Questions For Mary Corpe (Her replies begin on page 2)
This post was updated on .
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Mary Corpe has agreed to take part in a Q&A with us on One For The Dads.I know i am one of many fans of Mary on this site,and this is a wonderful opportunity to show our appreciation and to ask Mary questions.
In line with previous Q&As,please ask as many questions as you like.
I think keeping the thread open for a week will be enough,then it will be open for Mary to answer.
Hi Mary, thanks so much for agreeing to answer our questions on here, it is very much appreciated. I just want to jump in and ask what I think many of us would consider "the biggie" and I will try to organise my thoughts and ask you other questions as well later if I may. So here goes;
1. Did you consider, or were you asked, to join Ruby Flipper after Pans People in Summer 1976? If not can I ask why not perhaps as we all realise you were a fine young Dancer with a big future and surely an asset to any Troupe. We know Lee left and Ruth retired before the transition took place and we understand it was Flick and Ruth's plan but I wonder how you feel about the whole change that occured at that time to a different mixed gender dance troupe and not joining Sue and Cherry going forward.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Q1--What can you tell us about your audition. Did it take place over a couple of days, were you picked early on ?
Q2--Do you still have any contact with Lee Ward ?
Q3--When you got the job, you and Lee joined the other 4 to create a 6 girl Pans once again. Sadly this didn't last to long just a couple of routines, with Dee Dee's retirement. Did you feel this put a little extra pressure on your shoulders having 40% of the new troupe newbies so to speak?
OK Part 2 from me Mary and thanks again in advance for considering these questions:
2. Do you have any memories of the Lesley Judd/Blue Peter episode when you danced to the Guitar Concierto by Rodrigo? I'm partly wondering how different the process was from usual given the Blue Peter part.
3. Watching before or after your tenure on TOTP were there any songs you would have liked to have danced to with earlier Pans People or later Ruby Flipper/Legs & Co and why?
4. Does anything about the day to day routines on TOTP stick in your memory such as the Rehearsals or Direction?
5. I always ask this one (and have had very few answers so please don't fret if you can't recall) but do you remember any songs which were rehearsed to but then rejected because they went down the charts instead of up during your 7 months on the team?
OK I'll shut up for a bit now
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Hi Mary, it is really an honour that you have agreed to answer our questions here.
My first question would be: Did you ever perform outside of the UK, perhaps on the European mainland, maybe even in my German homeland? If so, do you have any memories of it?
My second question is quite simple: According to the members of this site, the Christmas performance of "Barbados" is the most popular dance routine from the time that you were part of Pan's People. Could you name your own personal favourite?
The wind blew some luck in my direction, I caught it in my hands today
It was a shame that you only had such a short time on TOTP, you're performances in the routines that can be seen have proved quite popular on this forum and it would have been nice to have had some more.
When you left I believe that you carried on as a dancer, some of your perfomances on the Lena Zavaroni show have come to light recently, where did your career go after TOTP and are there other TV shows that we should look out for?
Have you ever gone on You Tube to try and find your old performances?
Were you aware that quite a large percentage of your TOTP work was erased by the BBC?
Lastly did you know that thanks mostly to a Vicar in Somerset who chose to record Pans People in 1975/6 about 12-13 of your lost routines have recently been found and several were recently shown for the first time in public for 38 years?
Hello Mary and thanks for taking part in this Q&A.
As is my wont on these occasions I'd like to ask not only which was your favourite dance on TOTP but which, if any, did you find particularly challenging?
And secondly, of the many different costumes you were asked to wear which were your favourites and which were you happy to see the last of?
You & Lee certainly filled Babs' dancing shoes with ease, but does it ever bother you that whenever the general media remembers Pan's People, they always portray the original TOTPs line-up, & seem to completely ignore the later period, with you as a member?, for me, & I'm pretty certain many others, you deserve similar recognition, for an albeit briefer reign, as a Pan's person.
Thank you so much mary for agreeing to answer some of our questions ,its so nice to have another member of pans people joining in on one for the dads ,first of all mary id like to say what a beautiful dancer you were ,and slotted very nicely in a very well established iconic group like pans people ,and luckily most of your routines you performed on totp have survived ,anyway mary we have a pans people database on one for the dads that list the songs week by week that were performed on totp ,there are just 2 weeks where there are gaps where we can not find any info anywhere what song was danced those particular weeks ,I know its a long time ago now but there are 2 possibilities that might have been pans dances ,anyway my question is mary can you possibly remember if you performed to these 2 songs listed below
DO THE BUS STOP -FATBACK BAND
WAKE UP EVERYBODY -HAROLD MELVIN AND BLUE NOTES
Thanks once more mary for taking the time to answer our questions ,and thanks of course goes to glen for arranging the whole thing .
