Reviewed by Catherine Brown
An evening of ‘Tango Moderno’ starring Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone was so different to how I expected it to be. Imagining that it would be constant show, dance after show dance (as in the Strictly Come Dancing performances you may recognise these world champions from), I was pleasantly surprised to see that the evening was full of variety.
Firstly, the negatives: sadly, due to a back injury Vincent was unable to perform. This did lead to a few groans from the audience. Fortunately, his partner Flavia had a choice of two dancers to stand in for him which they did superbly – not a wrong move in sight. There were also a couple of dances which seemed a little cheesy, a song about nosy neighbours using lawnmowers and shopping trolleys as props missed the mark for me.
That is where the imperfections end; Flavia’s moves were mesmerising and, although she was not on stage as much as I expected, when she was all eyes were on her. We witnessed a selection of tango styles and other dances before a backdrop of a street scene. Humour was interspersed with all the emotions that relationships bring. It gave us all a giggle to see the dancers holding phones to perform Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha! For the traditionalists, there were lots of classic steps and tunes but with a reference to modern day life.
Along with the impressive dancing, the stars of the show were the supporting singers and musicians who gave the night a magical feel. Guinness world record holder Oliver Lewis gave a fantastic violin performance of Flight of the bumblebee. Tom Parsons in particular made the night for me – his recitals of prose and outstanding vocals singing ‘Human’ gave me goose bumps. Other contemporary songs included 7 years and Shape of You leading me to comment that my young son would have enjoyed the evening. These songs were either accompanied by Flavia and one of her partners or the additional dancers telling the story of the songs with their movements.
Tango Moderno is directed by Olivier Award winning choreographer and director Karen Bruce and produced by Adam Spiegel Productions.
The New Alexandra Theatre is always a welcoming place to visit and easy to access in the centre of the city of Birmingham. It is possible to enjoy a drink or snacks in the bar before the show, or if you prefer to wait for the interval, it is easy to order your refreshments using a handy app on your phone.
If you are a fan of dancing or just looking for an entertaining evening with a contemporary twist go and see Tango Moderno, a superb show.
Tickets cost from £20 to £57.50 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Tango Moderno is at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham from 19-23 September 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham or call the box office on 0844 871 3011.
New Alexandra Theatre, Suffolk Queensway, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 4DS