Theatre Review: Midnight Tango

Midnight Tango Picture
Midnight Tango, starring Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone from Strictly Come Dancing, is a great show from start to finish, from the breathtaking dance scenes right through to the comedy of the two bar owners.

They used every inch of the stage, even an upstairs balcony. There was also a real band. Miguel Angel was the main singer, the theme was Spanish and although I couldn’t understand the words, I was spellbound.

Argentina has a rich history. It might’ve once been overlooked by the Spanish Empire. A great land with good soil, weather and resources. The only thing lacking was workers. The government got people from Europe to come over with offers of free food and housing for the first week. Many came, men outnumbered women sky rocketing the population. The only way they could get dates was through dancing. That dance was the tango. The women loved it and so learning it was a very good idea!

With so many men, women were very choosy. You had to stand out or end up dateless as word would spread around. Talk about tough!

As the men had to practise so much, they became good at teaching, as they learnt both sides (leading and following). Once the tango started spreading through the rest of the world, the craze set it. By 1913 global domination had occurred, only Word War 1 interrupted as communications were lost, leading to the discovery of dances like the foxtrot.

After watching this show, I can see why the tango is so magical. It’s very rare that I’ve enjoyed a show that has no dialogue at all. It’s all music and dancing. But it doesn’t matter, the music is the language. I wanted to get yup and dance on the stage with them. The songs were so rich in flavour and depth. Like a strong espresso, you are left buzzed.

The most famous of the songs was ‘Sway’ which the likes of Michael Buble have covered plus in 1999 a group called Shaft did the same.

The main story is there’s a fight for the fair hand of Flavia’s character Sofia. Vincent’s character Pablo loves Sofia but he gets a rival in the shape of fellow dancer Ricardo.

The bar owner’s wife sang a song ‘Temptation’ and that was very good. I’m glad that wasn’t comic, she had a great voice.

The second act kept the pace of the first, more comedy moments from the husband and wife gave good chuckles. Although again there’s no speaking, they relied on facial expression and timing. It’s was perfectly executed.

Can the husband get in his wife’s good books? Who will win Flavia?

There’s a fight between Pablo and Ricardo, a great dance routine really helped define the tension and anger of the two men. The chorography was just mind blowing. The other dancers kept the flow and although they were milling around in the background, they were not a distraction. It melded into one glorious and breathtaking dance.

I will give this 10/10. This is one stage show you should add onto your list. Viva Midnight Tango!

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History facts taken from the programme purchased.

Gangnam Style: PSY’s K-Pop Phenomenon

What is “Gangnam Style”? You’ve perhaps seen the YouTube “Gangnam Style” music video that went viral within weeks. Or maybe you’ve heard of PSY – the artist behind “Gangnam Style”. You’ve possibly even tried to do the “Gangnam Style” galloping horse dance moves in the privacy of your own home… or in public if you’ve been daring enough!

Gangnam Style” flash mobs have popped up all over the World celebrating the crazy dance music phenomenon of “Gangnam Style”. There have even been some very funny parodies of the “Gangnam Style” music video (more on that a little later). So the question is (for those of you unfamiliar with K-Pop) who is PSY, the chubby South Korean star of “Gangnam Style” and what does Gangnam Style” even mean?

"psy", "gangnam style", "kpop", "south korean rap"

Psy dancing “Gangnam Style”

Gangnam Style” (Korean: 강남스타일) is the hit single by South Korean rapper PSY. The song was released on 15 July 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1. “Gangnam Style” debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart, the national record chart of South Korea. On 21 August 2012, “Gangnam Style” officially charted #1 on the iTunes Music Video Charts, overtaking Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake”; this feat is the first for any South Korean artist. As of 19 October 2012, the music video has been viewed nearly 500 million times on YouTube, and is the site’s fourth most watched video and most watched K-Pop video.

