Director: Karen Bruce
Choreographer: Karen Bruce, Flavia Cacace, Vincent Simone
Reviewer: Naomi Stevens
A trip down Memory Lane is in store for audiences heading to see The Last Tango. In a final touring production, world champion dancers Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace showcase a variety of dances via a simple yet beautiful story of two people in love. Supported by a small ensemble of talented dancers and singers, the movement hardly stops except to be shown the thoughts of an elderly man (Teddy Kempner) as he sorts through his attic and reminisces as each item brings back a moment in time.
Those moments are then recreated using Simone and Cacace (who represent the old man and his partner), the ensemble and, of course, a faultless orchestra. The soundtrack whisks the audience through the 1930s, 1940s and beyond and much of it is supported by the smooth vocals of Matthew Gent. The story flows nicely; a basic set is used throughout – the use of props and furniture setting the scene rather than lavish backdrops.
While the ex-Strictly Come Dancing professionals are foot perfect, on occasion the ensemble appear a little out of sync with one another. On the whole, though they are entertaining and there is no doubt they all dance to a very high standard. On top of this, they all provide vocals through several musical numbers, including A Bushel and A Peck and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, showing there is more to their talents. The three co- choreographers (Bruce, Cacace and Simone) have made full use of the stage and been creative with the routines.
The costumes reflect the time period and location so are perhaps not the most glitzy for a dance production, however, this does not matter as they are appropriate for carrying the story And there are plenty of changes so each dance looks fresh. As the audience sees the relationship bloom between the lovers it is taken through good and bad times using the Charleston, waltzes and, of course, the dance synonymous with Cacace and Simone, the Argentine Tango. Containing a whirlwind of ganchos, feet seem to be flying everywhere and it is almost surprising that neither of them are,of course, this is what they do best and it certainly does not fail to impress. Unfortunately, the story is such that it does not really allow for a few more of these incredible tangos to be slotted in – a minor point but a little disappointing.
The production is more of an emotional goodbye than a final flourish, the audience being moved to tears rather than dancing off into the sunset, though the final dance is simply stunning and worth waiting for The Last Tango is an entertaining evening out but is unlikely to stick in the memory for long once the show is over.
Runs until Saturday 6 February 2016 | Image: Manuel-Harlan