Midnight Tango, Manchester Opera House
In the middle of the rainy streets of Manchester, a fiesta of the heady sounds, sights and rhythms of Buenos Aires can be found. Pounding with energy and sizzling passion, this is Midnight Tango, the dance spectacular that leaves its audience feverish, breathless and dying to flick, spin and tango all the way out of the theatre.
Now touring the country after a hugely successful stint in the West End, Midnight Tango is the brainchild of Strictly Come Dancing stars Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone. Most famous for flinging the likes of Edwina Curry round the dance floor and shooting Russell Grant out of a giant cannon, these former world champion dancers show off a world of dance beyond imagination in this hair-raising show dedicated to the powerfully sensual yet technically intricate Argentine Tango.
The plot is simple, and with no words, reliant entirely on the expression of the dancers. From the breezy flight of first love to the tempestuous rages of jealousy and finally the sombre confessional moments of reconciliation, the extraordinary dancing talent and intelligent choreography carries the whole narrative with striking intensity. The stealthy sophistication of the males with their broad sweeping lines and masculine leadership against the coquettish ladies with their small, sharp, brisk steps made for a tension of passion that was like dynamite.
What was most impressive though was the variety of the show, as I was initially concerned that it was going to be a rather repetitive two hour Bruce Forsyth-free version of Strictly Come Dancing. However, by mixing dance styles, tempos and moods, as well as injecting a good bout of humour with the elderly bar owners Rosa and Carlos, it managed to always deliver something fresh, with each scene becoming more breath-taking than the last. This was all given extra gumption by the fabulous on-stage music of ‘Tango Siempre’ whose captivating rhythms kept me tapping my toes and wanting to dance in the aisles all the way through.
My only suggestion for improvement would be to clone Flavia Cacace, whose raw, sinuous movements, visceral interpretation of the music and stunning legs leave you unable to look at anyone else but her. At just under two hours, this is a relatively short production that leaves you both exhausted from its ceaseless intensity yet continually craving more and more. Midnight Tango is a show that screams ‘wow’ to ever corner of the theatre and is a dance spectacular certainly not to be missed.
Katharine Wootton is a 19-year-old student from Huddersfield, currently studying English literature at the University of York. A dancing fanatic and lover of all things theatrical, she has a real passion for stage writing and reviewing, something which she has been heavily involved in since beginning university. She is hugely excited to be part of A Younger Theatre’s 2012 Edinburgh review team and cannot wait to immerse herself in the Fringe spirit.
She reviewed Midnight Tango at Manchester Opera House. The judges praised her “succinct review which manages to capture a real flavour of the show”.