SPACE ODDITY -- 23/12/1975

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SPACE ODDITY -- 23/12/1975

VintageVideos
This post was updated on .
Space Oddity
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Performed by David Bowie and reaching number 1 in the UK charts
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Original broadcast date 23/12/1975 Duration of dance - 2.49 mins
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Dancers: Cherry, Lee, Mary, Ruth, Sue
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A link to the dance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhYEENFfKcU
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"Ground control to Major Tom"

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When Apollo 11 landed the first humans on the Moon on July 20, 1969, the BBC used a song by a relatively unknown English artist called David Bowie in its television coverage of the Apollo 11 launch and lunar landing. Bowie had so far released only one album which had been a commercial failure, but his new single, out just for a few weeks, was called "Space Oddity" and so its theme matched the euphoria that was caused by this event of the century. The TV exposure helped the single to reach its peak position of No. 5, Bowie's first chart entry. It took three more years, however, before another Bowie single would make the charts, and at the time when "Starman" (another space themed song!) climbed up to No. 10, he had become a glam rock idol.

His record company in the US quickly reacted and rereleased "Space Oddity" in January 1973 (backed with "The Man Who Sold The World"), providing Bowie with his first US Top 20 hit. The UK finally followed in September 1975 after most of Bowie's singles for the past 18 months had failed to crack the Top 10. An EP with the rereleased "Space Oddity" on the 'A'-side and two other tracks on the flip rocketed to No. 1, Bowie's first chart topper in the UK.

Bowie had shot a music video for the song in 1969, but it looked dated by the time he morphed into Ziggy Stardust, and so in 1972 a new video was filmed which was shown during the song's tenure on TOTP. For the first of the Christmas editions of TOTP however, Pan's People would dance to "Space Oddity".

This is certainly not a routine like any other. Pan's People dressed as Space Cadets and a very 'spacey' setting indeed with stars and planets, slow motion moves and colour and lighting effects. There's not a lot of dancing in a strict sense, but then it's not exactly a danceable record to begin with.

I like the atmosphere of this routine, it's somewhat inventive (limited of course by the usual shortage of budget) and reminiscent of science fiction movies of that era. The only thing that bothers me is the occasional display of Bowie himself. But it's a great song as well so I will rate it 9/10.
My DotD is Cherry for her short solo near the end.
First impressions are lasting impressions
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Paperboyplod
It's quite surreal now watching Jimmy Savile alongside DLT at the start of the clip, given the circumstances which has affected their appearances on the TOTPs re-runs from BBC Four.
Moving onto the routine then, there was obviously always going to be a space theme going on here, with trademark silver costumes, some of the dancing was far out there, as it were, mid-way through the way the girls stood almost still, & turned their heads slowly, like they were androids, built for the purpose of being personal who could work, in an airless environment without an oxygen supply.
The spectral colour effects were a nice touch as well' it's just a pity that the song cut-off before it's natural ending.

8/10

DotD:-

Cherry

Justin
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

RYAN
Administrator
Yes its a superb record that still sounds as good today as it did 43 years ago when it first charted. For me the dance is just as good, quite unlike any others, i do believe the slow-mo effects to be unique to this dance only ? Particularly enjoy the middle section where the girls are lined up, the very low lighting creates nice close ups of their faces. The three girls who do it for me big style are Sue, Mary & Lee. I have to pick one from these and im going to pick Lee for Dotd, for no other reason that she looks totally gorgeous and scrummy, then again they all do in those space age sex goddess costumes. 9.5 out of 10 from me.
RYAN
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Gorgeous Daze
This post was updated on .
Oh my. I didn't think space garb had rocked this well since Gabriella Drake in UFO. And note how for the first half the girls' feet are rooted to the spot as much as Gerry Anderson's puppets were in his post Thunderbirds series,  suggesting the entrapment of Major Tom. Until Cherry breaks free in a sublime skirt-swirling moment of release, only for them all finally to lose control as the musical outro drifts helplessly into outer space. Yes, slowing the film down was an obvious technique to evoke the loss of gravity, but sometimes what's obvious is best and it couldn't be beaten for conveying the dream-like quality of the song.  

I won't name a dancer of the day as I'm still in the remedial class at the School Of Pan's People and I don't know which one's Mary and which one's Lee. But I give the routine 9/10.

April update after taking my first month PP exams.  Cherry is DOTD.
Steve
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

BeautifulBabs
just got in from blizzard- under consideration currently and will read friends reviews first but this is the worst so far
On the street or even at the picture show
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Colm
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
Things I like about the routine:

- The sections where each dancer moves independently off each other; this song suits this well
- How the "Here I am sitting in a tin can..." segment is played backwards at reduced speed - again, reflects the overall mood

Things I dislike about the routine:

- Those costumes; they look more like intergalactic waitresses rather than space cadets
- The dodgy edit to the track as it come to an end...
- ...which makes the routine feel shorter than its true length

Overall score: 6.5 - not the best marriage of sound and vision (cymbal crash)

Dancer of the Day: Mary - adequately matching Cherry for her spins and jumps, albeit in the background
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

BeautifulBabs
In reply to this post by BeautifulBabs
Hi I haven't watched this routine for ages but remember the song at the time and me and my sister being told off for singing it at the breakfast table.

