Theatre Interview: Flavia Cacace, The Last Tango, Empire Theatre, Liverpool

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Image Source: Burton Mail

Written By: Mark Armstrong

With more than 20 years of professional dancing experience, Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone have become one of the most notable dancing couples, having starred in several theatre shows and Strictly Come Dancing for seven years beforehand. And their latest show Last Tango is about to foxtrot its way into the Liverpool Empire Theatre. To learn more about the show and their careers, we recently spoke to Flavia Cacace, who promises an eye-catching and emotional performance for the Liverpool audience.

Tell us about the Last Tango tour.

We’re on the road at the moment, we’re touring the UK, and Last Tango is our first big production. It’s quite an emotional show, and all of our shows have a story to follow, so we take you on a journey with us. It’s the story of a man called George, who acts almost as an older Vincent (Simone). So basically we take you through his life, from the very first time he met his partner to all the things that happen in his life, all the way to the very end. There are ups and downs that I think people will relate to.

We’ve got a cast of eight other musical theatre dancers and singers who are amazing, and we have a main voice in Teddy Kempner who tells George’s story; he’s been in all three of our productions. We also have an eight-piece orchestra who are incredible. And there are lots of different styles of dancing; we go from jive to foxtrot to Argentine tango, the salsa, the flamenco … there’s a little bit of everything in there as well. So, there’s a lot to see, accompanied by some fabulous music.

When did you and Vincent first begin dancing together?

We’ve danced together now for around 21 years, so it’s been a long time! We were 16 and 17 years old when we partnered up to compete.

When did you both first achieve fame for your dancing?

Well, we were very well-known in what we call the ballroom world. We started competing at a very young age, as we felt we could do very well, so we were already a bit well-known and we were very successful in our own right. Then once we got into television, obviously that’s when we became much more well-known in people’s homes. Later on, a lot of other opportunities came along, and now we’re touring the UK with our own show.

How were you discovered for Strictly Come Dancing?

We were studying the Argentine tango at a studio in Kensington (in London). The studio had a call from the BBC, who were producing Dance Fever at the time (Graham Norton was the presenter). They were looking for a tango couple to perform with one of the live music acts, so the people that spoke to them put our names forward and we met up with the BBC. We sent them a tape of us dancing, and in the end, we did several performances for Dance Fever over the course of four years with various different music acts.

And then one year, the last year that we did Dance Fever, the BBC producer came to us (she had recently become their new producer), and she told us that she was producing Strictly Come Dancing that year and asked us whether we would like to take part. We’d achieved pretty much everything that we’d wanted to in the world of competitive dancing, so we were ready to move on, and so that’s how we got involved in Strictly.

Did you both enjoy Strictly during your time on the show (2006-2012)?

It was an amazing experience. It’s a fantastic show which is watched by millions, and we were very lucky and privileged to be a part of it, and to have been there when it was growing and becoming bigger and more popular. We have lots of great memories from those seven years on Strictly.

What has been your favourite routine to perform together?

Oh, gosh! It would be absolutely impossible to pick. We’re often asked what our favourite dance is, and what routine is our favourite. We’ve been so lucky to be able to dance to so many amazing songs. When we were younger, we had a wish list of songs that we used to listen to, so for example we would practice choreographing to them. And now obviously with our shows, and the performances that we’ve done, we’ve been able to make that a reality. So, there are so many different numbers that we love in the show and in the past shows that it would be impossible to pick.

I think our favourite dance, or at least mine, is the Argentine tango. I love the tango music. Obviously, I love them all as I’ve done them for many, many years, but I think the tango has a special place for me.

What should the audience expect from Last Tango?

It’s an emotional show, so come prepared! We’ve had many people who were a bit teary-eyed at the end of the show and during the show. It’s not just a show for dance fanatics, because there’s the main story to follow, we’ve got a beautiful set designed by Morgan Large who designed all of our other sets as well (for Dance ‘Til Dawn and Midnight Tango), and we’ve got amazing music (and it’s a real variety of music). So, there’s something for everybody; you don’t have to be a pure dance fanatic to come and enjoy the show. And obviously we’re in it; we’ve got an amazing cast, and we’re thrilled at the fantastic response we’re having on tour. We’re really happy that people have enjoyed all three of our shows, because that’s why we do them. So, we hope to see lots of people in Liverpool, as it’s a great city and we’re looking forward to coming again.

Last Tango plays the Liverpool Empire Theatre from Monday April 4 to Wednesday April 6. To book your tickets, click here.

For more information about Last Tango, visit www.thelasttangotour.co.uk.