folk should be at ease to mark this what ever score they think without their acumen being questioned by a one man judge and jury.
Anyway its a fine end to a TOTPs career and pleasing that FC gave Sue this final hurrah. Sue looks amazing, the record is perfect for her and she nails it splendidly. At least i wont be brought into question because i see no other reason not to give it a `maximum ten`.
This Dance brings tears to my eyes. Sue is so so good here and the grace of her movement and those perfect spins are a wonder to behold. I find myself unable to deduct anything at all here. I love the music and the set too and even the special effects are tasteful and appropriate. Does the emotion of the occasion influence me? Of course it does. Nevertheless I can't deny a 10/10 performance such as this from a masterful dancer on top form
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
This one rips out my heart, chews it up and spits it out whimpering every time I even see as much as a screen cap. Tears in eyes and hairs standing on end. Ten just because I can't give more. Immense work by the head girl
I agree with what the others have said here. This is quite an emotional and poignant performance to watch.
Sue is the exemplification of perfection. She looks absolutely and completely stunning in this routine....
So graceful, delicate and precise. Sue has touched all our lives, brought so much joy and happiness to our existence, and left us with so many happy memories.
The glory days are over. As this routine ends, the new style Top Of The Pops has found its all devouring freedom. Things will never be the same, and things will not be for the better.
This song was certainly brought to life by Sue and Flick and was a great way for a fabulous dancer to make her TOTP swansong. I'm not totally convinced that some of the camera effects and lighting enhances the production although I suppose it doesn't detract too much.
I have found scoring this quite difficult. I have marked it in isolation, not taking into account the significance that it was Sue's farewell to TOTP. This was unquestionably the best of the solo dances that I have seen but I tend to prefer group dances to solo's.
So after plenty of consideration my score is 9.5 out of 10.
Perfectly put RBM. Your words themselves are touching.
The beautiful, graceful perfection we see here in Sue at the height of her powers was absurdly disposed of by TOTP denying millions the joy we felt and costing the show its very soul in my opinion. It was never the same again for me.
I'll be honest and say watching this routine for the first time around ten years ago made me re-evaluate the role of the dance routine in "Top of the Pops".
Everything about the "I'll Find My Way Home" routine is perfect; each step, each expression, each nuance conveyed. Sue's succession of spins just mesmerise me on every viewing.
From me, it's an undoubtable ten, and a sincere thank you to Sue for bringing this, and hundreds of other dance routines created by Flick Colby, to life; week in, week out, during her residence with the TOTP dance troupes.
This is a routine that had a huge emotional impact on me when it was first shown. After Legs and Co were scandalously removed from the show I was so angry with the BBC I actually considered never watching the program again, until I realised that it was a futile gesture as no one in charge would care. It was with this rage still simmering that I watched the show only to see Simes introduced Susie. I initially couldn't believe it, Sue was back! I remember watching the routine almost in a state of ecstasy whilst thinking that if Sue was going to be part of Zoo, I would be prepared to forgive the BBC for almost everything, even the loss of the other girls, such was the joy. Thus followed a week or two of contentment as Sue would be back again soon in another routine wouldn't she? I think it was about three months later that I finally conceded that she was never coming back, by this time the anger had turned to disappointment especially with the BBC for not bothering to acknowledge it as being the end. Turning the clock back to 1974 I have to admit to being slightly underwhelmed when DLT introduced Sue, after all she wasn't Louise was she. The next 7 1/2 years would prove that I got that one massively wrong, my excuse was I was only 9 at the time.
As for the dance it was very good, of course it was with such a good dancer it was never going to be anything but. What makes it for me is that even today it generates an emotional reaction, firstly the happiness I felt back in 1981 and now also the sadness I eventually felt when I realised there was no more. Something that has that effect couldn't come in any lower than a 10 could it.
Somewhere on the map of dreams, brushed, dusted, remodelled for the electric new scene, it's Zoozie! (So they say...) Anointed in mysteries of the East, rising as a phoenix from the ashes to burn oh-so brightly mayfly-like for just one day, a season's wish come true. Where fowl injustice had seemed to prevail now alighted barefoot on arcane geometric flooring the magic seven is made whole. There's ere celestial alchemy worked in this wondrous convergence of Jon and Vangelis yet the appearance of Sue as the corona lo sets it ablaze. The billowing jigsaw fused into pure harmony, that step of redemption into the cool blue yonder is taken with comfort in the knowledge that all things are one in those tender, trustiest pair of hands. Weaving her oriental spell, back-combed locks rolling over slender shoulders, embracing her glittering prize to the heart. In regal mastery no minefield finds she in the art of gown-wafting, only a cascading starburst in royal blue. There speaks a school of illuminati thought that the Goddess has reined herself in for years - and yay materializes validation as the Queen of Spins crowns her career with the queen of all spins in the form of an awe-striking sand devil blowing away devotees and admirers alike. A power that knows no bounds. Sue upon Sue upon Sue. Stretching out through space, across time; out through the years, the decades, where some place there's a home, journey's end.
Platoon guns fire a volley of honour. Quite simply the finest solo in TOTP history. 10/10
An excellently choreographed routine and an outstanding farewell by the forum's favourite dancer. I think there can be no doubt at all that Sue was the dancer's dancer, the one who (almost) never put a foot wrong, the one whose heart seemed to be in it all the time, the one with the brightest smile even when the music was as dull as dishwater. Only Sue was part of the three best-loved troupes. Without her, Legs & Co. wouldn't have been half as popular as they were and still are. And let's not forget her personal involvement in this site for which we are so grateful.
