Hotchpotch Tango Lacks Continuity
Phil Hopkins, Arts & Travel Editor
When a show is entitled 'Tango Moderno' with the veiled promise of Strictly overload, somehow you don't expect to see a shopping trolley, lawnmower and a Guinness Book of Records violinist on stage!
This latest offering by Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace, long-time darlings of the Beeb's hit show, was missing two things; firstly Vincent, who had injured himself, and secondly something resembling sequential structure.
I am informed by the duo's website that their previous production, Midnight Tango, was hailed as 'a triumph' by the Daily Telegraph, another, Dance Till Dawn, was 'utterly unmissable' and yet a third, The Last Tango, was a 'fabulous must see'.
I must go because THIS ONE wasn't any of those although 'entertaining' with a hard-working troupe of classically trained dancers, most of whom were from the jazz, ballet and modern disciplines rather than ballroom and Latin
It was a real mixed-up hotchpotch and I was left wondering what the hell I'd just watched; a narrator talking about 'life' in rhyme, a Blue Peter record breaking violinist playing Rimsky Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee faster than anyone else on earth - because he could - and a loved-up couple mooning at each other whilst washing up in yellow Vileda gloves.
But every show has its merits and this one was no exception.
Violinist Oliver Lewis was breath-taking, and the dancers presented themselves as a solid troupe that, in many respects, held a flimsy show together. And I loved the understated excellence of Leonel Di Cocco, Flavia's superb tango partner in the final dance, Pasquale La Rocca less so.
For me, this felt like one production too many. If the previous offerings achieved such critical acclaim - personally I have not seen them - then efforts to wring yet more joy from the public may have fallen on stony ground.
When the tango banks are empty then filling a show with a variety of styles, often unrelated to South American Latin technique, is fine, so long as you give the show an appropriate title otherwise it create false expectation.
Tango Moderno was a vehicle for Vincent and Flavia but, with one absent, and the other entering and exiting the stage in an erratic array of dance artistry, bolstered by street and modern dance, did not work, even though the dancers themselves were top dollar.
The performers were par excellence, the production wasn't. Never confuse the two!
Until Saturday 11th November 2017
Hotchpotch Tango Lacks Continuity, 8th November 2017, 10:42 AM