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Midnight Tango – Liverpool Empire

Director: Karen Bruce

Choreographers: Vincent Simone, Flavia Cacace

Reviewer: Stephanie Rowe

[Rating:4]

“Tango born as a social dance – an improvised conversation created in the instant by two people, as a private moment in a crowded space.” This is the introduction to Midnight Tango in the program by Christine Denniston and so we prepare ourselves for a night of sizzling dance and sexuality.

From BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace have broken free to bring us an insight into the Tango, from its flash beginnings and Argentinian roots. Buenos Aires went from being a city of a few thousand people to one of over a million when immigrants flooded into Argentina, the majority of them men, single woman were few and far between and the only way a man could hold a woman in his arms was through dance and the dance of the Buenos Aires woman was the Tango, a dance the men had to learn if they were to succeed in wooing a woman.

Set in a Argentinian bar, Midnight Tango promises to be a lavish somewhat flamboyant affair with a live band playing in the background, Table and chairs placed around the stage to be used as props, a balcony where some of the dancing takes place and a stocked bar that has more bottles than an off license. The set designed by Morgan Large gives the theatre a real atmosphere, smoothly sliding alongside is the lighting by James Whiteside which proves to be the perfect partner.

Everything about Midnight Tango is about creating an air of authenticity, a small weave of storyline is threaded through to give the piece a through line, however Midnight Tango is all about the dancing and you won’t be let down. Flavia and Vincent were welcomed onto stage much to the delights of a packed out Liverpool Empire, and they didn’t disappoint, there is a tangible chemistry between these two consummate professionals, everything from the poise, the prolonged looks and the vigorous choreography; their movements were swift, sharp and flawless, their lines so straight you could balance water on them, this was pure unadulterated sex in dance form.

Miguel Angel ups the heat with his smooth sultry voice; unfortunately we couldn’t always hear what he was singing at the back of the auditorium, a better sound balance could help the show no end.

Director Karen Bruce creates a high octane show, one that soars with sensuality and sizzles with passion, you can almost smell the sexual tension between the performers. There is credibility and authenticity in that the show is performed in the native tongue however one would have liked to have understood what was being said/sung. Despite a couple of niggles, Midnight Tango is pure entertainment and will surely sweep you off your feet.

Runs until Tuesday 26th June 2012 (continuing with a tour around the UK)

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