PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 13/03/1975

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PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 13/03/1975

VintageVideos
This post was updated on .
Philadelphia Freedom
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Performed by The Elton John Band and reaching number 12 in the UK charts
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Original broadcast date 13/03/1975 Duration of dance - 3.20 mins
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Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Ruth, Sue
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A link to the dance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQGndjP0KCI
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The remarkable career of Reginald Kenneth Dwight, better known as Sir Elton John, started in 1964 in a band called Bluesology. Amazingly he later took part in vocal auditions for King Crimson and Gentle Giant but failed. In 1967, he started his collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin which lead to his debut solo release in 1968 – a 45 called "I've Been Loving You" which sank without a trace. About two years on Elton John finally hit the charts with his eponymous album featuring the single "Your Song".

For a period during the 1970's, Elton John was a much bigger star in the US than in the UK. Six number one singles (including a duet with Kiki Dee) and seven number one albums (including one "Greatest Hits") cemented his superstar status across the pond. Known for his eccentric stage clothes and his vast collection of spectacles, he enjoyed an almost unprecedented success.

"Philadelphia Freedom", officially credited to "The Elton John Band", was his third US number one single. It also provided a rare entry in the US soul charts and subsequently a performance on the prestigious "Soul Train" show. The song was written as a favour to John's friend, tennis star Billie Jean King who was part of the Philadelphia Freedoms professional tennis team. In the UK, "Philadelphia Freedom" peaked at No. 12 during a nine week run. Elton John appeared a total of 37 times on TOTP so it's not as if he was a stranger to the Television Center. But on 13/03/1975 he obviously wasn't available, which gave Pan's People the chance to step in with a memorable routine.

This is one of the Pan's People performances that I saw when "EinsFestival" ran their series of TOTP episodes in 2009. And was I impressed when they marched into the studio dressed as majorettes, waving their flags! I had never been a fan of (military) parades or marching bands but these girls sure had something! Every time I watch this routine, it strikes me how splendid the ladies look in their costumes.

'Cause I live and breathe this Philadelphia Freedom
From the day that I was born, I've waved the flag


Flick goes down the literal road again with her choreography for this dance, utilizing the theme of "Freedom" with three different flags:
1. the most easily recognizable is Babs' "Liberty" flag.
2. Dee Dee & Sue are each carrying an "Eagle" flag. The eagle is of course a symbol of freedom and often used on flags but also on coins (especially in the US).
3. finally the flags carried by Cherry & Ruth are depicting the famous "Liberty Bell", an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (therefore the perfect symbol of "Philadelphia Freedom").

Well, I don't know about you but I am more than glad Sir Elton John didn't make it to the TOTP studios that day. Those marching beauties for sure have captured my heart. There's a lot I like in this dance but as this intro's length is already bordering the point of wearying, I'll leave it to you to name the details. In my opinion "Philadelphia Freedom" is very nearly a 10 – it's probably just the military theme of the routine that keeps me from giving top marks:

9.5 / 10

Majorette of the Day: Ruth
Dance right on till the floors are breakin'
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Paperboyplod
This routine takes, the literal elements to whole new levels, with the waving of these particular flags, that signify the different freedoms, particularly associated with America, & principly here, Phillidelphia, although for many people, these meanings don't register at all.
It's an interesting sight, to see, cheer-leaders dressed as airline flight attendants, who're not so much dancing, as just parading around the stage in a circular fashion, but I certainly wouldn't want to dance whilest holding aloft, a large flag on it's pole.

8/10

DotD:-

Ruth
Justin
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

RYAN
Administrator
Yes i really like this one. Something sexy about majorettes. `Babs` gets my vote for DOTD.

`9 out of 10`
RYAN
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Suefan
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
'Perfect Pans'  -  Super choreography, fantastic costumes, and a brilliant performance.

10/10 with gorgeous Sue as Dotd.
Suefan
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

PattiforPM
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
Perfect indeed.  I may have a weakness for beautiful ladies in uniform but it's not high on my list of foibles to change.  This band of flag-bearers is surely as wonderful a sight as one could ever see on the parade ground and I love their colours and the flag-handling seems just perfect to me.  Flick certainly hit this song right on the nose and I have to say this is one of my Pans People faves.  I particularly love that little slider move where they step forward with the same foot twice and also the tight little circle they form near the end but the whole performance is great.  It is really hard to choose a DotD but  Dee Dee  and her smiles just inches ahead of the pack for me.  Yup, this Dance is very good indeed and fully deserves 10/10 in my book
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

PaulF
Credit to Flick and the girls for a superb routine and performance which could easily have gone badly wrong. 9/10

DoTD Sue ( nothing to do with the uniform)
Paul
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Andeebee
Crikey

At last one of ADB's personal fav Pans routines, I really do love this and love the Majorette look the girls sport in this simple yet effective routine.  Pure class and sexiness, like P4PM, outfits make ADB go weak, and this made me have a lie down for several hours in a dark room muttering to myself.

