Last Tango In Paris _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byRobin Kenyatta _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date27/05/1973Duration of dance - 3.43 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancer: Louise _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Henry John Deutschendorf, better known as John Denver, had his breakthrough in the U.S. in 1971 with the single "Take Me Home, Country Roads". Yet he only managed to place three singles in the Billboard Top 40 between 1971 and 1973 (all of them Top 10 hits). Worse still, in the UK he couldn’t even touch the Top 50 singles before 1974, but at least two of his albums made the Top 20 of the UK charts. Anyhow his popularity was sufficient to secure him a deal with the BBC in 1973, allowing six parts of "The John Denver Show" between 29/04 and 03/06/73.
Pan's People were regular guests on "The John Denver Show", but unlike their routines on "The Two Ronnies", most of their appearances on the JDS are not held in particularly high esteem by fans. The reasons are manyfold: cheesy sets and costumes, silly plots, relegation to the background… On top of this is the poor state of the clips that are in circulation, probably recorded with a VCR sometime during the 80's or early 90's from long-gone "Super Channel". Thus the term "John Denver Show" has become synonymous in Pan's circles with something to avoid.
As the Pan's People Comments Section isn't scared to tread on dangerous ground, today's featured routine will be a clip from the JDS, a rare solo performance by lovely Louise dancing to a record called "Last Tango in Paris". The music is of course the title track from the 1972 Franco-Italian romantic erotic drama film starring Marlon Brando. The soundtrack was originally written and performed by Leandro "Gato" Barbieri, but it has been covered umpteen times (a recording by Herb Alpert made the US Hot 100 in early 1973). The version used on the JDS is by Robin Kenyatta, an American jazz alto saxophonist, who sadly passed away 10 years ago. Recorded for his 1973 album "Gypsy Man", the record company even thought it had enough commercial appeal to release it as a single.
Now for the hardest part: the dance. I don't mind black and white, honestly. It can have a certain charme if you utilise it in the right way, even add to the performance. Unfortunately, that doesn't apply here. The set just looks empty and boring. A black backdrop, a white floor and a white wedge, and Louise dressed completely in black – there isn't much for the eye to see really.
The song begs for a sensual performance and that is exactly what we get. But even though Louise is a great dancer, I am rather underwhelmed by the choreography. For my liking, there is just too much standing/sitting around and walking/running up and down the wedge. The dance picks up a bit in the second half with several nice close-ups, still there is not enough actual dancing.
The whole thing, I am sorry to say, leaves me with a feeling of disappointment. A solo dance by one of my favourite dancers turns out to be a missed opportunity. Well, you might be expecting a very low rating after all this grumbling, but - it's still great to have this dance, it's still Louise, and she still looks divine in those close-ups. So I'll rate this a (generous)
7.5 / 10
Oh, did I mention that Dancer of the Day is deactivated for this performance?
Given that, to my ear, it doesn't seem to be the most danceable piece of music I feel Flick has done a reasonably good job with the choreography and I like the various fades and feel of the piece. Unfortunately the quailty of the available clip is so poor that the stark monochrome set isn't seen to its best advantage, nor indeed is Louise's dancing so I'm going to be generous and give this a 7.
That's some awesome jumping about from Louise there, with some help from the vision mixing department of course, but apart from that the highlight of ther solo dance routine, seems to be sashaying along a sliding platform at the back of the stage, & strangely the track beng danced to, is about a tango, so how come Louise is alone on the stage?, okay such things don't matter when she's looking absolutely beautiful, in her black dress, & I really like her smiles with the near range camera shots.
Louise looks her normal stunning self in the few close-ups we get. But sadly most of this is filmed at distance and as the others have noted, makes for difficult viewing due to the poor visual quality of clip available. Still its better than nothing and a Pans People girl dressed in a tight fitting black number dancing to saxophone music is worthy of consideration. So `7 out of 10` is about where im at ratings wise.
I really am tempted to give this a low mark but I just can't. I don't really like the music and the black and white and very choppy visuals are not easy to watch....but then you see Louise in that black dress and suddenly the World is not such a bad place. Honestly this lady would look stunning even dressed as a ruddy Womble. A Louise solo is such a precious thing that I must give Denver some respect for Hosting the Show even if some of his Show's Pans performances were some of the worst appearances I have ever seen, as Vin has mentioned. Anyway I am going along with the crowd at 7/10 here
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
A missed opportunity. At least one person has decent copies of all the JD shows but will not make them available . He refused to have further contact with me some while ago. Maybe one day all the PVL stuff will appear until then I am inclined to be harsh and give this 6. Louise is beautiful but I do not enjoy the music.
