Image © Manuel Harlan
Opera House, Manchester
Until Saturday 21st October, 2017
Back in November 2015, Strictly Come Dancing stars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace arrived at the Opera House, Manchester to kick off what was to be their third and final theatre production, The Last Tango; a show billed as their ambitious and moving farewell to the stage.
Nearly two years later however, the pair are back at that same venue with an intense and scintillating new stage show, Tango Moderno, though due to injury, Vincent has unfortunately been forced to withdraw from performances for the time being.
That news was of course met with disappointment from the doting, female-heavy audience, though with replacements in the form of Italian World Latin Championship representative, Pasquale La Rocca and Brazilian Tango master, Leonel Di Cocco, they needn’t have worried.
Like previous Vincent and Flavia shows, Tango Moderno is again driven by a clever narrative, here centred around the struggles of life and relationships in a modern, technology dependent world, with Flavia and co. acting as cupid-style figures to a variety of hopeful millennials.
Set against an urban backdrop of concrete apartments and metal stairwells, director Karen Bruce’s pulsing production is an intoxicating fusion of the traditional and the modern, merging elements of contemporary physical theatre, jazz and street-dance with traditional latin and ballroom styles.
A dynamic and committed ensemble make short work of the high octane routines, all set to an eclectic soundtrack performed live by the outstanding vocal pairing of Tom Parsons and Rebecca Lisweski.
Unsurprisingly Flavia is on stunning form and delivers another magnetic performance, exuding fluidity, professionalism and grace. The contrasting personas of the charismatic La Rocca and the brooding Di Cocco are effectively balanced, though having both been drafted in at short notice their chemistry with Flavia understandably lacked a sense of intimacy from time to time. That said however, exceptional levels of technique and athleticism from both more than compensate. To quote Flavia’s introductory speech, they both do an excellent job at stepping into Vincent’s tiny shoes.
Musical Director Jonathan Taylor leads a superb live band, though special mention must go to violin virtuoso (and former Guinness World Record holder for World’s Fastest Violinist) Oliver Lewis, who brings an earthy and gritty timbre to a blistering performance.
Running Time: 1 hours and 50-minutes (approx.), including one 20-minute interval.
Final Performance at the Opera House, Manchester: Saturday 21st October, 2017
For more information, and to book tickets, please Click Here.