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Los Vivancos (Salford)

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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Madonna sang the iconic lyrics: "And you can dance.. for inspiration" from her number one hit "Into The Groove." Los Vivancos can dance but their show is not exactly inspiring. In fact, like their hair between scenes, it is a bit of a damp squib.

These seven Spanish brothers fuse different styles of dance including ballet, flamenco and street dance, but they puncuate this with hair flicks, the odd grimace or grunt and flex of the pecs, or perfect pose. The problem is that however good the dance is, through these dated elements, they are telling you it's even better.

These gifted sblings sure can move and some of the pieces are quite breathtaking; one brother dances on his cuban heels, teetering precariously and it does take your breath away. There is also an exciting dance off between two brothers and it also gets your adrenalin going.

But, sadly the tone of the show is so muddled, that by the time that you see the men playing instruments and trying to dance at the same time, it reminds you of an annoying kid trying to 'show and tell' you too much. Then, just when you thought it was safe not to smirk through your programme, off come the shirts just to over 'ego' the pudding some more. Cue shrieks and screams from the audience, but all of this window dressing or lack of it, takes the passion away from the dance. It also renders the show nothing more than a hen party crowd-pleaser.

I love dance shows, I adore Spanish movies and the country itself, but this mish-mash of a production is too unintentionally hilarious to truly succeed. When each male goes off stage, they arrive back - hair soaked, just so they can do some hair choreography that doubles as "Look how hot we just got!" The trouble is it just reminds you of Flashdance or failing that Shrek.

The band are amazing and their backing imbues the show with lots of passion, inspite of the fact that all the songs feature one trait: 'moody and brooding. But mixed with the endless posing, this seems as ill matched as paella and chips.

The audience on the night I attended mainly loved Los Vivancos, but I suspect if the brothers had simply danced their socks off and nothing else, the cheers would not have been so loud. Put it this way, during the finale, their musical instruments come out and I am sure because of the po-faced, baby oiled nature of the piece, the audience would have preferred some cheekier fun.

More like Tap Tease than Tap Dogs, I'm afraid. 

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