In the cold, bleak months of March and April, a mysterious and intriguing city of white tents slowly began to emerge by the South Town Mall. I would watch it's progress every morning and evening as I endured my daily commute to and from work. Next, big banners started appearing around the city, featuring a big white horse and the words, "Odysseo by Cavalia"
When I researched this event that was preparing to take our city by storm, I couldn't wait to get tickets of my own. I have always loved the beauty and the creativity of the Cirque Du Soleil shows in Vegas, and this Odysseo by the entertainment company Cavalia, looked very similar, but featured 70 live horses. I knew this show was going to be right up my ally.
Here are a few facts about this one-of-a-kind show:
The White Big Top is the size of two NFL fields, making it the world’s largest tent.
The White Big Top is hand washed by team of 10 climbers.
The stage is larger than a hockey rink, and the on-stage hill is 3-stories high.
70 horses from eleven horse breeds are represented in the show: Arabian, Andalusian, Quarter Horse, Lusitano, Spanish Purebred, Paint, Mustang, Selle Francais, Lippizan, Holsteiner, Warmblood (Canada).
Instead of stilts, acrobatics don running blades.
The high-definition screen is three times the size of a typical IMAX
There’s no net to catch aerialist should they take a tumble. Fortunately a few road apples are plopped down to cushion any falls.
The stage gets flooded with 40,000 gallons of water for act two of the show, and all the water gets recycled
Artists go through 350 costumes and 100 pairs of shoes and boots during the performance.
Each rider trains two to three horses a day.
The show can vary by 20 minutes since the horses are allowed to vary from the practiced performance. The music is performed live to accommodate these extra movements.
600 meals are catered daily for Cavalia staff.
It takes 80 employees to set up and tear down the show.
(Disclaimer: Photography wasn't allowed during the performance, so I borrowed all of these gorgeous photos from the internet ...)
So, needless to say, it's quite the production. Cavalia is a fabricated word, inspired by the Spanish and French words for horse (caballo and cheval) and the English word cavalier. Cavalia is the inspiration of Normand Latourelle — one of the famed founders of Cirque du Soleil — who sought to combine theatrical production with the energy of acrobats and the fluidity of aerialists, and marry that with the beauty of the human and horse connection.
Bethy arranged getting tickets for the entire family, and we all excitedly crossed the threshold of the Big White Top. I was so excited to finally see the inside of the large tent that I had been passing everyday to and from work! The tent can accommodate 2,000 spectators, and there wasn't a bad seat in the house. We were all enchanted and captivated from the very first act.
The creativity, beauty and imagination of this show is unlike anything I have ever seen. Every single detail from the set design, to the costumes, to the music, to the choreography was beyond amazing. All the performers are so talented and were performing acts I wouldn't ever dare to think could be accomplished.
A giant carousel floated down from the ceiling for one of my favorite acts. It was beyond magical.
Adding the element of water to an already outstanding show was almost too much to bare! Just when I thought this show couldn't get any better, it went and proved me wrong.
If you haven't caught on by now, I absolutely loved this show, as did everyone in my family. We were giddy with excitement and glee by the final act. Odysseo is an elegant, lively, up-beat, gorgeous and unique show, there really isn't anything like it and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to experience it during it's short time in Utah. The show played in Utah for about three months then moved on to Portland, then on to California, it's the world's largest traveling show. If I ever get the opportunity to see this show again, I most definitely will!