Runnin' Away _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed bySly & The Family Stoneand reaching number 17 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date27/04/1972Duration of dance - 2.43 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Andy, Babs, Dee Dee, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Sylvester Stewart, better known as Sly Stone, was born on March 15, 1943. In 1967 he founded his band Sly & The Family Stone, which contained several of his family members and friends. The same year, the group enjoyed their first smash hit, "Dance To The Music", peaking at #8 on the Billboard charts and #7 in the UK. In 1968 they went to No. 1 in the US with "Everyday People".
In November 1971, Sly & The Family Stone released what was their fifth studio album, "There's A Riot Going On". Originally intended to be issued as "Africa Talks to You", the record was retitled in response to Marvin Gaye's album "What's Going On", released five months before. After the success of "Family Affair" (their final US #1), the record company decided to lift "Runnin' Away" as the follow-up single from the album. Asked about the meaning of the song, Sly Stone replied, "In those days it was the hippies who cut their hair and ran away from the hippy feeling. It's about how, at a certain time, everybody runs away from something." The best remembered parts of the lyrics though are probably the lines "Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" and "Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee!", not exactly standard lyrics of soul music, but no doubt adding to the uniqueness of the record. I always felt the song is a bit strange in arrangement and lyrical structure but it does have a certain charme and most definitely didn't sound like anything else that was on the charts.
In the week ending 29/04/1972, the 45 entered the UK Top 30 at No. 29, which typically meant it would be featured on TOTP that week, i.e. on 27/04/1972 which is exactly 43 years ago today. As it seems that Sly & The Family Stone didn't accidentally tour the UK around that time and a video was not available, it was decided that this was a job for Pan's People. In keeping with the title of the record, the five girls ran away from the TOTP studio to a department store, presumably somewhere in London (not even the TOTP2 captions disclosed the actual place). The clip was obviously shot outside business hours, as it is dark and you can see the lights of the traffic passing by. The TOTP episode which contained it was sadly wiped, but the routine has nevertheless survived as an insert.
Pan's People's activity could best be described as "fooling around" while dancing their way through various departments of the store. How many of us have actually dreamed of "running away" and having a store all for yourself, with the chance of toying with the goods as much as you like, I wonder. It seems the girls are particularly fond of cuddly toys and umbrellas! Of course, the clip also contains the iconic scene where Andy is tripping Louise up.
There are some loose connections to the lyrics here and there, with Flick interpreting the meaning of the song in her own unique way, but I don't think you can actually call this a literal interpretation. While choreographically it's certainly not one of their top efforts, I do like the merry, at times even childish, atmosphere of the routine. The costumes are a bit unusual, but I guess they have been chosen to emphasise the playfulness of the performance. Some of the pieces are changed a couple of times if you watch carefully. Anyhow there are a lot of lovely details to discover at close inspection.
I play this clip from time to time and it never fails to cheer me up. It seems as if the dancers had the chance to act very naturally in this performance and they doubtlessly enjoyed it. The song isn't too bad either. I'm giving
8.5 / 10
DotD: Well it's not really about dancing but the trip up scene is so iconic that I just have to pick Andy.
An interesting location film shot in Selfridges after hours, where it appears the cleaning ladies may have run amuck! What a great idea for a routine, although quite how closely it fits with the song is debatable. Had this only survived in black & white some of the overhead shots may have appeared like security camera footage monitoring the unusual night time goings on!
It's a lot of fun with some nicely directed shots and I think it shows that everyone was enjoying a diverting evening in a very different setting for a dance routine. Visually there's a fair amount to look at with more colour to it than say Tap Turns on The Water and therefore it is generally entertaining. A good 8/10, and Dee Dee seems to head this one up.
While the rolled up Dungaree look is not my favourite and this song does nothing for me, there's no denying the sense of fun oozing from this performance, which reminds me of a group of attractive street urchins who've managed to gain access to a closed Store. The dress-up and accessory-play are entertaining and the facial expressions add to the package too. Sly and his folk have been one of those bands I've tried to like over the years, knowing their legendary status, but I've failed and find their stuff a bit tuneless and facile although some of the instrumental parts are ok. Oh well. Anyway I think this deserves 8/10 for effort and is priceless for it's off-site location. DotD is a challenge as all the ladies have good moments but in the end I have to give this to Andi who looks gorgeous here even in that tatty string vest and was lucky not to get a red card for that blatant Louise foul.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Pans adventures usually result in an interesting offering and this is no exception as the most attractive group of department store cleaners in history take a patriotic break messing around on the haberdashery floor. The light hearted routine fits the mood of the song well, although despite Andi's opening Miss Mop moment, followed by that mischievous trip, it never quite sparkles. The ladies are clearly having fun but more use of that mop, and perhaps a few buckets of water 'thrown' in for good measure would have been the way to go!
While those dungarees and hats were never going to win any fashion awards they fit the dance nicely and, even in those togs and clogs, naughty Andi looks particularly lovely so she gets my Dotd selection with a 7 for the routine.
The name of the track being danced to is Running Away, & it really must be the ideal we t escape from the hard knocks of life, for a group of girls to go out shopping together.
The store featured here, looks like it's aimed squarely at international tourists, with much of the merchandise, being quite literally very British in nature, & anybody else in the shop at the time that this dance routine was executed, would've had a bonus experience, with the quintisentially British Pan's People, yeah I know Flick was Amercan, but PP must be, to this day, better known about in Britain than just about anywhere else in the world.
I haven't mentioned the actual dancing, because, it seemed purely incidental, this performance, was primarily about something that many ladies like better than something else, rather more intimate.
apart from lovely Patti in a garden , did Flick get post-Pans dancers outside ? Pans on the beach in Africa, now that was a sight. Back to this routine, an middle of the road effort, say 7.5 with Andi shining for me.
