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Midnight Tango on canvas

Posted on January 26, 2012

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In the same month as Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace’s Midnight Tango appears on stage in the West End, the pair will also be captured on canvas in a new exhibition at the Knapp Gallery, Regent’s Park. The exhibition will also run online at Art Gallery (

Figurative painter Charles Willmott was granted special access to the two “Strictly” stars in order to paint dance sequences from Midnight Tango, which is currently at the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End. 

Charles, whose portraits of dancers have been keenly collected for decades, was delighted with the opportunity. “I watched ‘Strictly’ every Saturday and I thought Flavia was absolutely superb. She was one of the most delightful, professional dancers on the show. I was so pleased have the opportunity to paint her and Vincent.

“They gave me a considerable amount of time and actually walked through the dance for me. They understood that I wanted to capture specific moments in the performance.”

web_9787Charles describes himself as a “figurative realist” and his paintings are faithful reproductions of his subjects. “With female form it’s often nice to have their features slightly abstract but Flavia has her own unmistakable body shape, her own elegance, her own posture and a great smile – and I wanted to capture all of that.” 

Several stages of Charles’ creative process are captured in the show. “I typically do a study, sometimes followed by an oil study, and if those are working I may learn from the nuances of those studies and do an oil painting – so an image that I’m pleased with usually appears in at least two forms.” 

The exhibition, which ranges from sketches to oil paintings, will be at the Knapp Gallery, Regent’s College, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park NW1 4NS from 9pm January 30 until March 30. The gallery will be open all day on February 11 and 12. Outside those times, viewing will be by prior appointment: please contact the gallery on 0844 879 7438 to arrange a visit. Flavia and Vincent will be attending the gallery for a special promotional event. Details will follow shortly.


Images © Charles Willmott

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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