Spanish Eyes _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byAl Martinoand reaching number 5 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date20/07/1973Duration of dance - 2.46 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
In memoriam Louise Clarke, 03.09.1949 – 25.08.2012
Al Martino, born Jasper Cini in 1927, had a long recording career starting in the late 1940's and taking off in 1952 with the No. 1 single "Here In My Heart". One of his biggest hits was a song that Bert Kaempfert originally wrote as an instrumental piece called "Moon Over Naples" in 1965. In the very same year Al recorded a vocal version of that composition titled "Spanish Eyes" which not only made No. 15 on the US Hot 100, but also became a big seller in Europe, especially in Germany, where it went to No. 3 during an impressive chartrun of 35 weeks. At first, the record was ignored in the UK, with a rerelease in 1970 peaking at a lowly No. 49. But three years later, in 1973, the single suddenly became a big hit in the UK, spending 21 weeks in the Top 50 and ultimately reaching No. 5.
Pan's People danced to "Spanish Eyes" on 20/07/1973, just when the 45 had climbed from No. 42 to No. 31. According to the Popscene database, that was the only time the record was ever featured on TOTP which seems quite unusual given the long chart run of the single.
20/07/1973 is another episode that fell victim to the BBC's wiping policy, but fortunately a private recording – albeit in monochrome – exists. It's one of life's remarkable coincidences that this wiped routine was donated anonymously to the blog this week and posted just yesterday as a tribute to Louise Clarke.
Some of the performances I had considered as choices for today's featured routine were "Seasons In The Sun", "Homely Girl" and "Little Bit Of Love". But "Seasons In The Sun" seemed a bit too poignant for the occasion, and both "Homely Girl" and "Little Bit Of Love" are not really centred on Louise. That's why I am quite happy that "Spanish Eyes" is now available to the public, a routine that is definitely focused on Louise, or more precisely on Louise's face.
The performance is unique in a couple of ways. There aren't many routines with such large close-ups of only one dancer's face. But even more extraordinary is the choreography which shows the dancers grouped as a pentagon, moving their arms and legs to produce a kaleidoscope effect. Now, we can only speculate how this looked in colour but it was surely meant to be a stunning viewing experience. Yet, watching the performance, you can't help but notice that there are unfortunately several very obvious slips in those movements which is a bit of a shame as it impairs the kaleidoscope effect considerably, sometimes making you wonder if this is actually a rehearsal (which it isn't).
I've watched this routine many times but I am still not 100 % sure who is who in the pentagon formation. Therefore I find it hard to identify the dancer who seems to be a bit out of sync - which may not be a bad thing after all.
"Spanish Eyes" is a fine dance but it's not one of my favourites. While the song is an evergreen, to my ears it sounded dated even back in 1973 as it was the music our parents listened to (yuck!). With one or two of the girls having a bit of a bad day, I'm afraid I can't go higher than
8 / 10
Dancer of the Day is an easy choice for me as it is the reason why I chose this routine. Louise is clearly the centre of this performance and hers are the "Spanish Eyes", the prettiest eyes in all of Mexico.
The wind blew some luck in my direction, I caught it in my hands today
The perfect tribute to a much missed Louise, who's clearly the star of the show for this dance routine, if only we could've seen her face in colour.
I like costumes that look as if they're recycled net curtains, & the overhead shots of the ladies making different snowflake formations, is simply divine.
The cross-fading also works a treat here, & I'm normally against that, when it's used excessively.
It's easy to see why Flick chose Louise to be the centre piece for this particular number. Often the close-up role, half mixed over other shots fell to blonde Babs, but on this occasion it's obvious why the eyes had to be those of Louise with her somewhat Mediterranean looks. One of the great strengths of Pan's People was the very different qualities each member had, not only physically but also their personality that comes through the slightly different dance interpretations and looks to camera. This made them a highly competent and versatile team that Flick was able to use to advantage and produce appropriate visual accompaniment for any song.
Long lingering close-up shots, long flowing dresses with a change for the overhead shots that remind me of synchronised swimmers, adds to a suitably melancholy performance to accompany the lyrics. I imagine it's very hard indeed to sustain composure on a non speaking long large close-up shot amidst a brightly lit studio full of technicians and destined for broadcast to millions but of course as always, Louise takes it all in her stride.
