Monday, July 2, 2012

Cavalia - Odysseo

What a feast for the senses!

Many years ago, I attended a performance of this company with the hope of matching the way I felt when I saw Cirque du Soleil for the very first time - overwhelmed by wonder.  Although the show was a unique combination of acrobatics and horsemanship, it didn't quite live up to Cirque.  Sometimes it seemed like a series of stunts on horseback.  I delayed getting tickets this time around but word of mouth convinced me to give Odysseo a chance.

The show was well worth the price of admission.  The staging was spectacular and the choreography was almost flawless.

I was in a dream state the entire performance.  The dance between night and day, male and female, human and beast.  Contrast but also union.  Near the end of the performance, the stage fills with water and the horses gallop under a night sky.  Unforgettable. Transcendent.

Afterward we went back and into the stables.  The horses are such gentle creatures, with big huge eyes.     Gorgeous animals.

Days later I am still wondering, "how did they do that?"  Getting all those horses to perform on cue must be a feat of magic.

In creating a show in which more than sixty horses are either performing or training at all times, Cavalia takes significant steps to protect the well-being of its horses. Many of the show’s routines emphasize the natural tendencies of the horses, enabling them to find pleasure in play and performance. In addition to the dozens of performers and stagehands, most of whom become palpably attached to the horses with whom they work, Cavalia also employs a team of twenty people simply to ensure the constant care of the animals, from a stable manager, two veterinary technicians, a blacksmith and several grooms, to other personnel who help with everything from maintaining the health of the animals’ hooves, coats and manes, to such enjoyable activities as play, exercise, and training, as well as pampering when the day is done through showers, grooming, massages, treats, and more.  World of Cavalia 

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