CAVALIA ODYSSEO: Horses Reign in Grace


“ A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!”  

  Man’s fascination with the horse began when an early human first peered over the crest of a grass-covered hill to watch a herd storming across a plain, wild and free. Artists have strived forever to express the magical relationship between horse and human. But nobody puts on a horse show like Cirque du Soleil co-founder Normand Latourelle, Artistic Director/ Creator of CAVALIA ODYSSEO. This current spectacular $30 million offering runs through February 22 under the big white top at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark (7300 Rough Riders Trail, Frisco, TX 75034).

Imagine a breath-taking multi-media, multi-cultural celebration of the horse-human connection on an unprecedented scale in an epic nature fantasy setting. ODYSSEO presents a magical immersion experience for all attending, one that brims over with music, visual delight, amazing feats of physical challenge and unending respect and love. Meet horses and humans communing in palpable love-fest.

Sixty-three horses, geldings and stallions, are the stars and catalysts of the show. Whether the scene features a herd of delicate, silver-coated Arabians cavorting at liberty with one gentle female handler or a choreographed cacophony of daredevil trick-riding exploding off the backs of massively powerful sport-horses charging at breakneck speed, human response arises out of respect and love for the power and freedom of the horse. Human-only interludes seem inspired by the horses at play. Sensual, white silk-draped aerialists sky-dance 45 feet up in yin-yang unity atop the merry-go-round. An exuberant troupe of New Guinean acrobat/ drummer/ dancers exhorts the audience into responsive singing and clapping. Spirit horse transforms all with ethereal benediction.CAVALIA

CAVALIA ODYSSEO’s tent, 125 feet tall, covers over 47,000 square feet. It contains the horses’ barns and a theater seating 2000 with unobstructed view overlooking a 160 foot long sand stage in front of a massive 10,000-ton dirt hill. Suspended above hangs a rotating 18-ton merry-go-round for acrobats and aerialists. Upstage, a multi-layered expanse of curtains, comparable to three IMAX cinema screens, creates the two-act performance’s array of naturalistic, hand-drawn fantasy environments with nineteen screen projectors. An 80,000-gallon lake emerges at finale, seeping invisibly into a downstage center pool, where horses, acrobats and dancers play and splash the audience. Live musical accompaniment (Michel Cusson, composer) enlivens the show from stage right and left perches mounted on high. In flawless demonstration of technical synchronicity, ODYSSEO presents a dazzling display of artistic achievement.

CAVALIA ODYSSEO engages its audience as witness to the union of art, sport and nature, arising from the vision of Normand Latourelle and his team of intrepid artists. And the horses, just being themselves….

 Tickets for the FRISCO TX show: 866-999-8111 

CAVALIO ODYSSEO creative team:

Normand Latourelle, Creator & Artistic Director

Michel Cusson, Composer

Benjamin Aillaud, Equestrian Director & Choreographer

Wayne Fowkes, Director & Choreographer

Guillaume Lord, Set Designer

Michele Hamel, Costume Designer

Alain Lortie, Lighting Designer

Geodezik, Visual Design

Darren Charles, Dance Choreographer

Les Oiseaux du Paradis, Choreography for “Carosello”

Alain Gauthier, Choreographer for “The Angels”

 A version of this review appears in THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS:

Quote leading into article: RICHARD III, William Shakespeare Act 5, scene 4, 7–10

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