From the very first touch to the very last laugh, The Last Tango waltzes through the journey of a couple from strangers to lovers. Although this spectacle is a bit difficult to categorize in terms of a theatrical form, as it is neither a musical nor a play nor a ballet, it could be understood as an accessible dance showcase. The Last Tango is heavily dependent on the appeal of the lead dancers Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace who are the starlets of Strictly Come Dancing and due to this, the narrative of the night seems to be very straightforward, simplistic and predictable.
The premise of the narrative basically draws upon an old man’s ( Teddy Kempner) nostalgic stream of consciousness as he rummages through paraphernalia in his attic. Although the set designed by Morgan Large invokes the feeling of the 1950’s in terms of the high ceiling lights accompanied by vintage metal signs that form the overarching framework of the stage. The lighting designed by James Whiteside maintains tones of a subtle yellow that helps the audience rewind into the iconic moments of British social history.
Although the narrative of the couple is the foundation of this show, the impeccable ensemble cast of dancers is equally prevalent as they add a celebratory fervour. Karen Bruce, the director and co-choreographer seems to have included the ensemble in such a way that their prowess is noted and not overshadowed alongside the leading dancers.
Although the title suggests an overdose of Tango and other forms of South American partner dancing but it turns out that it was more like an episode of Strictly because you get glimpses into different forms such as Viennese waltz, freestyle jazz and jive.
“You’ll be sashaying in the aisles and dancing in the streets!”