Review: Last tango in Hill Street

Terry Wills reviews the Alexandra Theatre’s production of Midnight Tango.

Midnight Tango

It may be fair to say that when the BBC were considering the format of Strictly Come Dancing they couldn’t have envisaged the depth of popularity it would eventually attain. A seemingly never ending list of well-known personalities, all willing to display undiscovered dancing talents before a panel of experts and millions of TV viewers.

Be that as it may while these did attract viewers, for many it was the skills of the professional dancers for which it will be best remembered. And none more so than Vincent Simone and Flavial Cacace. Latin American tango dancers extraordinaire. For many years they’d been successful in winning a host of championships until  moving on to choreograph Midnight Tango, taking it around the country to thrill and delight sold out audiences wherever they appeared.

That was certainly the case when it arrived at the New Alexandra Theatre. Brilliant dancing, incorporating a storyline that in truth is immaterial because it’s the wonderful dancing that captivated and entranced the audience. The atmospheric set is based in a Buenos Aires downtown bar. At the opening we’re introduced to five couples making their entrance, not in a conventional way but by displaying sharp intricate Ttango skills.

Enter Vincent and Flavia-Flavia, a girl who finds herself in the middle of a dancing duel for her affections. End of story – just sit back and enjoy the fabulous dancing on offer from a very talented cast who are all  brilliant performers in their own right. But when Vincent and Flavia display their faultless routines alone on stage, the audience are left in raptures.

Musically it drifts and incorporates a fusion of dances, from tango and latin to waltzes, but it’s the sharp intricate staccato body movement and footwork that left the audience in raptures. Many of them will have learned to dance at a conventional dance school but could never have envisaged just how very different that was from an Argentinian tango. Swirling skirts, perfect staccato arm and body movements – how times have changed!

Publicity outlets have stressed this will be the final tour of Midnight Tango. Should that be the case then those privileged to have seen this production will have left with fond memories.

But should there be a change of heart then don’t let a possible (but unlikely) second opportunity pass you by. I won’t!

The show ends tonight – Saturday, 11th May

Tickets on the website here.