Thanks to the magic of recorded performance, Louise and indeed all our favourites will be with us forever. DotD Louise, 7/10
This is a fine tribute to the impeccable Louise and she obviously features heavily here. I find her natural look and seemingly minimally applied make-up interesting here especially given the song title but she looks stunning of course. The slow long-flowing dress section works well and I'd love to see that part in colour. The kaleidoscopic section isn't my favourite I must say and these types of visual spectacles always rely so much on symmetry that, as our host points out, any small slip is accentuated. As we have some difficulty spotting the culprit it's obviously not Babs! I do see a little boo-boo from Dee Dee and then one from Cherry but overall the ladies are in fairly good unison although their distance apart seems a bit close to squeeze the arms in at times. Maybe this is all a bit nitpicky though as the performance still works pretty well and I'm giving 7.5/10 and Louise gets an inevitable DotD from me. Finally on a personal note this was one of the first two singles I ever had (not bought myself) as my grandmother gave me this one and Bobby Goldsboro's Honey before I was of record-buying age (Vin's right again about the older generation songs!)
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Louise's closeup, and the composure needed to handle it so well, have already been highlighted by PL but this is a real highlight of the routine for me and deserves repeating. Those dresses also look rather fine so it is a shame we don't have a colourful survivor. As it is the monochrome dims my enthusiasm a little, and the overhead camera shot, while interesting and a little different, is never a favourite view of mine, whether Dee Dee finds herself in or out of the sink!
So a 7.5 for the dance with Louise as my senorita of the day, although I do also like Babs' little back flicks.
its the girls
great achievement to pull off a non dancy track
Overhead filming kaleidoscope effect even though symmetry is imperfect in places - I love overhead filming in pans routines in general
Not so impressed with :
Think ruth looks the most spanish pan in this line-up
hard to assess the wow factor of louise's eyes given they are grey and the shadows are a bit harsh.
song is a bit dull and croony- prefer the jose carreras version of this
Babs sorry I think you had a good day here but Louise was star of this routine which is a 7.5 from the east sussex jury.
There are some routines where the lack of colour is more of an issue than others. I can't put my finger for certain on why this is one of them, but it's probably a combination of things. One is it gives the dresses the appearance of net curtains, but I think the main reason is I needed to see something vivid to counteract the old-fashioned and staid song. And monochrome isn't my only problem. Credit should be given for doing something different, but I just don't find the kaleidoscopic work appealing. From that height it reminds me of stop-start matchstick animation. And our bird's-eye view of them making geometric patterns means the noted mistakes and mistimings really show. The dancing part is okay but nothing more. To what extent, if at all, colour would alter my opinion of it is hard to say.
DOTD Louise indeed holds her expressions with admirable grace. I'm glad she gave us a glimmer of a smile to lighten the sombre tone, as the lyrics allowed.
This is a good choice for a routine to commemorate Louise.
Strangely, Al Martino's real name would have made quite a good stage name!
I quite like the overhead shots as it makes the dance a little bit different to the norm, however, I agree that it does make it a little bit easier to spot a few mistakes that were made. It should be remembered though that the viewing public only had one chance to see this in 1973, and I am sure that quite a lot of them wouldn't have noticed anything amiss at all.
The monochrome doesn't bother me at all, it's just good that it exists, so I will give this 8 out of 10.
The obvious choice for DOTD is Louise, and she is my choice as well.
An old fashioned routine to match an old fashioned song. I'm not a big fan of crooners but they do seem to trancsend eras in a way that most here today gone tommorrow music trends do. The song seems quite upbeat and the orchestration gives it an epic film score like quality. I think the symmetry based routine Flick has planned here is quite ambitious given the short periods they have to rehearse and thus suffers from a few timing issues in the overhead shots. The spinning section towards the end is the highlight and looks lovely with the huge dresses being used to good effect.
7.5/10 With those lingering close ups of Louise it would be wrong of me to give DOTD to anyone else, she is one cool lady.
The song and the black and white do detract from the routine, I'd be interested to see what colours the girls were wearing especially in the overhead shots, I'm guessing it would have been something fairly bright to liven up the dance. Once again Flick comes up with something different to make quite a dull song seem interesting 8/10. Dotd has to be Louise.
