Dance, Tango Moderno

King’s, Glasgow

Mary Brennan, four stars

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THE tremendous whoop of delight that greeted the arrival of Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone on-stage was maybe tinged with a squeak of relief. Simone was injured and out of action at the start of last year’s tour: Edinburgh fans were among the disappointed, even though the show itself is – like the duo’s other boldly imaginative productions – decidedly more than a high end platform for their talents alone.

In cahoots with director/choreographer Karen Bruce, the pair have now conjured up a ‘lonely town, lonely street’ theme for Tango Moderno’s ensemble of young singletons who – thanks to Flavia and Vincent’s playing Cupid – find that love is just a dance away... Cue a lively mix of ballroom styles that also edges onto the street with moments of (valiant) hip hop demonstrating that we’re not channeling nostalgia.

The music choices similarly touch base with the present day, so that songs by Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Rag’n’Bone Man become the freshly appropriate soundtrack to bravura displays of slinky salsa or hot-to-trot tango. Those songs - performed live by the brilliantly versatile Tom Parsons, Rebecca Lisewski and house band – help create an episodic narrative where our millennials seem isolated by the pressures of modern life or indeed by the technologies meant to connect them.

The witty Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha has every dancer glued to their mobile phone, not their flesh and blood partner. When bodies do collide in the same groove, then – with nice touches of humour or sudden tenderness – the cleverly choreographed sparks fly. And never more so than when Flavia and Vincent are in hold, proving all the superlatives that attach to their partnership are actually inadequate: they are breath-taking beyond words, as their final, fiercely intense tango to Oliver Lewis’s gypsy violin

patently, memorably, proves.