From the opening cheeky Charleston to the tear-jerking last Tango, this was a night of immersive, compelling and graceful performance dance. With twenty years of dancing together, the time has come for Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace to part ways. In this, their third stage show, they demonstrate why they’ve become one of the most lauded couples in the business.
Following a love story through the ages, the loose narrative never overshadowed the impact and beauty of the choreography. An old man looks back at his relationship with the great love of his life; each defining moment, each treasured memory, marked by a series of sensational dance routines. A clever mix of theatre and musical, it gave the perfect platform for the pair’s wondrous talents.
Co-choreographed with Simone and Cacace and directed by Olivier-Award winner Karen Bruce, The Last Tango was a truly sumptuous, all-singing, all-dancing production. An imaginative set design was brought alive with clever use of lighting, deep shadows and evocative hues filling every scene.
Fans of Strictly Come Dancing, of which surely a few will come to see this, will be thrilled Vicky Gill is in charge of costume design here. The outfits themselves were fabulous, perfectly indicating in which time period each scene was set. There was plenty more for fans of the TV show as well, with elements of all the different styles sprinkled liberally throughout.
Accompanied by live band playing a selection of treasured favourites, Simone and Cacace used every part of the stage in recounting their emotionally charged story. For all the skill they wield, they managed to make everything look effortless. Whilst the focus is obviously on this pair, it’s an even handed and gracious show. Each member of the cast is allowed to shine.
If you ever wondered why this glamorous couple were twice crowned World Champions, the proof is there before your eyes. Thrilling to the last moment, there is the inevitable sadness when you realise this is indeed their last Tango.
The Last Tango runs at Theatre Royal Brighton until Sat 21 Nov, 2015.
Words by Nicky Gilkes
Images by Manuel Harlan