Mary, before Glenn mentioned it to you, had you ever heard of `One For The Dads` website before ?
Did you know that some of the other dancers have contributed to Q&As on here ?
I know this has been mentioned already about not being selected to be part of Ruby Flipper, but to lose your spot on TOTPs before your 18th birthday must have been very upsetting for you. Can you remember how long before your final show on 29/04/76 you were informed by Flick that your services would no longer be required. Am i correct in assuming that you knew before the show on 29/04/76 that it was your final show ?
Hi Mary, what a pleasant surprise; I’m delighted you’ve decided to partake in a Q and A with OFTD forum about your career. Ryan had suggested that another dancer was willing to take part in a discussion and when I dropped by the site recently and I saw your name as a logged in user I realised the secret was out so to say.
Although in terms of timescale in comparison to other dancers your time on TOTP was relatively short you certainly left a lasting impression with members of this forum, so thank you for the memories.
This is highlighted by two routines you took part in being among the most popular when we have voted for our favourite dances. They were Barbados Xmas '75 and You Sexy Sugar Plum do you have any memories of taking part in these and did they feel like they were special routines at the time you performed in them?
How did you deal with the situation of joining an iconic institution that Pans People had become by the time you started with them?
Can you recall the process of how you were recruited into Pans People?
I know you’ve been asked the big question in our eyes of why you didn’t join or wasn't asked to join Ruby Flipper. But may I ask, looking back at how events unfolded did you feel disappointed that Cherry carried on with Ruby Flipper and then decided to leave before the end of their time on TOTP instead of following her ambitions in other areas when Pans People finished on the show?
Are you watching the reruns of TOTP on BBC4, Mary? What your opinion of the shows and dance routines now looking back?
Do you have a particular highlight you can share with us from your time on TOTP?
Thank you for agreeing to take part in this question and answer session Mary. Your performances with Pans People left a lasting impression that will never be forgotten.
Mary, this is a nice picture of yourself & Lee taken during a photoshoot in what looks like a London Park. Its obviously to show off to the press the two new Pans girls. Do you have any memories of this day ?
Good evening Mary. Like Doc , I would also like to know about any other television appearances you made? Did you ever have any speaking roles? What was it like working with Eric and Ernie? You showed great comic timing when you appeared on cue for the 'Mary Jane' bit during the Xmas 'Barbados'. I'm sure they could have used you for a few sketches!
I see you appeared in a film 'The Apple' in 1980. Do you own this DVD? Would you recommend it? Some people call it a cult classic, others think it's rotten to the core.
Who are your favourite pop acts? Do you still keep up with today's music?
Have you kept any of your costumes from your time in Pans People? Surely you kept that blue and white striped two piece from the Xmas 'Barbados' routine? What about any other memorabilia you've kept?
Who was your favourite Top of the Pops presenter? Have you ever been asked to a Pans reunion?
Did you ever meet any of the dancers who were in Ruby Flipper or Legs and Co (Cherry and Sue apart of course)?
I think the end of 1975/ start of 1976 had some great routines - 'Barbados', 'Space Oddity', 'Can't Give You Anything But My Love', ' In Dulce Jubilo' and 'Itchycoo Park' are all fantastic. Would you consider this a peak time in your career as a Pans Person or did you prefer another period in your tenure?
I hope some of these 'lost'' routines that have been brought forward will enter the public domain, so more people can appreciate your work. Would you be interested in seeing them?
* In one of your replies you say you danced in Zoo. Was this on Top of the Pops and which routines were you a part of?
Hi Mary, I'm usually more of a lurker than a regular contributor to this site but of all the totp dancers who've recently done q&as on the site, no name popping up has pleased me more so I'll come out of the shadows :-).
My questions are
1) From a fairly recent website bio you were doing a lot of choreography, particularly with children, are you still doing this?
2) As a dancer from a probably less well known phase of the troupe compared to earlier versions, do you get name recognition in the present day for your mid/late seventies TV work from either the general public or others in the dance business?
wow this is an unexpected but very welcome surprise! Just like to say a big hello Mary! 1975 was a special year for us both it seems as it was the year I was born. . Anyway the others have already asked some great questions. So I will do my best!
1) what type of music do you like? Do you have any favourite records, singles or albums?
2) During your time on TOTP are there any artists you met that you really liked or got on with?
3) What countries would you like to travel to than you haven't already been to?
4) What other plans do you have for the future?
Hi Mary, fantastic that you have agreed to this Q&A, some of my favourite Pans People routines are from your time including Theme from Mahogany, Midnight Rider, I Can't Give You Anything and of course Barbados. As there have already been loads of good questions can you give us an overview as to how Flick taught you the dances each week, and whether this differed from other choreographers you worked with. Were there any particular routines which took a lot longer to perfect, I think In Dulci Jubilo looked very complicated for example.