Touring – reviewed at New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace’s latest show is fast, energetic and entertaining – with only a few moments which don’t quite flow as well as they could.
It is no secret that dancers put a huge amount of strain on their bodies to deliver a high-quality show which is why it was saddening if not altogether surprising that Vincent Simone had done himself an injury and was unable to perform last night. But the show must go on and what a show it was.
Although as the title suggests, the main focus is on tango, in Tango Moderno there was plenty of variety in terms of blending other styles of dance into the show to make it a highly entertaining celebration of dance and how it can be used effectively to tell a story.
Set in an ordinary neighbourhood with a range of different characters, Karen Bruce’s production is formed of a love story of two characters who are apparently unsuccessful in love and have to be guided along the way to finding each other. Surrounding this, the audience meet other characters with different paths to follow – all told through dance and music to create a warmly affectionate show.
Through Bruce’s production and choreography (co-choreographed by Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace), there is no denying that this is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the tango that is sharply performed by all of the cast, with the real treat at the end of Cacace and Leonel Di Cocco’s magnificent tango finale.
What is also surprising is the selection of music, which for the most part is contemporary and how it fits into help to drive the choreography and the story forward effectively – including a sequence danced to ‘Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha’ all about today’s fascination with internet dating or using apps to find the one and a perky rendition of ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’. Singers Tom Parsons and Rebecca Lisweski delivered great vocals throughout but particularly during ‘ A House is Not A Home’ and ‘7 Years’ – the emotion conveyed really well all the way through to the dance.
But there were excellent performances to be found everywhere, with the cast of dancers brimming with personality and confidence that allows the audience to have a great time. Flavia Cacace’s performance was elegant and graceful throughout as seen during the routines for ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ and ‘Obviously’ for example. Meanwhile, she was joined on stage by Leonel Di Cocco (tango expert) and Pasquale La Rocca (ballroom) – both equally strong and charismatic in their own ways, ensuring that the audience were given a high quality performance.
The only slight issue with the show is that at times it feels as though it takes time for the dancing to get going and to set the scene that can make the production feel slightly clunky in places and can take some of the energy out of the show.
However, this is still a strong and entertaining production that should delight fans of Strictly Come Dancing or even those who want to become potential dancers in the future. High quality fun.
Tango Moderno continues to perform at the New Victoria Theatre until the 4th November before continuing to tour. . To book tickets visit: ATG Tickets.