Extended to August 13 at Hershey Centre
It’s no surprise that the most gracious and infectious show involving the integration of humans and horses has surfaced and re-surfaced over and over again to entertain audiences worldwide. And it’s no surprise that Odysseo has returned to Toronto for the 3rd time albeit to a new location in Mississauga.
Odysseo’s gigantic White Big Top is up at the Hershey Centre for the triumphant return of the equestrian extravaganza. Following its smash hit in Toronto two years ago, the 30-million theatrical production created by Normand Latourelle, has returned with matinee and evening performances now held over until August 13th.
Standing 38 meters tall, Odysseo’s White Big Top spans more than 5,425 square meters – the size of 12 Raptors basketball courts – and accommodates a performance area bigger than the Maple Leafs hockey rink. Normand Latourelle has surpassed all preconceived limitations of a touring tent with Odysseo. His vision was to open up the performance area by removing supporting masts from the stage, a common staging issue in tent shows. Odysseo’s touring structure is a specially-designed Big Top, created in Europe, where the weight of the structure is shifted from the masts to three arches above the tent. The impressive stage permits incredible possibilities for large-scale staging while offering a vast space of freedom where 50 artists and 65 horses come to play in complicity.
To try and understand the extremes horses can reach in a performance way beyond a circus or a horse show, Cavalia opens the doors to the loveable uniqueness of these wonderful majestic creatures and shows us the gentle and intelligent side. The show in itself is a spectacle of unparalleled beauty with true horsepower carrying the show. The riders, the dancers, the acrobats and the costumes play second-fiddle to the 65 horses – outnumbering the humans. The horses themselves are the actors in this show taking their cue without whips and snaps but by subtle shear commands from their horse whisperers.
Supported by an amazing creative team, the set design is something to behold and to be in awe of. Especially the three-dimensional riding landscape complete with watering hole. The rush factors were numerous. This would include the stampede of seemingly wild horses gallop their way through the water that wasn’t there at anytime during the entire show; the left stage to right and the right stage to left wild rides by riders showing off their individual expertise; the dancing horse; and the African musicians, dancers and acrobats that aroused the audience and to make them feel part of the show; and of course the many beautiful scenery changes.
Since Odysseo’s first visit in Toronto, Odysseo’s White Big Top has graced the skylines of the largest North American cities, including Los Angeles, Boston, Washington (DC), Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Denver, Mexico City and Dallas. One hundred and ten semi-trailer trucks were required to transport the largest touring tent in the world to Toronto, where the two and four-legged stars where they perform this epic equestrian adventure that marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before-seen levels.
Since its Montreal world premiere in 2011, the Odysseo troupe has already mesmerized more than a million spectators in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Ontario audiences are once again being transported on an epic journey by a breathtaking theatrical production that features 64 magnificent horses and 46 talented riders, acrobats, dancers and musicians.
ABOUT CAVALIA INC
Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Cavalia Inc. is an entertainment company that specializes in the creation, production and touring of innovative shows for audiences of all ages. Founded by Normand Latourelle, the company has an expertise in equestrian and performing arts, and is known for making the most of cutting-edge technology, multimedia and special effects, which allows for the creation of magical, unique, never-before-seen theatrical experiences. Cavalia, seen by more than 4 million people across North America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Asia since its 2003 debut, celebrates the relationship between humans and horses by loosely recounting the evolution of this bond. Odysseo, which premiered in 2011, takes the next step, leading viewers on a great journey where horses and humans, together, discover some of the planet’s most unforgettable landscapes. Follow Cavalia Inc.’s latest developments at www.cavalia.com, www.twitter.com/cavalia or www.facebook.com/cavalia
Reviewed by Miriam Isenberg