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Video: Midnight Tango is strictly sexy

PUBLISHED: 10:29 04 July 2011

Midnight Tango

Midnight Tango

Manuel Harlan, Manuel Harlan

Passions will be rising at Norwich Theatre Royal next week when Strictly Come Dancing stars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace take to the stage in the spectacular new show Midnight Tango. EMMA LEE meets them.

It’s known as one of the most sexy forms of dance - so pulses will definitely be racing when Midnight Tango arrives at the Theatre Royal.

Set in the dance’s spiritual home, Buenos Aires, the new show stars Strictly Come Dancing favourites Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace.

Fans of the Saturday night glitter-and-fake-tan fest, in which celebrities get a crash course in Latin and ballroom dancing, will know that the pair’s passion is the tango.

And, as Vincent explains, they jumped at the chance to co-create a show which celebrates their favourite dance.

“It’s something we always wanted to do, to have our own show. Last year we got approached by the producer Adam Spiegel, who has done lots of shows in the West End,” he says.

Midnight Tango has a great pedigree - it is co-produced by former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips.

And the pair worked on the dance routines with one of the biggest names in the dance world, Karen Bruce, who has choreographed a host of hit shows, including Footloose, which recently returned to the Theatre Royal.

“We tried not to have the normal, ordinary tango show. What we came up with between me, Flavia and Karen Bruce is to come up with a story set in a bar in Argentina. I’m not going to say what the story is because I want people to come and see it. In my opinion it’s more like a musical,” says Vincent.

“It’s quite a unique show,” adds Flavia. “The feedback we’ve had is that it’s very, very different to what people are expecting. “We’ve got a beautiful set - it’s set in a bar in Buenos Aires. And we have a live orchestra. We play characters in the show and there’s two storylines to follow - it’s not one couple dancing and then another couple dancing. There’s moments of comedy and it goes quite deep as well - there’s moments of sadness, a little bit of everything. I think even if you’re not a dance fanatic you can still come and enjoy it,” she says.

They’re unanimous in their admiration for Karen Bruce. “Karen has choreographed some of the biggest shows - everyone knows her, in the dance world knows who Karen Bruce is,” says Vincent. “She’s just amazing. We’ve worked with her on Strictly - there we saw how professional she is and for us it was essential to have someone like her on board.”

And, as Flavia explains, they were definitely all on the same page when it came to knowing what they wanted the show to be.

“We were very excited about working with her. And we got on great - we have a recurring joke that me and her end up saying the same thing at the same time. We think along the same lines, which is why it works. It’s been brilliant working with her,” says Flavia.

They’re also unanimous in their love for the tango. “I think it’s the beautiful music,” says Favia, audibly swooning. “We love tango music, it’s very very different to other styles - we get carried away by it. It’s a pleasure to choreograph.”

“As soon as I hear tango music I get goosebumps,” adds Vincent. “You can live the story within the music. And the tango is a beautiful dance.”

Vincent and Flavia both started dancing at an early age. Vincent grew up in Italy and Flavia in Guilford. The pair met when Vincent had moved to the UK and was looking for a dance partner and he was matched up with Flavia, who also needed a dance partner.

He comes from a family of dancers - his parents are both professional teachers and his student sister teaches street dance, hip hop and aerobics in her spare time.

“I don’t think I chose to dance - I feel that dance chose me,” he says. “When I was little we used to have lots of parties and I remember that I used to perform in my own style to pop music and my family gathering around me. I was what they call a show off!

“A teacher saw the talent in me, and I just kept dancing,” he says.

It was a similar story for Flavia, who has been dancing since she was five. “I never really decided I wanted to be a dancer, it just gradually happened,” she says.

The couple joined Strictly Come Dancing’s team of on-screen professionals in 2006 - and both have been runners up in the competition. In 2008 Vincent and his then dance partner, former S Clubber Rachel Stevens, lost out to Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup in the final, despite their smouldering Argentine tango.

Of course the countdown is on to the new series of Strictly. “We start [rehearsals] in August, just the professionals, putting forward ideas for potential numbers. I don’t know who will be taking part - it’s all secret,” says Vincent.

■ Midnight Tango is at Norwich Theatre Royal from July 4-9, £32.50-£6.50, 01603 630000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk www.midnighttango.co.uk

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