I’ve been tango-ed: Vincent and Flavia, diminutive stars of Strictly Come Dancing, have brought their new show Dance ’til Dawn to De Montfort Hall and it is stunning.
With a glamorous 1940s Hollywood setting, Dance ‘til Dawn embraces cliché with gusto and has an endearing, self-deprecating charm (burnt out private detective with a drink problem, a murder, compromising photos and all that jazz). Exchanges between PD Dubrowski (Teddy Kempner) and blonde bombshell Lana Clemenza (Abbie Osmon) provide some amusing asides.
This was a show of two halves: frantic, fast-paced routines in Act 1 but a slower and more emotionally charged feel after the interval. The quickstep ‘chase’ number in the early part of the show was particularly clever, perfectly evoking a classic chase sequence from many a movie of the era.
Whilst Vincent and Flavia occasionally dance with other members of the company it is when they dance together that their class and skill shine. Although head and shoulders below their fellow performers in height they are way above in talent, an effortless combination of strength and delicacy. Flavia’s incredible poise and precision and Vincent’s quiet power (with thankfully no hint of his on screen egotistical bravado) make their routines together sublime.
Set and costume changes were expertly done by the company, seamless in execution and with comedic touches. The Voice (Oliver Darley) added Hollywood style to many of the songs, both a master crooner and king of swing. Sound levels were occasionally suspect with the excellent band sometimes drowning out Lana’s delivery. But that’s a minor point, the dancing tells much of the story and Vincent, Flavia and Karen Bruce’s choreography includes stunning fusions of samba, foxtrot, quick step, tango, paso doble, jive, Charleston – it’s all there. As the recognised experts in Argentine tango there would have been a riot had this not been included and sure enough, their routine was complex, passionate, technically demanding and a beautiful thing to watch.
Dance ‘til Dawn is clever: it doesn’t take itself too seriously yet has been created and performed by professionals who take their work very seriously indeed. This is dancing of the highest standard and even if you don’t know the difference between a fleckle and a foxtrot this is a spectacular show. Score? A perfect ten.
Dance ’til Dawn is at De Montfort Hall 28 – 30 April
Tour information here