TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 22/06/1973

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TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 22/06/1973

VintageVideos
This post was updated on .
Take Me To The Mardi Gras
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Performed by Paul Simon and reaching number 7 in the UK charts
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Original broadcast date 22/06/1973 Duration of dance - 3.13 mins
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Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Louise, Ruth
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A link to the dance:
http://www.oneforthedads.org.uk/?p=1859
A link to the full intro by Kenny Everett:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dujjJQ_KXB4
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Yes chaps, it's about time that the first of the routines which have recently been donated to the blog is featured here. This week it's "Take Me To The Mardi Gras", a performance that has appeared in various versions before. First of all, there is the 36 second snippet from "PansPeopleVideo" which has been on our YouTube channel for almost 17 months now. About 10 months ago, a full clip suddenly surfaced on YT with the caption "one for the dads" all over it but it vanished just as quickly as it emerged. And now, a month ago, a caption-free full version was donated to the blog which is hopefully here to stay.

Paul Simon's professional career as a singer and musician started in 1957 with the release of the single "Hey, Schoolgirl" which he recorded with Art Garfunkel under the name "Tom & Jerry". In 1970, just when Simon & Garfunkel had reached their commercial peak, Simon began concentrating on solo projects effectively terminating his partnership with Garfunkel. After his eponymous debut in 1972, Simon released an album full of classic songs in 1973 called "There Goes Rhymin' Simon". In the US, the single "Kodachrome" was riding high at No. 2 in the charts, but the UK wisely opted for a different track ("Kodachrome" would have been banned by the BBC anyway). "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" proved popular and became Paul's second Top 10 record in Britain.

When "...Mardi Gras" entered the Top 30, Simon – being an American – wasn't available so Pan's People came to the rescue again. Maurice Cole, better known by his alias Kenny Everett was hosting the show and introduced Pan's People in his one-of-a-kind style (as you can see on our YT channel). Even though this edition was wiped from the BBC archive the routine is still available as a home recording (as part of the "Private Video Library"), if only in black and white.

"Mardi Gras" is of course French for "Fat Tuesday" and refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Today "Mardi Gras" is most often associated with the annual carnival celebration in New Orleans, and I guess it was this celebration that inspired the costumes and the dance moves for the Pan's People routine, although I think there is also a definite Iberian touch to the dance. Pity we can't see the actual colours!

"Take Me To The Mardi Gras" is a terrific performance that has all the ingredients of a favourite: a few short solos, some great close-ups (especially of Cherry), a bit of humour and a good deal of sensuality. Despite the absence of colours it has become a firm regular on my playlist. At the same time the routine is a testimony of how good Pan's People were in 1973 and what we're missing due to the BBC’s wiping policy.

10 / 10

DotD: Cherry
Dance right on till the floors are breakin'
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

BeautifulBabs
You're spoiling us again Vin

Likes :
good length
not a very dancy tune but it really pulls off here
stocking and suspenders before the watershed - hooray what would mary whitehouse say
cherry close ups and incy wincy spider hands - absolutely gorgeous
hand jive with the 4 girls in a square - cherry dancing in background
camera work
hand/arm choreography in general - superb
makes me imagine pans dropping in at a mardi gras carnival.

Likes less
shame its without colour
i imagine it has red dresses

10 and cheryl gillespie easily dotd
On the street or even at the picture show
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

Suefan
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
One of my favourite survivors from 1973 this is a winner with nice solos, close ups, skirt swishing, the lot.  A colour copy would be welcome if one could be found, or at least a photo, as I have no recollection from when first broadcast so am guessing as to the outfit but with the red roses in the girls hair perhaps a deep green or dark magenta.  Everyone does well but Cherry's personality and look suit this dance to a tee and so she is my Dotd for this 9.5 routine.
Suefan
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

PattiforPM
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
Yup this one's a winner and it has all the right ingredients as others have said and I have to agree 100% with BB that the camera work has hit a bulls-eye here with just the right mix of close-ups and a few overlays and overall great framing of the Troupe.  The ladies' expressions are simply wonderful and yes indeed Cherry is the indisputable champ and her hand movements are mesmerizing too so she demands DotD and will surely come close to wielding the broom in a just World.  I really enjoy this Dance but I can't quite give it a maximum without colour, in which it would surely be even more spectacular so I'm giving 9.5/10  and once more let's give thanks to anondonor.uk
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: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

PaulF
A delight and a privilege to be able to see the full version of this but it did make me old (1973 really?).
Lovely performance from all the girls and although I agree Cherry and her hand movements are mesmerizing there is another who I just cant ignore and I hope I am not the one to spoil a Cherry full house. 9/10

DOTD.....RUTH.
Paul
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

Paperboyplod
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
Everything about this dance routine's so laid back, that the ladies even take some time out to sit down, & have a stretch, & whatever this 'Mardi Gras' is, suitable attires are on display, all looking typically elegant, & kudos, for the comedic elements, in the form of the finger pointing, & crazy facial expressions, it points to a generally relaxed, yet party atmosphere enjoyed by all of these lovely girls.

9/10

DotD:-

Cherry
Justin
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

BeautifulBabs
and Vin I do agree this routine is worth the world cup you awarded it at the end of your post
On the street or even at the picture show
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

Colm
What a delightful routine this is. Everyone is in great form here, lots of variety in the sequences, I love the mixture of different members together, the "hand jive" part is beautifully choreographed. A colour copy of this would indeed be a Find of the Century.