For those of you living under a rock who haven’t seen the “Gangnam Style” music video in the last couple of months, here is the YouTube viral phenomenon that everyone’s been talking about and dancing to “Gangnam Style”:

The music video shows PSY performing a comical horse-riding dance and appearing in unexpected locations around the Gangnam District. He wears several distinctive suits and black sunglasses with a mindset of “dress classy and dance cheesy”. In K-Pop, it is routine to have cameos by celebrities in a music video. Making appearances in the music video are:

  • 4minute member Hyuna playing PSY’s love interest and appearing in the two final dance sequences.
  • Big Bang members Daesung and Seungri appear in the video as two old men playing a board game in the park; they are the two men flying in the background after the explosion.
  • Hwang Min-woo, a 5-year-old boy who appeared on Korea’s Got Talent and is seen dancing at the beginning of the video.
  • Yoo Jae-Suk in a dance duel with PSY. Yoo is one of Korea’s top comedians and is known as Korea’s “MC of the Nation”.
  • Comedian, No Hongchul, dancing in an elevator with his trademark pelvis-thrusting, with PSY rapping underneath him.

PSY has brought the “Gangnam Style” dance to various TV shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Ellen DeGeneres Show (where he taught Britney Spears the dance moves). PSY has gained fans amongst politicians, business leaders, celebrities and sportsmen who either have mentioned “Gangnam Style” on social media networks, television and radio, or even performed the dance moves themselves. For example, here is Nelly Furtado dancing “Gangnam Style” on 16 August 2012 at her concert in the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Manila, Philippines:

Gangnam Style” has been praised for its catchy beat and PSY’s amusing dance moves in the music video and during live performances. On 17 September 2012, the song was nominated for Best Video at the upcoming 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards to be held in Frankfurt, Germany. On 20 September 2012, “Gangnam Style” was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most “liked” video in YouTube history. On 30 September 2012, Gangnam Style reached #1 on the official UK Singles Chart making it the first K-Pop single to do so.

Riding high on the success of “Gangnam Style“, it was announced on 4 September 2012 that PSY had signed by American talent agent Scooter Braun to Braun’s Schoolboy Records, a label distributed by Universal Republic. Scooter Braun is famous for discovering Justin Beiber on YouTube.

The “Gangnam Style” music video has become a source of parodies and reaction videos by many different groups. The latest one – and perhaps the best and funniest so far – was filmed by the boys of the famous English public school, Eton. Here are the UK’s future movers and shakers (and perhaps our next Prime Minister!) doing it Eton Style.

Gangnam Style” is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam district of Seoul, where people are trendy, hip and exude a certain supposed “class”. The term was listed in Time’s weekly vocabulary list as a manner associated with lavish lifestyles in Seoul’s Gangnam district. PSY likened the Gangnam District to Beverly Hills, California, and said in an interview that he intended a twisted sense of humour by claiming himself to be “Gangnam Style” when everything about the song, dance, looks, and the music video is far from being such a high class.

In an interview with CNN in August 2012, PSY explained: “People who are actually from Gangnam never proclaim that they are—it’s only the posers and wannabes that put on these airs and say that they are “Gangnam Style” — so this song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying so hard to be something that they’re not.”

And for any of you who haven’t learnt the dance moves of this K-Pop music phenomenon, here’s Tammy Mejia from the London K-Pop Dance Workshop presenting a masterclass on how to dance “Gangnam Style”:

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Videos reproduced from YouTube / officialpsy, YouTube / NellyFurtado and YouTube / VideoJug, YouTube / Rather Rum
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Magic of the Dance in Cambridge

Magic of the Dance are finally coming to Cambridge!

The spectacular Irish dance show is coming to the city on May 2 and will perform in the Corn Exchange. This is bound to be a highlight and a spectacle not to be missed. Magic of the Dance use a mixture of tap dance and modern dance that creates a unique entertainment experience.

The show is a mixture of a great light spectacle and highly energetic tap dances on the floor, tables and chairs. This is a show for every age and the viewer will be mesmerised by the sheer amount of skill and precision the dancers show. The group have given over 2000 shows and millions of people world-wide have been enchanted by their spectacular performances. Tickets are still available and are selling fast! This is certainly an event not to be missed this spring. Tickets are available at the Corn Exchange Box office or online.