In a way, her final performance seems like the synopsis of her dancing career. Merely watching this routine makes you conceive her enormous talent. A talent which cannot be confined in '10's as it defies classification in numbers. Therefore I decided that out of respect to her unmatched performance in more than seven years on Top of the Pops I will abstain from grading this routine.
Here we are. After 7 years and hundreds of amazing performances, the lovely Sue gets one last routine to show her amazing beauty. From Summer Breeze in 1974 to I'll Find My Way Home in 1981, Sue has always given breathtaking performances even when the song hasn't been a good one to dance to. I can't believe how long Sue was on TOTP's! a lot can happen in seven years and if you look at the performances from 1974 and compare them to 1981 her performances just get better. Jon and Vangelis' song was certainly appropriate for this routine as it's quite a calm song, which Sue can really perform to with all her talent and beauty. All good things must come to an end, and what an end it was! who else could end an era of TOTP dancers. Sue, you were 10/10 and I wish you all the best
Wow ..... what can I say ? Thank you everyone for all your very kind and generous comments.
It's certainly a day and a special final performance with Flick that I remember as clearly as if it were yesterday.
Thank you especially to Suefan for writing this review and for explaining some of Flicks thoughts and ideas that were behind her choreography ....... Spot on ......
It was a day tinged with sadness certainly, but even returning back to TOTPs for that one last time, some of the old friendly faces were there and and made me feel at home as usual even though I was on my own.
The show did feel very different however ...... many new people working behind and in front of the TV cameras and what I especially noticed was that the 'family' atmosphere we had all known and enjoyed with people,over the years, had changed ...... it had gone and it all felt a bit fraught and tense which I put down to the new format, and people working through the changes of the show.
The final glance upwards at the end of the routine was for Flick and to say simply "Thank you" ..... she had decided to watch the routtine from the gallery as it was being filmed during the afternoon rehearsals. Certainly an emotional day and moment for me.
I have always felt, and still do, that Flick should have been given more recognition and thanks for all the years she worked on TOTPs, and certainly before she continued for a while with Zoo. No other choreographer has ever worked so exclusively or hard, for a show that frequently would throw her the 'humdinger' of songs to try be creative with ! The frustration of being given something so awful to do, or yet another dropped record,was really tough sometimes ..... she always managed to come up with something ...... But even Flick would concede occasionally, that some routines were not what she considered to be her best work. I don't know how she did it, week in week out, and when the given song was either a novelty one or just plain rubbish, it tested her patience and talents as a choreographer......but she still came up with the goods.
The dance world has lost a very special lady .....
To me, she was an innovative choreographer, and in areas where was she given the freedom, she always pushed her limits and boundaries to produce something really good ........a lot of this came about more in Cabaret, and more so with RF and definitely with Legs and Co. She created continuous shows with huge variety of music within them ( and there wasn't a Smurf in sight ! 😈)
The PP cabaret consisted more of 4 /5 numbers that were performed one at a time during an evening of Cabaret with other artists such as solo singers , bands,magicians ( i.e., Tommy Cooper and lovely Paul Daniels) and well known comedians.....Edna Everage or Jimmy Tarbuck ) and I do remember doing Cabaret with the Queens Royal Cold Stream Guards playing their bagpipes !
Towards the very end of PP , Flick started to think and work on lines of creating an actual show , just about the dancers. Working with your own choice of music and nobody negatively saying there were boundaries to adhere to was so refreshing. Sadly, the few clips that you now have on the blog, of the final Legs Cabaret , only show a small snippet of what she was capable of...... I wish there was more in better quality ......
Once again, thank you to everyone at OFTDs for all you have done ( and continue to do) in remembering those days of the dance groups and ALL the ladies ......
If you like, it's almost as if they have 'Found Their way home ...' here on OFTDs......
I don't know how she did it, week in week out, and when the given song was either a novelty one or just plain rubbish, it tested her patience and talents as a choreographer......but she still came up with the goods.
I'm amazed how she would always be able to produce something different each week. It's very difficult to look at a dance and say that's just like so and so routine the other month, such was the variety. A very under rated talent!
A quite majestic farewell tour de force performance from Sue and how appropriate that she was afforded a thoroughly merited tribute in draconian times. Bravo to Flick for her insistence and achievement in getting this multi-purpose 'thank you' to air.
What aids this dance in warranting a 10 out of 10 score is the music danced to. Indeed, one likes to believe the Jon & Vangelis number germinated the idea of giving Sue one last turn on TOTP, fitting the occasion both musically and emotionally. Perhaps without the release, Flick may not have turned her ear to something quite so appropriate and the idea to present an opportunity to go out on a high may never have arisen.
So fine is the dance that it could have been written specifically for the occasion and it's now impossible to separate the audio from the visual, the most impressive part of which are those marvellous, rapid spins mapping out the circumference of a circle. What comes across is the grandeur of the routine and I'm sure that even Sue herself feels it. One of her qualities is her modesty which I suggest is one of the reasons she rose to the top, as it were, and even as 'head girl' she was bestowed such a title in name only - happy enough to take a back seat position-wise in her time on TOTP and never coming across as a showy so-and-so who pushed for centre stage limelight.
Right at the end, Sue for once exudes a sense of pride - and so she should. Written in Sue's face is a look which gives the impression she's patting herself on the back. Everyone else does so Sue may as well join the heavily-subscribed club.
On a more trivial note, although not possessing the classic Sue hairstyle, her 'do' is just about right for the occasion of a grand finale.