Louise is one of my favourite PP dancers so I am trying hard to like this but it is difficult. I get the feeling that there are just a couple of camera's locked into position with no one operating them. It really needs the camera to zoom in as most of the time, Louise is just too far away, and it is only when she advances towards the camera towards the end of the routine that things start to improve. Obviously the old VHS recording doesn't help, but even if this was a new crisp clear version, I still don't think I would like it much. Unfortunately I can't score higher than 6 out of 10.
A fantastic piece of solo dance expression from Louise in her black dress, without the usual time and studio constraints of TOTP and even those of being part of a group. This performance doesn't feel rushed, and builds from a slow start to something more raw and sensual, enticing the viewer in. The disappearing/reappearing trick used throughout is seamlessly edited and makes viewing a more hypnotically engaging experience, not being sure where she will appear next. The minimal look works well for me and I think the ramp is put to good use and does add a little something to the performance. The main dancing during the middle part is also beautifully performed and I can't fault it, and of course there are some close ups towards the end of Louise with her hair blowing in the breeze, she looks fantastic.
The only downer is the video quality but given the age of the show its nice to have it at all.
I don't quite know yet what to make of the other John Denver performances, but for me I love this one so 9/10.
I quite like the stark, monochrome feel to this routine: it makes it timeless and quite stunning, and combined with those beautiful close up of Louise, it makes for captivating viewing.
However, while I love the intricate and precise spins, as well as the gentle and sensual hand movements; I feel like I wanted more from this. Personally, I could have done without the first minute or so, until we start to see Louise properly moving around the stage.
btw, Does anyone else think about L&C's "Wishing on a Star" when watching this routine, or is it just me?
Lovely Louise as always
its not wiped
its quite long
John Denver keeps his person out of this one except for cheesy intro -You're the top and its a sin to tell a lie will do v badly on this i predict.
Not sure about -
the strange white shaped slopy platform- did it have anti-slip paint on it ?
the moves - bit too much prancing around and not enough moves for my liking
8 and Louise dotd of the day narrowly ahead of the white platform
I don't like jazz funk and this track is no exception. It sounds like it should be promoting a pretentious beverage that's apparently best imbibed aboard a yacht. And certainly not to be mixed with Tango. The stark geometrical set looks more suited to an experiment on the Open University than sensual dancing from a beautiful woman. Louise being predominantly in long shot, along with the non-dancing, only, er, ramps up the cold feel of it. Her swaying and hair blowing in the breeze in a sterile environment just doesn't work. She performs it all very well, but for me conceptually it should have been a non-starter. Even lovely Louise's alluring close-ups can't save it from being a 3/10
The quality is awful i agree, but until this is repeated which is highly unlikely then this is all we get.
Not a bad effort really I don't think the BBC would throw alot of money against this series, as the series in whole is well awful. For a early 70's light entertainment it is truly awful, insipid droll and utterly boring, but it has Pans People to brighten the gig.
A nice easy take on the theme from last tango, and louise looks stunning in black against white, good job there wasn't a literally dance, one would wince if a tub of butter was slide across the stage mid routine.
This is one of those examples of television that you would just not see nowadays. In a similar way to much of the 'In Concert' programme, dance and art come together in a way that I don't think would have been allowed in the last 20 odd years, especially not in prime time. With very long shots, wide shots and dramatic pause, the average viewer today that expects things to happen every half second would probably think their digital television had frozen up.
The bright set is intentionally bland without colour, with only a 'hill' on the horizon. No camera movement and only two views in the whole piece means the entire point of focus is the lone figure in black - and what a figure! The result may lack the kind of dynamic energy we are used to in most routines but it is replaced by a definite showcase of feminine grace and beauty. It feels more like a personal statement, the kind of thing that is always in the memory but like a private letter, may only actually be looked at occasionally. The talent of Louise as a dancer and a beautiful lady is clear which counts for a lot towards any score I would award but due to no fault of the lady herself, there is something that's slightly lacking in the overall result. Possibly it is down to direction, with too much time at too great a distance from the camera... I'm not totally sure. However, I award 8/10 and heartfelt thanks to Louise.
The sound seems have been disabled on the you tube link.
It's a pity that the cllip in circulation isn't exacty the sharpest out there as most of the time Louise is just a blur. Which is a shame because she was a very good looking lady and I'm sure it would be a lot more enjoyable if you could see her clearly (what chance of a repeat of the John Denver show on BBC 4, probably not much). Still I should stop complaining as it is available to see and not stuck in someones hoard. After applying a virtual unsharp mask (my imagination) I'll give this an 8.