Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cavalia's Odysseo in Toronto

"You know what my favourite part was Mommy? ALL of it!!"

This from the boy who said he didn't want to go. But really, acrobatics and horses, plus amazing music, lighting and a flooded stage? I was pretty sure we'd have a hit on our hands.

photo credit: Cavalia Odysseo website

I've been loosely thinking of Cavalia's Odysseo as kind of like Cirque du Soleil, but with horses.  Little did I realise that the creative genius behind this show is Normand Latourelle, one of the founders of Cirque, so it makes complete sense. The exquisite choreography, incredible feats of strength and athleticism, breathtaking sets, and glorious music all come together to create a truly awe-inspiring show.

The set is composed of a beautifully constructed curtains and backdrops with projected scenery moving along the back wall. At one point, the stage lifts up at the back and the players ride their horses into sight, seemingly out of nowhere from over the ridge. It truly looks like the riders are approaching from a far distance on their long journey. For the final scenes, the stage is flooded with water. Aerial acrobatics and trick riding abound. Stunning.

From the website:
"This new production is a celebration of the beauty and harmony of the meeting of two worlds: those of horse and human. As friends, partners and inseparable performers, they will lead you on a journey to another world – a world of dreams."
The humans and horses did truly work as partners, their movements flowing naturally from one another. My entire family loved this show, from 6 year-old to "not telling." Even the Teen was impressed and we all were completely drawn in.

The show runs in Toronto through June 3, with matinees each Saturday and Sunday. Tickets start at $49.50 for adults and $29.50 for kids. The show is located in the Portlands, in a White Big Top (entrance at 429 Lakeshore Blvd East). Check the website for directions.

My family and I thank the Cavalia Digital team for kindly inviting us to experience Odysseo for ourselves this past weekend. It was a great experience!

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