THEME FROM SHAFT - NIGHT CLUB
Original Broadcast Date: 20/11/1972
Troupe: Pans People
Dancers: Andrea, Babs, Dee Dee, Flick, Louise & Ruth
Link: http://www.oneforthedads.org.uk/?p=2611 ____________________________________________________________________________________
It’s Monday 20th November 1972. The BBC spent a lot of the day celebrating the Queen and Prince Philip’s 25th wedding anniversary. I hope they both remembered! They were a nice couple, although their kids were a bit irritating. I wonder what became of them! Then later in the evening it was time for another episode of the exciting new quiz show, 'Mastermind'. Over on BBC2, Pans People appeared in a show called 'Night Club'.
Night Club was an international cabaret show. Most weeks it was hosted in London, but this particular episode was from Munich and was presented by Pete Murray. I'm assuming that it must have been recorded quite a long time before transmission as Flick had given up dancing quite some time before, and Andrea had also left Pans People by this time.
The Shaft was an action film released in 1971. The soundtrack album recorded by Isaac Hayes won a Grammy award and ‘Theme From Shaft‘ won the Academy Award for best original song. It topped the US Billboard chart and reached No.4 in the UK. It is also a tune that I like.
This performance is a fairly recent and very welcome addition to the blog. It was supplied by a bloke called Gaz, who I have never met but I like him all the same. It is such a shame that so much footage from 1972 no longer survives. We see plenty of Emma Peel type action poses and the whole routine has a slow motion and stop start feel to it which I think suits the music well. It is quite long at three and a half minutes. Flick & Louise catch my eye the most. I always enjoy watching Flick dance. I think she had a real screen presence. There is no doubt that this would be a lot better in colour but I still find it quite enjoyable and I am happy to award it 8.25 out of 10.
These pictures are lovely - thanks for sharing them out. I remember the TOTP version and it was very similar to this one. They looked very "stern". It is a really difficult song to dance to but I fell in love with it. Someone did a high kick in the air and it was just beautiful where the backing singers sang "shaft".
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
I'm afraid this is not high in my play list, in part because of the music. Of course that orchestra could even have murdered K.525 while this piece should have been buried even before it reached the recording studio. Flick certainly comes up with an appropriately trite routine which, together with the ladies outfits, and the pretend fat cats sitting around the club drinking overpriced dishwater, completes the now very dated picture. For one brief second it looked as though Flick was contemplating cutting loose and abandoning the stooping gait. I wish she had done so. As it stands this was a very long way from conquering and just a (generous) 2.
Hmmm.... I do like the well-balanced hair-colour-contrasting trouser-suited 3-on-3 concept and the moves are consistent with a crime drama too. Here come the buts though; the sub-Philharmonic Orchestra does get on your nerves and the dance gets a bit bogged down with all that pointing and crouching behaviour and the B&W and fuzziness doesn't do us any favours as I think the close-ups and big hair would have had some of us swooning a bit otherwise. Although any original six dance is precious I must admit I've only watched this a few times and that counter is not likely to increase much any time soon so I'm giving 4/10 for a Dance I value mainly for historical reasons. Louise would have got my DotD if it were available and if anyone at all was interested; she has some lovely poses in this.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Very interesting..... two quite high scores and two very low scores. Could this be our first assault on the turkey table or will it soar up the rankings?
Those of you yet to rate this have the power to decide.
I think the footage here is rather nice, of course significant in being probably one of Flicks last recordings before moving behind the scenes to focus purely on being the choreographer. It does take a while to get going, all that crouching stuff!, but at least we get a few close ups before the main part. It then plays nicely on the dramatic side of the music with the orchestra with some overemphasised movements, and a kind of stop-start flow, although never getting to anything too taxing. Like the suits too, i think 7/10 is fair.
♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥. If there's a cure for this I don't want it.
A nice find as I love the Theme from Shaft. Instantly recognisable piece of music and probably better remembered than the movie itself. I rather like the crouching action poses at the beginning which leaves the viewer in no doubt that Shaft is a full-blooded crime thriller. It also gives the opportunity for some nice close-ups. The picture is admittedly grainy and at first I mistook Dee Dee for Louise. But of course given the vintage and the wholesale wipings going on at the time, we are lucky to have this at all.
I made a guess at the colour of the trouser-suits and decided on deep red and pale pink. No doubt someone will tell me they were green and yellow! After the introductions not a lot happens so I can't really go beyond a five sorry.
I like the trouser suits, and the dance sequence itself is ok. However, the band, competent musicians they may be, lack the soul factor, and the music doesn’t match the edginess that he dancers are trying to convey.
Thanks to Gaz for recovering this performance, but the quality is not brilliant – there’s more haze than Isaac ever had
With all the mystique brought about by the opening appearance to this routine, the disappointment is that Pan's People perform no magic tricks, for that's what the music and moves conjure up for me. It's all very cagey though and what the dance gains in tension, it loses in progression. Through the b&w 'Hayes', the blonde/brunette symmetry works well and, from a distance, the only way to separate Andrea from Babs is by the parts atop their heads. Some of the latter part symmetry is not as tight the cut of those jackets but although neither fireworks nor rabbits are produced, a real curiosity of a routine is.
Unfortunately, it does drag a tad.
I find all these nonTOTP items most interesting as they give a glimpse into the life of the dancers away from the BBC. Whilst no where near top drawer I feel that a 7 would be reasonable. I am comparing this with something like the clapping song which is better preserved but no more entertaining, and since you ask I have not looked at my view on that title.
Thank you for digging out this rare item.
Tragic that this was wiped when it was on Top of the Pops, so I feel very lucky that we get to see Pan's People dance to a song which maybe isn't something that can be the best to at the beginning, but they have done an amazing job which makes this one a very pleasant few minutes. Great job!
Today this stealthy routine might figuratively be taken for a stake out with the mystery villains who shafted so much of their work that year. And in its own time the choreography suits the music well but the suits form part of a list of negatives. I don't like the masculine attire, obviously the murky monochrome drags it down, the music itself sounds bogged down in a mire and when it does break into a semblance of life the risen positions don't inject any verve, and it's just heavy going staying the course of something that doesn't arrest me in the first place.
Thanks indeed to Gaz but this time I'll pass on what Vegemite's left in the jar, it's way past its sell-by date. 3.5/10