Last week we had the pleasure of attending a press event featuring portions of "Cavalia's Odysseo," a horse spectacular by the creators of Cirque du Soleil, currently running in Burbank, California. Before the event started Artistic Director and creator of "Odysseo," Normand Latourelle, explained that left Cirque behind because he "wanted to move to something different and horses give me the chance to express something different."
He stated, "It's all about sharing our space with nature. Horses, from my point of view, are representative of nature. They tell us what is true, what is not true, what is real and what is unreal." In what he calls "the biggest touring show in the world" 67 horses and 44 artists work together to create a stunningly breathtaking display of beauty and nature.
'Odysseo' is a spectacle of grand proportions
Cavalia has built a tent in Burbank that is 10 stories high with a 15,000 square foot stage — plenty of room for the horses to gallop from one end to the other. Acrobats perform jaw-dropping feats and musicians and artists create a masterfully beautiful experience that takes audiences around the world to African desserts, the Northen Lights, rolling hills and lush forests. The HD video backdrop, equal to the size of three IMAX screens, transports audience to the locales right alongside the cast of horses, riders and acrobats.
Various scenes include jumping, dressage and stunt-riding by ten different breeds of horses — Appaloosa, Arabian, Canadian, Lusitano, Oldenburg, Paint Horse, Quarter Horse, Spanish Purebred and Warmblood — from eight different countries. They are accompanied by acrobats, riders, aerialists and dancers from around the globe. Our favorites, the West African acrobatic team, oftentimes flipped quicker than the eye could actually see all the time wearing infectious smiles so big you couldn't help but have a good time watching them.
Some highlights from 'Odyseeo'
To us the highlight of the show was the Le Sedentaire, the Arabian liberty, where nine horses without riders, harnesses or bridles performed in perfect formation guided only by the words and movements of trainer Elise Vergoncq.
In the finale seen, the stage is flooded with 80,000 gallons of water. The scene begins serenely as horses perform classical dressage, by the end, the entire equine and human cast has taken the water filled stage to an stunning climax.
"Odysseo" is in Burbank through March 27. Tickets range from $34.50 to $269.50 for a VIP package complete with dinner and a tour of the stables. For more info visit the Cavalia website.
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