Tango Moderno – Review – Bradford Alhambra
Tango Moderno – Review
Bradford Alhambra, November 2017
by Sandra Callard
In the wake of the massively successful BBC television series, Strictly Come Dancing, ballroom dancing, and in particular Latin American dancing, is riding high in the popularity stakes. It is now considered chic and modern to be an ally of ballroom dancing, which not long ago was consigned to the tea dances and weekend forays of the more mature.
Dancers Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, both Italian born, are at the top of their tree as regards the tango, and have moved on from mentoring celebrities in ‘Strictly’. They are now touring in their fourth show of Latin American dancing, Tango Moderno, which shows how the tango, and particularly the classic Argentine tango, has adapted through the years, whilst still maintaining its passionate and sensuous roots.
Their latest tour has, unfortunately hit a massive hitch in that Vincent Simone had to withdraw from the tour on the opening night with a back injury. Potentially disastrous, the show has turned itself around and Simone’s place has been taken by not one, but two, professional Latin American dancers, in the shape of Pasquale La Rocca and Leonel Di Cocco, both vastly experienced dancers of the Argentinian tango.
Flavia Cacace adapts well to her new partners, in an array of seamless dancing that seems to defy all normal physical movement. Her legs seem to be attached at the knees by a mechanical devise that allows them to twist and turn to any angle, and is quite hypnotic to watch. She is a beautiful and graceful dancer whose movements are remarkably balletic.
The show has a narrator, spoken and sung by Tom Parsons, and he does a sterling job of informing us of the differences in each scenario, most of which did seem remarkably similar. Except, of course, for the one depicting a woman’s work, when the dancers came on stage with various pieces of kitchen and garden equipment; grass mower, ironing board, carpet cleaner, cooker, broom and others of the same ilk, dancing with and around them. Not their finest hour.
Cacace danced in turn with her two male partners, always to the tango or the Argentinian tango, and there seemed to be very little differences in each dance, beautiful though they were. They danced exclusively to 21st century music, the highlights being Michael Buble’s ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’, sung brilliantly by dancer/singer Rebecca Lisweski, and ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’, and a real barn-storming rendition by Oliver Lewis on his violin as he gave a masterly performance of Rimsky-Korsacov’s Flight of the Bumble Bee.
No-one could dance to this, obviously, but what a joy to listen to!
The fair number of empty seats perhaps indicated the disappointment felt at the unavoidable absence of Vincent Simone, although two superb tango virtuosos, La Rocco and Di Cocco, fitted in perfectly. This is one for the converted, for ‘Strictly’ fans and for those who either dance themselves or adore to watch a first-rate performance of the tango in all its intricacies.
images: Manuel Harlan