I can't fault this and won't fault this, I am glad Vin picked up on the flags as well, something I mentioned months ago on the YT write up (remember when I used to do them LOL) and it is of no importance really just a small nod to the US majorettes that frequent the US sports matches, which I think this song is about the Philly tennis team and not the city anyway.

So to the scores, well it's a top notch full marks 10/10

DOTD: the really wonderful and sexy Sue
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Mikey
Great interpretation here with PP turning their hand to a completely different style, delivering an authentic and technically accomplished performance. I agree those outfits do have a strange allure, its probably the boots for me . Good use of the whole set, the audience look transfixed as they should be!

I'm not crazy about the song however so i'll give 8.5/10.
DOTD Cherry
♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥

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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

VintageVideos
Thanks for returning to this thread, Mikey, especially as I understand that everyone is very excited about the Kal event. This routine now needs just two more ratings to be included in the table, so I'm hoping for a few more comments.
Dance right on till the floors are breakin'
JEZ
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

JEZ
not one of my favourite Elton john songs although he is one of my favourite singers I must admit ,but the dance is very very good ,I really love the little shuffle they do every so often with their feet in this dance ,the dance is done perfectly as I can see with no mistakes that ive noticed ,even though the dance is done mostly floor level with the audience there is plenty of room on the set to see pp in all their glory ,the only real thing that lets it down getting a 10 is the song ,therefor it gets a well deserved 9 from me
JEZ
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Gorgeous Daze
I have similar feelings to Vin on this one. Marching parades and even majorettes aren't usually something to tickle my fancy, but these ladies in their teeny mini skirts and boots are most definitely an exception and they have all my attention. The hats aren't their crowning glory, but I guess they needed to be there. It's always nice to see a routine where the girls are so clearly enjoying themselves. A few more close ups of those happy faces wouldn't have been amiss. The flags were a top piece of interpretation from Flick and something of a departure for the girls, but it runs as smooth as clockwork. And a good song from Elton too with the string arrangement getting a deserved mention from Noel. This was the decade when Elton had the artistic license to spend spend spend.

DOTD Dee Dee  9/10
Steve
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Colm
Flawless timing here, all five dancers are at their best here, a delight that this routine was kept. Even the concept isn't hackneyed.

DotD: Babs - such a delightful collection of smiles to offer us

Score: 9
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Doubleday
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
Well, of course I like anything of Pan's People, and this is no exception; but it doesn't really do it for me compared to some other routines. The background to this dance - flags, origin of song is fascinating though, so I'm going to award all the points plus dancer of the day to Vin for his brilliant sleeve notes (and now don't spoil it all by telling me that's not allowed )
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

VintageVideos
Just feel free to be yourself, DD! I guess that means you won't leave a rating for the dance

Dance right on till the floors are breakin'
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

PattiforPM
Vin becomes the first member to enter the DotD charts
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Doubleday
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
VintageVideos wrote
Just feel free to be yourself, DD! I guess that means you won't leave a rating for the dance
Firstly, do be careful what you wish for . Secondly you talked me into it - 8/10
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Lookmacinanger
Cracking track from Sir Reginald seemingly inspired by his journey towards the Philadelphia phase of his career.

Interesting that this routine begins at the second verse of this song but I must say I haven’t really noticed that before when assessing a routine.

It looked like there were quite a few complicated manoeuvres out there during this performance but everyone kept their composure admirably even though their arms must have been aching towards the end. 8/10 Dotd Sue
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

VintageVideos
Lookmacinanger wrote
Interesting that this routine begins at the second verse of this song but I must say I haven’t really noticed that before when assessing a routine.
This is an interesting subject Mac. I have redubbed quite a few routines in the past from Pans to Legs, and it is intriguing how often the BBC have actually used edited versions for the TOTP dances. Sometimes just a verse is edited out (though most often it's not the first) but on other occasions they've even used a specially edited album version (and not the readily available single version). Which of course poses the question: How did our girls rehearse their routines to such an edit? We've heard of Flick 'frisbee'ing 45s when the single went down the charts so you would think that the troupes were rehearsing to actual records. In the case of "Philadelphia Freedom" though that would have meant that the original routine was 5 1/2 mins long - an impossible thought for TOTP. So they must have had access to those special edits for their rehearsals.
Dance right on till the floors are breakin'
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

PattiforPM
This is indeed interesting.  I can't recall any other performances which didn't start at the beginning of a record but this will prompt a bit of a search
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM -- 1975

Andeebee
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
Sometimes they use special edits, Space Oddity, Philadelphia freedom to name two
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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