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Tango Moderno review

Vincent and Flavia’s latest dance show is an honest crowd-pleaser.

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace in Tango Moderno Credit: Manuel Harlan
Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace in Tango Moderno Credit: Manuel Harlan

Hot off BBC television’s Strictly Come Dancing, favourite dancing duo Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone arrive at Leeds Grand Theatre with their latest showcase, Tango Moderno.

Following a similar format to their previous productions, Tango Moderno’s focus is primarily dance routines brought together with a simple narrative, supported with strong musical accompaniment and well-furnished visuals.

Tango Moderno’s theme is the gameplay of love – particularly digital courtship in the 2010s. A series of inspired routines tell the story of how boy meets girl, girl leaves boy, girl meets girl etc. It’s all very friendly and light, with Vincent and Flavia sweeping through the action as virtual spirit guides – sprinkling a bit of magic on the drama and gently influencing events.

Choreography from Karen Bruce is often ingenious and utilises a number brilliant gags, using the horrors of modern courtship as inspiration. A hilarious routine based on Tinder dating is played out through a cheeky showstopper, providing a catalogue of comical vignettes to allow the full cast to showcase their dancing talents.

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace with the company of Tango Moderno. Credit: Manuel Harlan.

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace with the company of Tango Moderno. Credit: Manuel Harlan.

Music comes courtesy of a live band, directed by Jonathan Taylor. As expected for a dance show, the arrangement is brightly percussive and addictive, offering fresh takes on old classics such as Faith and A House is Not a Home. A standout fiddle solo of Flight of the Bumblebee comes courtesy of Oliver Lewis, in a pointed study of the life of a modern busker.

Vocal accompaniment comes from James Bennett and Rebecca Lisweski, knitting together the loose narrative with some lilting poetry by Richard Marsh. Bennett anchors the show with an adaptable and engaging style, whilst Lisweski showcases a bravura vocal range to provide plenty of camp theatricality.

Fundamentally, audiences will come to Tango Moderno to see their favourite dancing couple. Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone take centre stage for a good two-thirds of the show, delivering an outstanding standard of dance and tango across several musical genres. From disco to R’n’B and jazz, Cacace and Simone integrate tango motifs throughout choreography which breathes with chemistry, elegance and sensuality.

Tango Moderno is an evenly-paced and well-devised production, which constantly entertains with more than enough magical moments to delight fans and engage casual viewers. A good old-fashioned and honest crowd pleaser with more than a sprinkle of stardust.

Cast: Flavia Cacace, Vincent Simone, James Bennett, Rebecca Lisewski. Directed by: Karen Bruce Written by: Richard Marsh Theatre: Leeds Grand Theatre Duration: 100 minutes Dates: Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14 April 2018.

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