FOR MORE than 10 years Flavia Cacace captured the hearts of viewers of the BBC prime time hit Strictly Come Dancing.
Along with wowing audiences with her fancy Argentine Tango footwork, the world-champion dancer lifted the coveted glitter ball in 2012 with celebrity partner, gymnast Louis Smith.
However, last year Flavia made a decision, along with professional partner of 20 years, Vincent Simone, to leave the Strictly competition to concentrate on her career away from the TV cameras.
In fact 2013 was a huge year for Flavia. In December she married Jimi Mistry (who she partnered on Strictly in its eighth season) and, along with Vincent, took home the coveted Rear of the Year award – the first time ever a dance partnership has won this prize!
The newlywed is now touring with Simone in their brand-new production Dance ‘Til Dark.
“We’re pretty much half way through the tour now,” said Flavia.
“It’s a brand new show and took quite a while to get into. It’s always a bit daunting when you put on a new production; you’re never too sure how it’s going to work.”
The duo launched their previous tour, Midnight Tango, in 2010, and thrilled more than half a million people across the UK for three years, both on tour and in London’s West End.
For this latest show, Vincent and Flavia have again teamed up with Olivier Award-winning choreographer and director Karen Bruce to put on the brand-new production which transports audiences to a time of elegance, with stunning sets, a live band and world class dancers.
“Our main objective was to be really different than Midnight Tango and leave it in its own box,” said Flavia.
“We wanted to go back this time to our ballroom roots and then brought in the musical theatre element.”
Dance ‘Til Dawn is set in 1940s LA, where a romance unfolds between a beautiful starlet and her handsome lover.
“The show is very much a comedy,” said Flavia.
“There’s a bit of narration from one of the main characters, but pretty much else is told through dance.
“We have some fabulous musical theatre actors in the show with a mix of their style singing and dancing, and ballroom and Latin from Vincent and I.
“It was quite difficult to blend all the different dance styles together but we’ve done it. We have embraced the musical theatre element of the show – Karen has taken care of that side – and Vincent and I have choreographed all the ballroom and Latin numbers, along with our dances.”
“Hollywood in the 1940s was very much ‘Fred and Ginger’ so there’s a lot of classic foxtrot, but we have also put in Argentine Tango also.
“We had a great writer who came up with the storyline which is funny – and the producers were really keen on us going down the comedy road.
However, it’s not just the choreography which has been dazzling audiences – the costumes certainly have the ‘wow’ factor.
“We have put a lot of trust in our costume department,” said Flavia.
“We worked with the team on Midnight Tango and so left it all to the designers to come up with the ideas.
“Costumes are always evolving and audiences love the clothes we wear on stage – they are very 1940s in style.”
Once the tour is over in July, Dance ‘Til Dawn will transfer to the West End, something that Flavia is thrilled about.
“It’s great – and obviously what we were hoping for,” said Flavia.
“We will be at The Aldwych Theatre, in Covent Garden, from October to January, and are really pleased that the show will work in a London theatre.”
So does this mean we won’t be seeing Flavia on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing?
“Because of being in the West End I am going to be really busy,” she said.
“I really enjoyed going back last year for the Christmas special. Strictly is a big commitment and you have to give 100 per cent of your time there - and with the West End show I won’t.”
So for the time being, Flavia Cacace is having the time of her life.
She is touring in one of the most successful dance shows of the year, and she even gets to meet up with her new husband along the way.
“Both our schedules mean we can meet up quite a lot throughout the tour.
“Jimi is really good because when he has a day off from filming Coronation Street, he comes along and sees me.
“We are actually seeing quite a lot of each other at the moment which is really nice.
“When I finish the tour in July though, we’ll be off for a well-earned holiday.”
Dance ‘Til Dawn will perform at Theatre Royal, Nottingham, from June 2-7 and tickets are available by calling 0115 898 5555 or logging on to www.trch.co.uk
For further information about the show log on to www.dancetildawnonstage.com