Seventy majestic horses, stars of the theatrical production Cavalia Odysseo, have officially taken up residence at their new home in Arizona to star in this equestrian extravaganza under the gigantic White Big Top in Scottsdale beginning February 21, with matinee and evening shows scheduled through March 18. I was lucky enough to attend TWO special Cavalia media sneak peeks. In the first recap, I shared footage of the horses arriving and walking the red carpet, liberty horse training demonstrations, and a tour of the stable. In this second recap, I'm sharing a video sneak peek of the performance featuring 70 horses, 50 riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, stilt walkers and musicians.
About the Show
The horse has marked human history and progress more than any other animal. Horses have taken us to the ends of the earth enabling us to build bridges between cultures and expand civilization. It is the beauty and harmony of this ancient relationship, this meeting of two worlds, those of horse and man, that inspired the creators of Odysseo.
As friends, partners and inseparable performers on stage, 70 horses and 50 artists lead the viewer on a great journey in yet another world – a world of dreams where together they discover some of the planet’s most unforgettable landscapes.
Odysseo marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before-seen levels. Odysseo features the world’s largest touring production and traveling big top, the biggest stage, the beautiful visual effects, and the largest number of horses at liberty.
About the Stage and Visual Effects
To give life to this extraordinary equestrian adventure, a 17,500 square foot stage was created with a hill that rising three-stories tall. Some 10,000 tons of rock, earth and sand are trucked in and then sculpted to create the vast space of freedom where humans and horses come to play in complicity.
Above the stage hangs an imposing technical grid capable of supporting 80 tons of equipment including a full-sized merry-go-round far beyond anything attempted to date on any touring show and comparable to the best-equipped theaters of Las Vegas, London or New York.
Odysseo is a unique theatrical production and a grandiose multi-dimensional spectacle. Audiences are taken to a live Hollywood-style movie set, where the moving interactions between human and horse are at the heart of the action. On an enormous stage, layers of mesmerizing decor are combined with live music, gravity-defying acrobatics and aerial stunts. To make this experience even more astounding, the production transports spectators across the world’s most beautiful landscapes with powerful high-definition computer graphic images.
The Odysseo epic wraps up with a fantastic crescendo as the stage is inundated with 40,000 gallons of recycled water in just a few minutes. A virtual waterfall overhangs the resulting lake, in which horses, riders and artists join to frolic, leaving behind them the traces of their splashes and an astonished audience.
About Odysseo's White Big Top
Standing 125 feet tall, the White Big Top is a traffic-stopping addition to the skyline of each city Odysseo performs. When visitors enter, they are immediately transported into a lavish and intimate environment reminiscent of any permanent theatre.
More than twice the size of the structure created for the first production, Odysseo’s White Big Top is the size of an NFL football field. The 17,500 square foot stage, larger than a hockey rink, and the 50 foot-wide backstage area offers a vast playground for more than 30 cantering horses. The grandiose stage also offers incredible possibilities for large-scale staging.
A total of five tents comprise the Odysseo village. The White Big Top houses the stage and backstage, seating and lobby areas under a single roof. The Rendez-Vous tent hosts VIP ticket holders for dinner, an open bar and photo opportunities with the artists.
The horses live in a climate-controlled stable tent complete with showers, tack shop and a blacksmith department. Between the stables and White Big Top, the Warm-Up tent is where the riders rehearse with the horses before and after the show. This area also includes wardrobe, makeup and dressing areas for the human artists. A staff kitchen tent prepares more than 300 meals daily.
About Creator Normand Latourelle
In his 40-year career in the performing arts, Normand Latourelle has followed a path that has led him through all aspects of the industry, having occupied every position from lighting designer to agent, production manager, director and artistic director. A pioneer of Cirque du Soleil from 1985 to 1990, he has been the driving force behind many impressive and memorable events. A visionary in constant quest for innovation, Normand Latourelle is renowned for combining different forms of artistic expression and reinventing the scenic space, with the ultimate goal of taking audiences to new dimensions. Since 2003, Normand Latourelle has been fully dedicated to his company Cavalia Inc., instilling his talent, passion and imagination into the productions.
The Four-Legged Stars
There are 70 horses that represent 12 different breeds from around the world in the Odysseo stable. All the horses are male – stallions and geldings. They hail from 6 countries including Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, the United States and Canada. The average age of the horses is 9 with the youngest at 6 and the oldest at 14.
At the heart and soul of every Odysseo performance is the age-old bond between human and horse. The company fosters an environment where patience, trust and deep-seated respect for the four-legged stars come first. The company’s training methods are designed to ensure the horses enjoy training and performing on stage. Trainers pay close attention to the horses in order to ensure that every request is adapted and respectful of what the horses are ready to offer.
The Human Co-Stars
There are 50 artists – acrobats, aerialists, riders, dancers and musicians in the show. They represent 11 countries including the United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Italy, Guinea, South Africa, Poland, Russia, Spain and Ukraine.
Video: Odysseo Performance Sneak Peek
I am honored to have been invited to an exclusive 55-minute sneak peek of Cavalia Odysseo's new version before opening night in Scottsdale, AZ. The media preview featured stunning visual highlights and never-before-seen moments from the spectacular equestrian show. Happy viewing!
Don't miss PART ONE in this series on Cavalia:
In the first recap, I shared footage of the horses arriving and walking the red carpet,
liberty horse training demonstrations, and a tour of the stable.
Want Cavalia tickets? Here's what you need to know!
The shows begin February 21, 2018. Matinee and evening performances are scheduled through March 18. The performances are held under the White Big Top in Scottsdale located at Red Mountain 202 at McClintock Dr. (1475 N. McClintock Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85257).
Tickets for Cavalia Odysseo are available at www.cavalia.com/scottsdale/
or by calling 1-866-999-8111.
About Cavalia Inc.
Cavalia Inc. is an entertainment company that specializes in the creation, production and touring of innovative shows. Founded by Normand Latourelle, the company reimagines the equestrian and theatrical arts. With its headquarters in Montreal, Cavalia Inc. is an integral part of Canada’s cultural heritage, and the largest Canadian-owned cultural enterprise. Its expertise in high technology, multimedia and special effects creates magical, unique, never-before-seen experiences. Its first show, Cavalia, has been seen by more than 4 million people across North America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Asia since its 2003 debut. Odysseo, the company’s second show, has toured to rave reviews and public acclaim since its 2011 premiere.
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Books by Carly Kade
Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing about horses makes her spurs jingle!
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