Strictly Come Dancing's Vincent Simone, Flavia Cacace Prove Partnership Still Strong On Midnight Tango Tour
When Vincent Simone pulls Flavia Cacace into his arms, flings her from him across the dance floor and finally draws her close once more, audiences could be forgiven for thinking they are witnessing a real-life love affair. Their history, inevitably, is far more complicated.
The lives of this glamorous pair have been intertwined since they started dancing as teenagers, but the spotlight was focussed on their personal partnership when they joined the professional line-up of Strictly Come Dancing in 2007. The following year brought romantic upheaval when Flavia fell for her celebrity partner Matt Di Angelo, while Vincent bewailed his very public cuckolding from the red-tops.
Three years later and the circus has very much moved along. Flavia is no longer with Di Angelo, and Vincent's a father. Meanwhile, the Italian duo is dancing, they say, better than ever - stronger, both technically and artistically.
So how do two people continue working so intimately throughout such a personal merry-go-round?
"Dance has always been such a powerful thing between us, there has never been a strong enough reason to stop," explains Flavia, as the pair arrive in London on the eve of their new show Midnight Tango - a performance once again highlighting their chemistry and complete physical harmony.
"Even during the height of all the drama, the only place that was comfortable for us both was the dance studio. Once the music started, we could just forget everything else - you lose yourself."
"Plus, we'd spent years working incredibly hard," adds Vincent, "and we were enjoying ourselves. There was absolutely no reason to give all that up, for mere..." His voice trails away casually, displaying a genuine mellowness that recent fatherhood with his Irish girlfriend has probably helped bestow.
Such a contrast of professional success against a background of personal trauma is something we've seen oft-repeated in talented, creative types.
While Sonny and Cher's decade at the top of the US charts ended with their divorce in 1975, Ike and Tina Turner kept their show on the road long after Tina tried repeatedly to leave her controlling husband - she finally managed it in 1976, deserting him mid-tour in Dallas.
In the 1990s, Gwen Stefani found chart success with her band No Doubt against a background of heartbreak. Their biggest hit, the mournful Don't Speak, was penned by Stefani as an ode to her recently-ex boyfriend Tony Kanal, also the bassist in the band. The pair continued to work alongside each other for another eight years.
Music producer Pete Waterman once lambasted Abba for bringing their romantic shenanigans into their lyrics. "Nobody wanted to hear all that," complained the 1980s hit-maker. It would seem the fans of such anthems as One Of Us, Knowing Me, Knowing You and The Name Of The Game thought differently. Certainly, Agnetha Faltskog's sad face during the video of the iconic Winner Takes It All was rendered all the more poignant with the knowledge she had recently separated from the song's writer, Bjorn Ulvaeus.
Is this a case of washing dirty linen in public? Could it be a cynical calculation that nobody is that annoying, even an ex, when there's money to be made?
Or is it, simply as Flavia and Vincent try to express, that, for those lucky few sublimely talented individuals who share the privilege and loneliness of the creative process, there really is more to unite them than divide them?
We could always ask the Rolling Stones, almost unbelievably approaching their 50th anniversary as a band, including many years when girlfriends were being swapped, guitars thrown and tempers frayed, but somehow the show has always stayed on the road.
Midnight Tango will be showing live by satellite across cinemas on Wednesday 13th July 2011, to book tickets visit: www.midnighttangolive.co.uk