DotD: Could really be anyone, but at the end of the the day, Babs is a very, very marginal second to Cherry. How can you not resist that come-hither motion at the start?

Score: 9.5 (would have been a full house if it was colour)
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

RYAN
Administrator
Dull as dish water artist and the song isn't much better. Good job then the routine itself is very good indeed. Always nice to see a bit of stocking top, though Ruth got a bit, errm cheeky !

DOTD, `Cherry` is as bright as a button here and easily is my choice.

Rating, `8.75 out of 10`, in colour i would add a point on to that.
RYAN
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

PattiforPM
Do you really not like Paul Simon Ryan or do you just mean on this one occasion?
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: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

RYAN
Administrator
No i find him a tedious little man, hes not an artist i would chose to listen too.
RYAN
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

Old Grey Whistler
Paul Simon is one of my all time favourite singer/song writers, a true legend of the music world, but not really a purveyor of dance music, so I was curious as to what Pans People would do with this song. The end result is extremely good. The ladies look great in their Mardi Gras dresses, which I am sure would look even better in colour. Due to the slow tempo of the song the emphasis is more on hand movements and it works really well, however for some reason I don't feel compelled to score it full marks so it gets 9.5 out of 10.
Cherry totally owns the routine and gets DOTD.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

Gorgeous Daze
Well there's no disputing Paul Simon is diminutive, but without exactly being a big fan I think he was a very talented songwriter and I like a lot of his work, including this charming song for a lazy summer day. The routine couldn't have emerged at a more appropriate time of year. The ladies' warm invites are full of promise, they needed to show just why the song is so yearningly nostalgic and they firmly deliver. It's just a shame that one thing you can't do without at a carnival is colour, but that's about all that's missing. The 'non dancing' parts suit the relaxed vibe. There's something for all the family at the carnival, with hand-games for the kids. But as the day grows long it's time for some flirty skirt-swishing and naughty early evening stocking-tops...well, historically normal rules were suspended for the carnival. And even a can-can line eventually appears. The Dixieland jazz finale is also rather apt as jazz was once considered to be about the same threat to society as a flash of thigh.

DOTD Cherry, who's brilliant.  Could be a 10 but need colour to verify. So 9.5/10
Steve
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

VintageVideos
I think this thread needs a gentle bump. Just because I'm on vacation doesn't mean you cannot post here! 
Dance right on till the floors are breakin'
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

Mikey
This post was updated on .
Nice to have another TOTPs routine from 1973, and one introduced by Maurice, erm sorry Kenny Everett. Actually i never knew that was not his real name, so you learn something new all the time here eh!. His presenting approach is obviously unique and it seems like the producers gave him free reign to be as wacky as he needed to judging by the colour episode which is available online. Here he offers a brief tribute to the performance we are about to see by mimicking the hand action that Cherry adopts at the start. Speaking of Cherry, what a way to begin a routine, she is playing on her cuteness enticing the viewer to join in the mardi gras celebration. With such a mellow song it could be in danger of being on the boring side, but not a bit of it. The dancing is in no hurry, and in some stages is more floor based with some nice close ups and more gesturing to join in.

Its not until the final minute that the pace picks up a little and we see flashes of stocking, with those skirt ruffling moves that start resembling a can-can, and i cant think of a better way i'd wish it to end.

9/10 DOTD Cherry
♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥

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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

sueforever
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
This routine by Pans goes well with the music of Paul Simon. We have our ladies in flamenco style dresses. And with flamenco dance movement. And the clever hand movement through out the routine, it just work. And it just a shame that it in black and white. But still we have this routine to watch on our forum.

To the Dotd that come down to two of our dancers, these are Cherry and Ruth. Ruth as a great solo in the routine. But I must say that I'll give it to the young beautiful Cherry.

The score will be 9 out of 10.
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

PansLegs
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
I'm not a particular fan of any of Paul Simon's solo works , so this performance is already at a disadvantage although it would obviously be unfair to mark down Pan's visuals just for that.


I find there's too much playing to the camera in this one for my liking which ultimately feels forced, so despite the fandango styles dresses (in colour surely even more striking) with occasional raised skirts and glimpse of stocking being obvious plus points, I am left with a feeling that somehow it all could have been better. For me the lady that seems most relaxed throughout the proceedings is Louise, hence she would be my choice for DotD. 6/10
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

PattiforPM
I find this camera-seeking an interesting subject and I think Flick had her go-to ladies for this and it seemed Cherry was her choice for few years whereas Patti was the Legs & Co equivalent I would argue.  I'm sure most of you would agree that this aspect of performance was likely tightly orchestrated by Flick herself even if a little embellished by the expressive dancers.  Personally I think it really adds to performances in the great majority of cases and was a vast improvement on what I take to be the much more impersonal Go-Go style of the 1960s but I can also see how it can be perceived to be overdone on occasion.  I'm firmly in the opposite camp however and I think this is one reason why Cherry and Patti are two of my very favourite Dancers
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: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

Suefan
It is an interesting subject but I feel your painting it in too broad strokes.  There are the obviously choreographed moments when one or other of the ladies finds the camera, which may or may not work depending on your point of view, but then there is also a definite skill in remembering where the cameras are in relation to your position throughout the routine and being able to work effectively to them without it distracting from your dance performance.
Suefan
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Re: TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS -- 1973

PattiforPM
If I'm catching your drift SF, maybe they're like a good footie team with a number of set pieces but the skills to improvise a little and excellent positional sense.  That awareness and the little knowing glances at the camera always appealed to me and I know to some others
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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