As you may or may not know I’ve been a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil from the early days…when I was a poor student in Montreal, too poor to see the show, but found a way to see clips and follow them season after season until I could afford a ticket and was able, years later in Boston, to go out and see the show with my husband for my birthday.
Cavalia is NOT Cirque du Soleil, but you might call them cousins or something. There is definitely a family resemblance. Cavalia was created by one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil and you can tell because no one does an experience quite like Guy Laliberté, Normand Latourelle and Gilles Ste-Croix. I was invited to attend Cavalia’s Social Media Night to see what the Cavalia experience was all about so that I could share it with all of you. My “plus one” loved it so much that she bought tickets for her and her family that night to see it again before Odysseo leaves town on September 15th.
Cavalia’s Odysseo is so much more than a horse show. It isn’t the circus either, unless you’re thinking Cirque du Soleil which, in my humble opinion is the ultimate circus and the only circus everyone must experience at least once in their life.
When I first heard about Cavalia I was intrigued only because I know the caliber of work from the space itself to the artists, artisans and performers that make a production like this come to life. I was hesitant though because I’m not a fan of animals in performances. Also, I like horses, but I’m not a horse lover so I didn’t know if the show would keep my attention.
Not only did the show keep my attention, but I am pretty sure I laughed, I cried, my heart skipped several beats for various reasons, and I am ready to see it all over again!
The Cavalia family is really a family of people from all over the world. Immediately after the show, you see the performers “tucking their horses into bed”. Each horse is showered and their mane is braided. You find the trainers and performers giving their horses an extra long back rub, or standing side by side helping with the braiding. The horses, the riders, the performers, the local staff members hired to work during Odysseo’s Boston performances, were all so kind, almost quiet back stage, all caring people doing something they loved.
The performance itself had beautiful live music, which is something I think is so important because it dramatically changes the quality of the experience. The space is amazing. Whether you are in the VIP tent during intermission and before the show, or you walk in as a spectator to the big top, you will get a rush from the sparking white tent, and be comfortable.
The combination of visual effects, horsemanship, Cossack riding, acrobatics, dance and musics ensured that this show goes way beyond horses. What I loved most about the performance is what I call the National Geographic effect. The scenery, music, and dance transported you to a different place and made you want to pack your bags and travel the world. At very least, you appreciate the beauty and diversity of people, space and place that exists in our world.
With the horses it was fascinating to see the communication between trainer/performer and animals. The show is perfectly choreographed and well rehearsed, but working with animals there is always room for some horse’s true colours to show, and that only gave the show that much more charm.
Cavalia will be in Somerville through September 15th (extended from September 1st). You can order tickets online here. You can also order by phone (866) 999-8111. Because of the layout of the stage and the seats, there are really no bad seats. Don’t miss it or if you must, then count down the days until they come again!