If this was Legs & Co larking around on location I would value it. But watching dispassionately as I do with this era it's just another twee routine to a twee song. Fun to be had and an inventive little curio and all that, but nothing that much holds my interest. 'Sly Stone began recording at the age of 4' - this sounds like one of his early efforts. Quite a nice arrangement, at least. In dungarees and with Dee Dee fronting the arms-up I have a flashback to a Homely Girl. Who sadly grew up lacking the ability to match her educational enthusiasm and ended up cleaning the floor. (Yes, this came first, but true to PPCS chronology!). And I'm fast-forwarding to when Dee Dee downgraded to the high street working for Woolworths. Damn Labour.
A likely hit with fans of the Double Deckers, and Double Dee the DOTD. 5/10
Now this is my idea of a great location shoot. Pans are playing this for laughs from the off, dancing around the aisles with all manner of daft props from the store, Dee Dees mismatching footwear being a great example. The dancing forward and then backward along the creepy wig section is a big favourite as is the pretending to be mannequins bit as they move past the false legs, very silly stuff. As for the song, its ok, but maybe as an instrumental it will have worked just as well. I love all the neat little touches in this and i think Flick makes good use of the setting, 8.5/10. DOTD Dee Dee.
I do like these location dances but I imagine that they would have caused a certain amount of pressure to get the production completed as soon as possible. Also space in the department store is quite confined, so as a result the actual dancing is not particularly elaborate, but the end result is still quite enjoyable and the ladies seem to be having a good time.
I will score it an 8 out of 10 with DOTD going the way of Dee Dee.
I liked this. ok so the song doesn't really do anything for me but I love the department store setting, very Are you being served with the old fashioned scary mannequins shot at the start. Bucks Fizz did a very similar thing for the video of Making your mind up. Routine 9, DOTD Dee Dee
I was quite amazed at this routine when I first saw it and it really did nothing for me. I first saw it on TOTP2 with Steve Wright introducing it and to me it looked like students running amok in a Department store (which is Selfridges). I tended to glance away from the dancers and look at the merchandise and noticing the Carmen stand which was in every Department store in the early seventies as heated rollers were the staple of every woman.
I watched it again but it did not "float my boat". Steve Wright was quite right (forgive the pun) when he said they could have been dancing to another song. I liked Andi Rutherford. She had a lovely cheeky grin on this. For the dance it is six out of ten and for best dancer goes to Andi.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
When I first saw this routine I used to call it "the department store" routine, but sadly after watching it I had forgotten about it and only knew it as "the department store", but when I joined OFTDs and found out how easy it was to identify the routine, it only took minutes to find this and watch all over again! It looks like Pan's have grabbed everything they like and have started to wear it, but I'm surprised they didn't fall into anything with that wild dancing!
I really like this one and it is quite special to me. I will always call it "the department store routine".
Rating: 10/10 DOTD: Andi
We move another few months forward I time and come to another filmed routine for ‘Runnin’ Away’ by Sly and the Family Stone, one of the best known soul funk bands of the time. We have passed by such potentially stand out routines such as ‘Floy Joy’, ‘Sweet Talking Guy’ and the original ‘Without You’, sadly we may never ever see these numbers again. And now we watching this film of the cleaners of a large department store, ready to mop up after the days business. But wait it is those cheeky Pan’s People and they are not cleaning at all! Dressed very properly in dungarees, but with various shoes and scarves and hat and headwear accessories. And does Dee Dee really dress in the dark? The answer would appear to be yes if you take this film at face value. A charming little routine with little vignettes of the girls having a whole heap of fun. A simple enough performance, no doubt the hardest thing was not to knock over or into the merchandise. Very pleasing movements as they go through the hair and souvenir sections of the shop, picking up flags on the way. And somewhere they found the toy section too, it seems. They all look like a good time was had, but that very naughty Andi in her yellow clogs trips up an unexpecting Louise, for no reason at all besides mischievousness. I think the Cleaning Supervisor should be told. A joyful piece to not one of the very best songs by Sly, think of ‘Dance To The Music’ or ‘Family Affair’ for that.
As ever, with such a tight ensemble as the now five piece Pan’s People, all the girls give a good performance. And particularly good interplay dancing about 01.50. Andi’s waywardness goes unpunished, and at 00.44 Dee Dee has on her apron ready for action and leading the team but no cleaning is getting done here tonight. Only play, and I hope that when they throw the toys away at about 01.38 they did not break anything! And opening the umbrellas indoors at 02.09, the sheer audacity. How much bad luck will that bring? I think we can trust Louise to look the most glamorous here as she does with her scarf and cap- which later turns into another scarf- continuity not being a problem here. Ruth looks grand in her white hat and pink boa which later is replaced by a pink shawl, and Dee Dee leads by example all round in this. But the abiding images for me here is Babs with the Union Flag stuck in her headscarf at 00.45 and the enormous smile she rewards us with at about 00.52. And then at about 01.54 she looks very puzzled at the snake she had been carrying on her shoulders and been dancing with. Yes, did not Babs want to be the ‘World’s Greatest Actress’? And here is the proof.
DOTD- Babs- Acting’s loss is dancing’s gain as you might say. Her performance as a snake-charmed cleaning woman in this piece should be festooned with awards.
Dance 7.5/10 An amusing little number away from the glare and heat of the studio. And such larks they must have had.
The marks are now;-
Andi- 7, Dee Dee- 5, Ruth- 5, Louise- 4, Babs- 3;- Flick- 6. ( 30 routines )