Nélida Rodriguez de Aure is among the royalty of Argentine tango. With a career spanning more than 40 years, she has taught Hollywood stars tango’s sultry steps, danced onstage on Broadway, toured the globe with productions and featured in television and films.

But, despite being involved in so many shows over the decades, Nélida admits to initially being ‘a little bit afraid’ of her latest project m¡longa.

The show, which visits Mayflower Theatre next week, is choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui – who was keen to fuse together his contemporary style with classic Argentine tango.

And when Nélida was asked to be tango consultant to the show, she loved the idea but wasn’t quite sure how it would work out.

“m¡longa was a big challenge for me but also an exciting project because at the beginning we didn’t know what was going to happen with it,” she admits. “All we knew at that point was that it was going to be a fusion of the two types of dance.

“That was really interesting for me because when you have worked for a long time with the same type of dance you risk being at a point where you don’t really have more to do. So when m¡longa appeared I thought ‘I need to see what happens with this project’. I knew Larbi’s other shows and I wanted to know what he was trying to do with tango.

“At first I was a little bit afraid because his work looked so different from my style of work but I was interested to know what I could do to help him with the project.”

Belgian-born dancer and choreographer Cherkaoui, a Sadler’s Wells associate artist, has created more than 20 works including Sutra, Babel and Dunas as well as choreographing opera, theatre and film. Working with individuals and groups as diverse as Akram Khan, The Shaolin Monks, flamenco dancer Maria Pagés and sculptor Antony Gormley, he has received international acclaim for his ability to fuse different dance styles to create something unique.

A Sadler’s Wells production, m¡longa aims to be a stylish and seductive exploration of a classic dance form as it moves in a new direction. Created in 2013, the cast includes ten Argentine tango dancers, two contemporary dancers and five musicians. It is set to music by Argentinean composer Fernando Marzan, who worked on the soundtrack of the film Evita starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas.

Nélida adds: “A lot of people see our tango shows and then they go away and learn. When we tour people will often ask if we can hold classes – in lots of different countries. Many of the dancers in this show will be doing lessons when they visit the different cities. People see tango and then they want to try it. I have worked on shows where you go into the lobby in the intermission of the show and you see people trying to do the dance!

“It is interesting because when I have been dancing the tango on the stage I have been totally concentrated on the passion of the dance. That’s all I’m thinking about so I don’t see every bit of audience reaction. And now in m¡longa I am not dancing so I am in the audience and I can see how that passion spreads to the audience. It’s like it goes from the dancers into the audience – it’s very powerful.”

See m¡longa on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tickets: 023 8071 1811 or mayflower.org.uk