A DAMP Sunday afternoon in Weston-Super-Mare is hardly the ideal time and place to whip up an audience reaction to an entertainment that stems from that most iconic of passionate dances, The Tango.
That was the daunting task facing Strictly Come Dancing regular of seven series Vincent Simone and his company of dancers, plus one talented vocalist and violinist Irini Pericleous.
Apart from Irini, the music was well recorded and produced canned, and the scenery, which has to be transported to 38 different venues between March and November, was (by necessity) only basic. Colourful costumes helped to improve the look of the production, and to show off the whole raison d’etre for coming to the Playhouse, to see the passionate rhythms of the Tango brought to life by the fully committed dancers.
Leading the charge was Simone, one minute full of fire taking us back to the native African and Cuban roots of the Tango, the next reminding us that waltz and polka rhythms were also part of the inspiration as the dance evolved from its working-class roots into the main stream of society. To help him on his way there was a passionate story told wholly in dance, not a word spoken, but as clear to follow as any dialogue.
As you would expect from a story inspired by the Tango, there were themes of good and evil, romance and wicked temptation running through. Paula Duarte, while never short of passion, supplied the good and romantic side of the story, with Victoria Martin bringing all the fire and temptation of a silent screen vamp to the wicked lady. When Paula and Victoria combined with Alexandra Wood, they brought a beauty to the dance that was more than just a match for the power generated by Simone, Guillermo Torrens and Giraldo E Diomar. Alexandra and Guillermo also brought a lovely sense of true love to their relationship, while Giraldo, who had a fascinating rather different style solo dance, lived more dangerously making advances to the vamp.
Al this combined dance and musical talent ensured that the audiences’ thoughts were focused on the warm climate and passionate dance rhythms of Argentina, rather than that damp afternoon in North Somerset.
If you missed it at Weston, you can catch up with Tango Passions on 17th March at the Paignton Palace Theatre, 18th March at Christchurch Regent Theatre, 19th March at Exmouth Pavilion, 21st March at Taunton Brewhouse, 22nd March at Swindon Wyvern Theatre or on 23rd March at Bristol’s Redgrave Theatre.