Latest Review – The Last Tango [Opera House, Manchester] [UK Tour]

[Image By Manuel Harlan]


Opera House, Manchester

Until Saturday 14 November, 2015

After two decades of dancing together, and fresh from their sell-out hit shows Midnight Tango and Dance ‘Til DawnStrictly Come Dancing favourites and World Dance title-holders Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace now bid goodbye to the stage with their ambitious and moving farewell show, The Last Tango, opening at the Opera House, Manchester last night ahead of an extensive UK tour.

The show offers an incredibly polished showcase of world class Latin and Ballroom dance, led by Vincent and Flavia, and featuring an exceptional dance ensemble, top notch vocalists and a faultless live band, the latter under the impassioned baton of Musical Director, Steve Geere. Understandably this is the Flavia and Vincent show, however it never feels like it; it’s a very unselfish production from the two stars who ultimately feel more like featured dancers, never intentionally stealing attention and fully allowing the young ensemble to share in the limelight.

The action centres around an older man, sat up in his dusty old attic, sorting through old boxes and looking back through the various objects and artefacts from his past, as his younger self (Simone) presents flashbacks of his passionate and inevitably moving relationship with the love of his life (Cacace), opening with a blossoming young seaside romance sometime around the 1930s and moving through the years from marriage to his conscription, offering glimpses of all the highs and unfortunate lows in between and following.

Simone and Cacace once again prove themselves a faultless pair, effortlessly oozing seductive passion, emotion and breathtaking professionalism with their razor sharp technique, sensuality and unflinching natural chemistry. The title of the show may seem a little misleading for some as it could be seen to indicate an exclusive evening of tango, however that is not the case. Yes the tango may be the pair’s specialist discipline, and yes the closing Argentine Tango following the curtain call – the eponymous ‘Last Tango’ – is one of the finest and most dynamic pieces of dance I can ever recall seeing, but the show is perfectly balanced with other gentler dance forms to add variety and maintain the interest and focus of the audience.

It is, all in all, a sublime evening’s theatre, and if this is indeed to be the pair’s ultimate farewell to the stage then it is a suitably fitting tribute to two remarkable dancers at the very top of their game.

Vocalist Matthew Gent must be given special mention for his superb renditions of songbook favourites Beyond The Sea, Magic Moments, When I Fall In Love, and, perhaps most impressively, Autumn Leaves.

Running Time: 1 hour 50 minutes (approx.), including one 20-minute interval.

Final Performance at the Opera House, Manchester: Saturday 14 November, 2015.

For more information, and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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