Likes :
Girls beautiful navels - unique for a Pans routines I think
Song in itself
Costumes
Colour scheme

Dislikes
Girls static in a line looking serious looking from side to side
Lacking fun element
Not really a dancy track
Song is about a different kind of space scenario :spaceships and ground to air communication with an astronaut- not girls in spacey costumes
slow in most parts
Bowie head shots when the fact it's a pans routines suggests he couldn't be bothered to turn up

cherry dish of the day/belle du jour

7.5 from the BB jury
On the street or even at the picture show
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

VintageVideos
Thanks guys, as always I appreciate all of the comments and input, but I'd like to say a special thank you to Gorgeous Daze for his first comment on this section. I really hope you will become a regular here, and don't worry, pretty soon you will get to know the dancers better. In the screen shot that I posted, Lee is the one on the left while Mary is in the middle.
And please feel free to go back and review the other routines as well, there is no deadline for comments on here.
First impressions are lasting impressions
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Gorgeous Daze
Cheers Vin. I prefer the fashions of the later PP line ups, and it seemed appropriate to leave a comment because just before you posted the video I had an e-mail saying Bowie's new album had been dispatched to me!

I intend to continue to comment on PP routines here and there. Though I better add that I've never discussed dance routines anywhere before and I'm absolutely no Craig Revel Horwood. I just know that the charms of the TOTPS dancers have gradually sucked me in these past two years.
Steve
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

PattiForPM
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
Hi there, Grinch here.  First I must say I love the song, the ladies look quite lovely and the outfits make me want to sign up for Commercial Space Fight stat.  The lighting and the side proflies are really well done too so why am I not Santa Claus instead?  Well, I too don't like the Bowie bits and would say that it's one of the worst Dance Songs to move one's body to, except possibly when terminally inebriated.  Next those weird flapping prayer hand-moves remind me a little of some kind of Monty Python sketch and finally the Slow Mo segment bugs me to bits, because it makes these beautiful graceful Dancers look clumsy to me and I find that tough to take.  I know emulating weightlessness on a BBC budget in 1975 must have been nigh on impossible but I really did not appreciate this part, sorry Flick.  I can only award a regretful 6/10 and will give the DotD to the lovely Mary.
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: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

PattiForPM
I edited this and added half a mark partly to avoid Nasa taking away the honour of Canadian Captaincy of the International Space Station by Chris Hadfield and partly just because I sounded so freakin hard to please
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: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Suefan
The ladies do look lovely and the outfits have a certain appeal but this is not high on my list of favourites, that pseudo psychedelic trip malarky is not for me which I suppose colours my overall take on the routine.  That said all the girls perform the weightless segment very well, as every Sue is out of this world, but overall only a 6 from me as well.
Suefan
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

VintageVideos
Suefan wrote
as every Sue is out of this world
I take it that this was not a vote for the DotD?
First impressions are lasting impressions
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Lookmacinanger
This post was updated on .
Lee is my Dotd as she does look very nice in her space suit 8/10.
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Paperboyplod
He never got to that bit though, the song was cut-off before ground control tried to tell Major Tom that his 'circuit' was dead.
Justin
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Suefan
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
No VV, I was just fooling with the lingua.  In this one all the dancers do a good job but for me nobody approaches the event horizon.
Suefan
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Andeebee
mmm, nice edit of the track itself, lot of bacofoil outfits, no Gabby Drake in sight, a feast for the eyes, and you believe you can meet these space maidens.....yummy stuff, have dropped my application in for NASA

7/10
DOTD:

Ch...ch...ch...ch..Cherry
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

VintageVideos
Andeebee wrote
Ch...ch...ch...ch..Cherry
LOL, that was a good one!
First impressions are lasting impressions
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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Andeebee
yeah tickled me
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue

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Re: SPACE ODDITY -- 1975

Who's That Hurll
This is a superb atmospheric routine that brings a chill to the spine.Everything about this is impeccable in it's execution; the Bowie stills, the spectrum colours, the gravity effects and the timing of Cherry's solo.
I don't know why some of you earthlings rate this so low; there really were some cracking routines at the end of 75/start of 76.
It's 9.5/10 from me and my dancer of the day is Lee for being closest to the camera during one of my all time favourite Pans moments; that being at 1.42, when those starship (troupe)rs are exposed to the light as they turn their heads slowly to survey the cosmos.
WTH PRESENTS............THE SUSIE SILVEY EXPERIENCE.
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