Yes P4pm thats the wavelength I'm on. It is relatively easy to encompass a set, specifically choreographed, moment to a particular camera, but much more of an art to know when and where to look during the remainder of the dance without it detracting from the performance. Some of these glances may also be choreographed but the extra skill is then making them appear as if they are spontaneous.
This is a brilliant routine as its been said it would have been much more striking in colour , love the choreography especially the little bits where they use their fingers to put in some moves , a 9 from me
Being in black and white always makes it a bit harder to give a high vote as I think that the colourful outfits and sets were a big part of most of the routines. A fairly sedate dance that is pleasant to watch. Also thanks should go to whoever opened the cage door on the PVL stash allowing this one to escape into the open and of course YMG for not keeping it to himself!. 8/10.
Dotd: Cherry of course!
This is a most beautiful song that I enjoy so much now (at the time it was released I did not). The b-side of this song is Kodachrome which is a shame but as VV stated it would have been banned but I think this would have gone higher if they had made it a double A-side. Paul really sang some beautiful songs in the seventies and I was too young to appreciate them:- Still Crazy and Late in the Evening being up there that are classics which alas did not reflect in the charts so well.
The routine is beautiful and again I would love to have this in colour. It would have made it that bit better. The outfits are just beautiful and each dancer gave it 110%. I will award this dance ten out of ten and the best dancer awarded to Cherry for beckoning me to the camera.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
So I do like this routine and think it has been done very well. I can't really complain that is it in black and white as I think it is one of those routines that is okay without colour. As for the dancing, I really like Cherry at the start of the routine and when I think of this routine I think of Cherry. The other ladies do a very good job and I really like this routine.
Colonisation. Is it always a bad thing, as would be the modern consensus of thinking or can their be benefits to an indigenous population? And the clear subjection of Christianity on colonised peoples, when they had their own personal religions has clouded the perception of any good that this colonisation could bring. Clearly this idea is in regard to European colonisation of other continents, which happened these past 500 years or so- and continue up to, well it could be said until the present day. In particular I am thinking of the European influx into the lands that would make up the United States, and the resultant influence over the local peoples and of those from the immigrant country, be they British or Irish, in the north-east, Spanish in the south and west, and, moreover those of French origin to the south east. ( Generalisations perhaps but they can stand as examples ). And to France it is we turn with their cultural legacy in the state of Louisiana, their peoples, the music and food all as a mixture with local and free slave population. And none more influential than the Catholic church, with their celebrations and traditions still carried down to the present day. And that must include Mardi Gras, otherwise Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent, when activities and festivities could take place for the final time before the subservience and penitence of the period leading to Easter- or Pâques, as they might say in French.
An obvious question perhaps, but are the English bad at languages? Has the situation improved over the 46 years since this routine was broadcast, with increased globalisation and continental and long distance travel? And will it return to worse state of understanding and fluency in languages, like before, as the result of the vote to leave the European Union? A question for which we will not know the answer until we are many years in advance of where we are today. It was considered not necessary to learn another language as everybody speaks English, so the attitude goes. Of course, this was not true then and it is certainly not true now, as I can vouch for, having personal experience of this, in some of the places I have travelled. But anon. The sound of Kenny Everett introducing ‘Mardi GRASS’ is certainly jarring- to these ears at least, as I watch and listen in my modern 21st Century position. But very likely, I would have said exactly the same as Kenny, if I had been asked back in 1973. At that stage I had no interest in learning another language, even at school, where French- as in ‘Mardi Gras’ was an obligatory subject. It was only ten years or more later that a need was found in me to learn another tongue, which was Spanish- moreover South American Spanish, which is simpler than Castilian Spanish- in my case. I make no claim to be fluent, but my in-laws understand me, or are very tolerant! And a reference to Spanish will occur again very soon in these reviews.
The image and idea of ‘Mardi Gras’ will conjure up scenes replete with bright and vivacious colours, of costumes and festive adornments, as they light up our imagination as people celebrate the last before entering their religious abstinence. But for us, as viewers of this preserved routine, we must settle for a complete contrast, for an enjoyment of starkness, of the desolation of a black and white celebration, and the faded splendour of a bleak and sullied picture which feels like watching an event through the bottom of a beer glass. Grimly stark and gloomy, that we know should be a riot of vibrant colour. But were they? Are there any pictures in existence that can show the colourful effectiveness of the number? None seem to be present at the moment, and perhaps the BBC budget would never have extended to the bewildering colours as a Mardi Gras would be intended. The costumes certainly enhance the visual pleasure in this routine. Visual enhancement must be treasured. And the members all look very inviting as they appear as a troupe of Latin or French lovelies, in beautiful tailed gowns of, it can be imagined, alluring colour and all embroidered with a beauteous, and no doubt, deeply red rose to the hair. Their stage is a simple set of which very little is needed to be seen, the lighting on the evidence presented before us, is adequate for the backdrop of night, but does bring the girls into a rich and honeyed focus, whenever they are in the foreground. The song itself seems like half a song, and this reviewer feels that it is a fair way from Paul Simon’s best. We have now moved on to a period when the dances cannot be defined by any established criteria, but all are separate entities in their own right. For the beginning of the routine we have Babs, then Dee Dee, Louise and Ruth all moving in together in a sedate and enticing manner, bringing their noble deportment to the fore. Then with the belle of any ball Cherry inviting us, the compelled viewer, to join her in the festivities, as Babs and Ruth move so beguilingly behind. You can see that they are looking at us, and no reproach at our advance will be forthcoming. Any doubts that the most shy amongst us may still have is put to rest at 00.37 as Dee Dee and Louise complete our faith in these ladies intentions. The trio of dark-haired beauties from 00.58 to 01.18, sitting on the side of the stage, with graceful arm movements and bewitching smiles carries with them much desired enchantment. Such maidens as these are not to be found at any Dance but the very best. The graceful spins, the lifting of the skirts and elegant leg kicks are all fine features of this number. The hand movements and gesture about 01.40- 01.58 are a pleasing aspect; hand-jiving with endearing smiles will always be a plus. At these period of Pan’s People, it seems to me that Cherry and Ruth would often be paired together, and another example is evident from 02.13 to 02.20 as they circle round each other, in a most delightful manner, joined then by their other sisters Dee Dee and Louise, before cousin Babs spins gracefully into the picture to complete the attendants. With more spins and skirt-hitching from 02.26, with more beautiful leg stretches at 02.38-02.40 and quick ‘flamenco’ style feet movements about 02.44 we are treated to more glorious features of the graceful dancers’ repertoire. And so we must bid farewell to our hosts at the best party we will ever witness, as their high-kicks linger long and enduringly in our memory. The night evaporates, the vision blurs, was this party all but a dream? Did we ever go? Do our five enrapturing partners really exist, or is this all in our mind? Wish fulfilment of the most possessing kind. We were there, even though we were not. I had not approached this number as a great favourite, but have been drawn in with the irrefutable welcoming and engrossing atmosphere of a party like no other. Flick’s choreography and the girls technique, charm and ability win through once again.