A right old classic song here that the ladies attempt to interpretate in their own style , i remember this track being in the top 10 in 1973 and frankly at the time for me it certainley did not press any buttons music wise for me , it was one of those old fuddy duddy songs for someone like me who was very much into the chart music of the day , i remember my dad really liking the song , now some 41 years later i really like liste ing to al martino belt this one out , i do not remember watching pp dance to this at all in 73 but i remember watching it recentley and being very suprised how flick decided to interpretate the song it was nothing like i would have imagined and i was rather dissapointed at the end result , i didnt think the choreography matched the music or the song at all , having said this im so gratefull though that these wiped routines have somehow managed to survive , and music wise the song is always good to hear , i suppose the dance might have looked a bit better in colour , but choreography wise i cant say that i can award more than a 7.5 i dont often do dotd but without doubt it has to be louise with those stunning spanish eyes close up
Lovely routine which I find the camera shots compliment this one very well. I find the routine goes well with the song in black and white, but it would have been nice to see a colour version. On the Pictures thread I really thought the colour attempt by Ryan was really good, so I can imagine what the colour version might have looked like.
Rating: 8/10 DOTD: Louise
Don't worry I'm still here!
Devoted to Pan's People & Legs & Co.
A beautiful routine. Only seen this once and it is so memorable. Excellent choreography by Flick and love the semaphore positions in the second verse - I found this was repeated in the Stylistics Christmas dance of 1975. Louise stole the show big time in this because of her coming to the forefront so many times. The dance will be awarded ten out of ten and the best dancer awarded to Louise.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
Does Louise have blue eyes? Blue Spanish Eyes moreover? Described as the widows to the soul, and an indication of true intent and purpose, beside the actual function to enable sentient beings to see, to see where they are going, to see what they are doing and to see if any danger, predators and obstacles are approaching or lay in wait. And to look, as opposed to see, to judge, to interpret and to value what may come before us. And to read, by which means we increase knowledge and bring people together. Eyes have much more aesthestic purposes. To see beauty and to see what is our idea of beauty. Are larger eyes always more attractive than smaller ones? Many would say it is so. And what colour do you find most attractive? Blue, brown, green, hazel or any other possible shade? For myself, I find darker eyes more appealing, but each of us will have a preference. The thought of eyes has inspired many and given us so much, which is a reason for an enormous amount of art being based upon them. Painting, literature and song. As in our case for this song ‘Spanish Eyes’ sung by Al Martino.
What colour eyes did the members of Pan’s People have? If it is not recorded otherwise, and assuredly is, repeat viewing and plenty of close-ups should reveal that information. And that would be a job I feel perfectly willing to take on, if it was considered necessary. I mean, continuous ‘Panswatching’, an onerous, burdensome task, to which I could gladly assent, for the good of humanity, and the knowledge that nobody else would have to suffer such an undertaking. Alas, I am unable to start with this routine because, as can be seen by all, there is only a black and white copy surviving, to our knowledge, for review. No eyes in glorious colour here for examination. But what we do have is another excellent, and expertly executed, number by the Pan’s People team. Oh boy! The sheerness and translucency of the very stylish and summery long dresses worn at the beginning of the routine is a highly noticeable plus for this happy reviewer, and make the perpetually beautiful members look ever more so, as I will testify to whomsoever asks my opinion on the matter. The effect is especially apparent for the front pair of Cherry and Ruth. Oh boy, again! As the team individually twirl round with the dress skirts held up by the fingers in a typically engaging manner, revealing Louise at the rear of the group and a space is created for her to glide forward to a hard close-up of her ever-beautiful face. On which an overhead kaleidoscopic effect is superimposed of the whole team in different attire, one hand of each touching together in the centre and the other waving forward and backwards, like a marine flower in the sea as waves of water flow past. But who is she, this Louise, and why are the others so protective of her? The second routine in a row for review which has a distinctively Latin feel and flavour, our ‘Chicas Latinas’ looking as divine and inspirationally gorgeous as one would expect, from whatever part of the world they might come. The motifs and sections of the overhead shot, with the five ladies forming shapes with their arms, and the graceful gliding and spins of four in frontal view, minus Louise, in the long gowns are repeated over several instances. Then there is Louise, ‘La Princesa del Verano’, in all her majestic beauty gazing upon us, as we must gaze upon her, and melting hearts and souls, leaving us mere mortals enslaved in her glance. Although, as ever, one would like to see this in the original colour, the monochrome of what we can view does create a sumptuously heightened effect with the light shining on Louise’s face from our right. At the mid point of the routine, we return to the five, who are now prone, making further shapes with legs and arms. Effective- most certainly, the patterns formed by limbs and body most beguiling to see. At about 02.00, Louise releases her grip upon us, and retreats back into the darkness, as the others once again spin effortlessly and enticingly, and form a barrier in front, as if the Handmaidens of a Noble Priestess, entreating us to look worshipfully upon their charge no more. This is followed by an absolutely enthralling circular dance by the team, all gorgeous and classically graceful movement, combined with invigoratingly flowing dresses and hair. With the final overhead piece as a denouement, to show us our admittance is no longer permitted. But what have we become, by witnessing this enrapturing beauty? We have succumbed. Thralls we are now, and thralls we shall remain. The High Priestess of all Mexico has invoked her boundless charm, on her new mortal slaves and disciples.
