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Something big is happening in Denver: Odysseo by Cavalia at the Pepsi Center

Odysseo's big tent goes up at the Pepsi Center in Denver
Odysseo's big tent goes up at the Pepsi Center in Denver
Photo courtesy of Steve Peterson Photography - used with permission

It’s big! It’s really, really big! The massive white tent that will house performances of Odysseo, the latest production of the Montreal-based Cavalia entertainment company, has been erected in Denver next to the Pepsi Center in preparation for opening night September 17. This is Cavalia’s second show in Denver. The first was in 2010.

The $30 million extravaganza — a marriage of equestrian feats and aerial stunts, performing arts and acrobatics — requires a venue large enough to hold horses cavorting at full speed as well as a 60-meter wide digital screen.

The European-made white tent— the world’s largest touring Big Top — covers an area the size of two NFL football fields. It houses the stage, the backstage, bleachers to seat 2,000 people, a lobby, a gift shop and food stands.

The stage alone is larger than a hockey rink. Constructed of 10,000 tons of stones, dirt and sand, it is covered with 16,038 square feet of specialized carpet and pool liner to build a pond. Eighty thousand gallons of water floods the stage floor for a dazzling water finale.

The visually beautiful and incredibly imagined spectacle is like no other live show anywhere. Its creator and artistic director, Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, describes his creation that is brought to life by 64 horses and 45 artists.

"In Odysseo, the dream begins in a misty enchanted forest where horses graze and frolic under a sky of rolling clouds and a setting sun. Horses, riders, acrobats and musicians embark on a soulful journey that leads them from the Mongolian steppes to Monument Valley, from the African savannah to Nordic glaciers, from the Sahara to Easter Island.

"Throughout this grand voyage, spectators discover urban stilters and applaud the prowess of a troupe of African acrobats. Viewers are mesmerized by horses powering angelic aerialists in a four-person silks act that takes them into the skies to the sound of an African harp called a Kora. Audiences witness the beauty of 15 horses lying on sand dunes awaken. They will likewise appreciate the beautiful liberty number, uniting purebred Arabian horses directed by inaudible vocal commands from their kneeling trainer.”

Tickets go on sale today for the Denver show. Call 866-999-8111 or visit www.cavalia.net.