As smitten as I am always with Ruth, and am again here, very especially her divine and seductive hip movements at 00.14- 00.16 as she enters the scene- another ‘nobody moves like Ruth’ moment for me- I will try my utmost to view this routine objectively. Because I am such a Ruth fan, I may always judge her favourably, maybe to the detriment of the others, but I hope to be fair insomuch as all the members are talented and stylish dancers who bring so much to each number. And here they bring bucketsful. Babs is demurely delightful as she leads off the piece at 00.05. Babs enters again at 01.20, to be seen by me as the elder and more revered of the family of dancers, and gives us another great spin at 01.26. If we could see this routine in colour the red rose would contrast spectacularly with her blonde hair, a point missed in black and white. Cherry at 00.18 appears to engage our sensibilities and intimate her wish that we ( I ) should join too, with kindly gestures and outstretched arms. Then at 00.32 she turns to watch her sister and cousin, and show us what treats are in store, after which her surprised look back to camera, then at 00.36 her knowing glance in our direction and beckoning head movement towards Babs and Ruth- the party has now really begun. In the sequence where three are sat on stage and employing such mannered arm movements, Cherry is the quietest, but none the less so knowing and mature all the same. And then again Cherry with her long sequence from 02.00- 02.14 moves so effortlessly well, but most noticeable is the superbly pronounced head toss at 02.13 with her long dark hair reaching an endearing crescendo in height, then cascading like a waterfall behind her. Louise at 00.38 gives us another of her captivating smiles as she and Dee Dee encourage us, if further encouragement was now needed, to enter the spirit of the occasion, but I am there already, won over by what has gone before. Then she looks at her most heart-rendingly beautiful at 01.02- 01.04 as she crosses her hands over her chest, followed by such a dainty and shy smile towards me this time at 01.10. Oh Louise- you give us the most lovely eye movement at 01.49, as you make circular motions with your left hand, then such a gorgeous smile at 01.51, as you do the same with your right hand. And you cap it all at 02.00 with signs of a deep inward sigh- and I am totally and utterly hooked. And that haughty look towards us at 02.23 as you peel away to join the others. More joy! Which continues at 02.44 as her skirt sways so much more than the rest, as they perform the final piece. Dee Dee I find at her persuasive best as she purses her lips as Ruth performs magnificently behind, at 00.44, and engages me some more with her broad warm smile at 01.04. Then her playful nose-touching as she closes and opens her eyes with gorgeous effect from 01.39. To which may be added her winsome smile at 02.23, and not forgetting her movement across the screen at 02.34 as the final denouement commences and the real party begins. Ruth, as mentioned, as she waits to enter, then as she does with her swaying as though a pear hanging from a tree blown by a gentle breeze. And the wondrous joy when she throws a devilish look in our direction and lifts up her skirt to reveal her stockings and suspenders, at 00.34. Yes, great joy! A feature repeated about 02.40 as Ruth lifts her skirt again in an exaggerated, but wonderful, manner higher than the others. A move I like a lot! Both Dee Dee and Louise produce such warm and engaging smiles to each other at 00.50, as the camera moves in to show Ruth in close exultation. Then paired once again at 02.21, they produce their loving smiles and wave their calling-on fingers in our direction, the climax has now been reached. Wherever you may look the members as showing us everything we need to see. To choose one from a team of equals is a conundrum for even the sharpest of minds, for us who are not, it is a torture. But that does not mean I will not make the effort. There is one among the equals who draws my attention a little more than her siblings. To whom an award for her beauty and talent is forever demanded, and thus rewarded.
DOTD- Louise- Thou fairest of Maidens. Louise- Thine embodiment of spiritual beauty will endure everlasting. Louise- Thy grace and majesty shall not fade before the glory of the Kingdom Come. Louise- The hottest temptress in all Christendom.
Routine- 9/10. A carnival of delights. What we be your ideal party? Would five gorgeous ladies such as these feature in that vision? If we spent a night in New Orleans during Mardi Gras would these events really happen? I think they would, as I was there and the spectacle convinces. Anyone who can believe in such beauty would think the same.