Al Martino. The same Al Martino who appeared at the top of the charts on the 14th November 1952 with ’Here In My Heart’. The chart, published by the New Musical Express’, that is often seen as the first official British example of such an idea. Unofficial instances had been known in the country earlier, and other places had been publishing their charts for many years before, from 1940 for the United States, for example. And it must not be discounted that, though an incredible industry had grown up around popular music since the first number one in 1952, and styles and tastes had been totally transformed in the interim, it was only a mere 21 years distant from this year of 1973. Back to an almost pre-historic age of long forgotten hits and unremembered artists. And in the early 70s, six months could seem like an eternity in the music industry, so fast flowing was the fashion and pattern of the business, and the cultural fall out, and acceptance from the wider public. The tastes of 21 years ago would seem as though from another dimension. A Universe of peculiar and outmoded mores and morals.
With the rare and fragile beauty of Louise given full rein and extraordinary prominence in this routine, should there be any question on who should receive the accolade of the most rewarding dancer? How should we decide on the basis of proficiency and gracefulness, when proficiency is a prerequisite and gracefulness comes in abundance throughout the members of Pan’s People? But who provokes the most response from this number for me? In a need to be brief a few points of interest occur to me. All the members look elegantly beautiful with their long gowns upheld but none more so than Ruth, and as mentioned the sheerness of the material is very evident at 00.06, and at 00.30 it is quite plain to see how the dress fits Ruth’s body so perfectly well. Ruth adorers take note. And I do! Cherry is enrapturing again at about 00.38 as she weaves towards and away from us most deliciously, while performing the circular dance. And at about 02.06 both Ruth and Cherry look demurely devastating at the at the front of the piece, like two sculptures adorning the temple of a Holy Deity. Then they pull back to hide their Priestess from the gaze of those unsolicited who came this way by chance. At about 00.26 Babs is noted leaning back extensively as she looks upwards to us in the clouds, then from 01.20 to 01.58 she makes the most dramatic and noteworthy shapes lain prostrate on the floor, her movement outshining any of the others. The always dependable, always reliable Dee Dee is supportive throughout, but with little chance of individuality, but the engaging little smile in our direction at 02.17, while performing the circular dance, is all the more appreciated. And what of Louise herself, what remarks are called on her behalf? Certainly, as she spirits forward with a delightful spin right before us, and comes to consume our vision totally, in a full close-up, about 00.09 we should be aware we are to be treated to something special. The extended blink at 00.16 and glorious smile at 00.18 are exquisitely performed. More blinks follow in the later close-up, with a semblance of a haughty pout, have we incurred her displeasure? And then at 01.19 her lips open and her mouth seems to want to say words of endearment, but none are forthcoming. This followed by a lowering of her eyes as if in dejection. Did she want to speak, of which probity and sense of duty forbade. And then later she dissolves from our view into the background, offering up her arms as in admonition for that we will never attain. Her final spin at her retreat should leave us in no doubt of her feelings for us. But we must not and cannot follow her. Then, at last, she has joined again and become one with her sisters with only a last look at 02.23 at us, those who have loved and lost and will find no more. We must now say farewell to our Priestess with the eyes of deepest azure. Her image will fade, but her memory endure.
DOTD- Louise. How could it not be so? Have not our hearts been captivated by her, her cheeks of roses, her lips of coral, her hair of the darkening light. Don Quixote may tilt at windmills and never witness his ideal of adored beauty. But we have seen ours, and had our belief confirmed. Truly, we have seen our very own Dulcinea.
Routine- 9.5/10. Our Senoritas ‘Bellesisimas y Hermosas’ all deploying archetypical gracefulness and elegance. A stately and elegant number all told. A gorgeously circular dance of perfection, supported by stylistic kaleidoscopic symmetry, as they embody and empower one to be their figurehead. Was she chosen well? Well yes, and the routine does indeed do Louise and Pan’s People justice.