Looking for a show that's awe-inspiring, exciting and magically entertaining for audiences of all ages? Then you won't want to miss the riveting and enchanting Odysseo, now playing at Bicentennial Park in Miami and extended through April 15, 2012.
Being an avid horse lover who had the pleasure of owning three beautiful horses once upon a time, as well as a huge fan of the first Cavalia show that came to Miami in 2010, I couldn't wait to see what latest masterpiece Normand Latourelle had dreamed up. I couldn't imagine what could surpass the stunning debut, but I was once again blown away by another two hours of pure magic.
Cavalia was created in 1997 by Normand Latourelle, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil. According to the www.cavalia.net website:
With this new creation, Cavalia marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before-seen levels. A veritable revolution in live performance, Odysseo comprises a list of superlatives: the world’s largest touring big top, the biggest stage, the most beautiful visual effects, and the greatest number of horses at liberty. The creators of this new ode to the horse indulged all their artistic ambitions and, in so doing, have delivered a larger-than-life spectacle, a two-hour dream that is a feast for the eyes. Odysseo gambles and wins, delivering a spectacle with soul and pushing the limits of live entertainment while and sending hearts racing.
I agree wholeheartedly.
Not only has Odysseo raised the bar in terms of bringing the outdoors in with its massive "mountain" as part of the set, and filling the sand pit with water to create a "lake" in the second half of the show, but it also takes multimedia to a new level by incorporating massive film screens to create living landscapes and imagery to take us further into "the dream". We move with the horses and riders, we feel the weather, we are completely drawn in to the experience. We're part of the tribe. The multimedia magic is enhanced more so by the Odysseo's haunting music--a signature of Cirque shows that is always beautifully performed by live singers and musicians.
Other scenes include riders who "surf" on two horses at a time while standing up (at one point a rider handles four steeds at once!) and a mystical, magical segment where a huge carousel complete with white Arabian horses (not real) descends from above while real white Arabians canter around. This leads to one of the most beautiful segments of the show, with the performers engaging in a slow and sensual dance along each of their carousel horses.
Odysseo delivers even more adrenalin-inducing trick riders this time, who barrel along full speed ahead--and there seem to be more female riders in the mix. The execution is incredible--they fly, they flip, they ride upside down, backwards and every which way, exciting the audience and making us feel like we're riding along with them. Spoiler alert: one rider even manages to move from one side of his horse to the other--by traveling underneath--that's one I haven't seen before, and I was holding my breath, praying he would make it safely back on to his horse (of course, he did.)
The show also introduces a phenomenal group of acrobats, who dance, drum and sing some of the time. I've never seen gymnasts who can flip so many times, so fast. They're a welcome addition to the show.
As with the first Cavalia show, Odysseo presents a beautiful and mind-boggling collaboration between human and horse, being that most everything is done by voice command or gestures. In one segment, the riders use simply a neck rope to guide their horses; other times they don't use any gear at all.
One of the most spectacular scenes is toward the end of the show, where we see a view of a horse and rider on top of the mountain, purely in silhouette. The horse begins prancing in place, and it's a stunning visual effect. The rider turns out to be Equestrian Director and Choreographer Benjamin Aillaud, who leads his steed down the mountainside to frolic in the water, reminding us to embrace our playful side once in a while.
The show intertwines musicians, singers, dancers, aerialists, and gymnasts with the horses, and takes audiences on a magical multimedia adventure that is enchanting, touching, and utterly magical. The human performers are spectacular, but the true stars of the show are clearly the horses. So whether you're a a Cirque lover, a horse lover, or just a lover of the performing arts, gallop down to the Big White Top in Miami before April 15th, and indulge yourself in an afternoon or evening of magical entertainment that you will never forget.
Odysseo will be presented under the White Big Top at Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami. Tickets are on sale now from $59.50 and up. And if you want an even more extraordinary outing, you can purchase a Horse Lovers Package (ranging from $144.50 to $199.50) that will allow you to tour the Cavalia stables after the show, or the VIP Rendez-Vous Package includes a tour of the stables after the show, a cocktail/dinner reception and much more. Special pricing is also available for children (2-12), juniors (13-17), and senior citizens (65+).
For ticket information and showtimes, please visit www.cavalia.net or call 1-866-999-8111.