ODYSSEO: Cavalia’s equestrian extravaganza explores equine-human bond

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BY Naomi Gold

Photos by François Bergeron & JF Leblanc

Cavalia’s latest ode to equines traces the evolution of man’s relationship to horses throughout history.  The surreal voyage begins in the Mongolian-Manchurian grassland ecoregion, where grazing, contented horses join riders for the first leg of their mystical tour to Monument Valley.  Dressage riders choreograph their caravan of equines through an ethereal dreamscape, and spectators are captivated. Using multimedia, high tech special effects and 18 projectors, the stage transforms from the Serengeti in Africa to Northern glaciers, from the Sahara to Easter island. 

Harnessing mega-horsepower with his tour de force of a show, artistic director Normand Latourelle has created an almost hypnotic experience for viewers. Riders and ‘
horse-whisperers’, acrobats, aerialists, contortionists and artists perform in perfect harmony with their equine comrades.  And so much so, the result is a quasi-anthropomorphic partnership akin to ‘horse ballet‘. Brute Herculean horsepower — trained and expertly tamed — marries grace, agility and poise in this poetic production.

Odysseo is a sweeping, epic show of gargantuan proportions; it bespeaks grandeur and grandiosity. Some 10,000 tons of stone, earth and sand create a grand staging area on which 67 horses and 46 artists perform. The production is staged as a dream sequence, and culminates in a water show, featuring a 300,000 litre lake onstage! In this humane world, a gentler incarnation of nature unfolds, while performer and spectator alike are catapulted to unbridled joy.  Ergo, the audience on opening night responded with a fever-pitched, standing ovation.   

Odysseo takes up residence in Laval from May 14th to June 9th.  Trot along highway 15 to Souvenir Boulevard in Chomedey, Laval where Cavalia’s trademark marquees dot the skyline.  Prices begin @$50 for children, and matinees are offered, in addition to evening shows.    The box office offers 24-hour daily service @ 1-866-999-8111 or via www.cavalia.net.   VIP packages, which include preferred seating, a lavish dinner, open bar, desserts and a tour of the stables, are also available.  Tickets are going fast, so horse sense says: step up that trot to a gallop!


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