I’m not sure words exist that could even begin to adequately describe Cavalia Odysseo. The choreography is exceptional. The sheer athleticism of the highly skilled, perfectly balanced, exceptionally talented riders is beyond compare. And the horses…oh my. They are pure poetry in motion. I couldn’t even venture a guess at how many thousands of hours have been invested in training these majestic athletes and accustoming them to the sights and sounds of this intricately detailed, thoroughly mesmerizing performance.
If any of us imagined we were in any way creative, if we thought we could ride, or train, or that we held some degree of athletic prowess, we were wrong. The bar has been set very high, and you know nothing of what true artistry or athleticism is until you see this show.
Starting tomorrow evening (April 20, 2016) and running through May 15, 2016, the show takes place under the big white tents at Sandy, Utah’s Southtown mall, just north of 10600 S. The ticket prices may seem high, until you realize that you’re witnessing a miracle. You’re investing in inspiration. And once you come to understand how entirely, indescribably phenomenal Cavalia Odysseo truly is, the value of that ticket is priceless.
Odysseo is Cavalia’s second production; the first premiering in late 2011. The Cavalia website states that it is “…the world’s largest touring production, Odysseo marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before-seen levels. This larger-than-life show sends hearts racing, but it is also a feast for the eyes that succeeds in delivering the spectacular with soul. Audiences of all ages are rediscovering with emotions the century-old relationship between human and horse. As friends, partners and inseparable performers on stage, 70 horses and 45 artists lead the spectator on a great journey in a world of dreams where, together, they discover some of the planet’s most unforgettable landscapes.”
They go on to describe their “…impressive technical display and equestrian and acrobatic numbers that are unlike anything ever seen on stage, Odysseo is first and foremost a work that feeds the soul. The poetry flowing from this grand adventure shines a light on a more humane world where human and horse may live in harmony.”
Artistic director Normand Latourelle is a creative genius. With a successful career spanning four decades, he’s worked in most every position, from lighting designer to agent, production manager, director and artistic director. A pioneer of Cirque du Soleil from 1985 to 1990, Latourelle has been involved in many grand events. Visit the Cavalia website to read more about this innovative visionary.
One of the many unique aspects of Cavalia Odysseo is the live music. Look up in the wings and notice the musicians that skillfully accompany each element of this emotive spectacle. Musical director Michel Cusson has outdone himself with Odysseo, which marks his fourth collaboration with Normand Latourelle. Cusson’s work in jazz fusion composition has graced both big and small screens (25 films, 19 televison series), in addition to live performances. He is the recipient of some 30 awards in the Canadian arts.
These artists are just two of the far-reaching team that has invested countless time, and so much more, into bringing Odysseo to life. As we explained at the onset of this review, mere mortal words simply cannot do justice to this indescribable event .
I could go on and on about the music, the acrobatics, the entirely astounding visual feast that makes up the scenery. You will be transported. You will be moved to tears. And there are the practical aspects. How on earth, in this confined space, created atop a shopping mall’s parking lot, do they provide adequate and safe footing to maintain the soundness of these horses? It’s a dense, thickly cushioned bed of sand, silca and nylon fiber. Whether dissecting the theatrical or practical elements, you will be fascinated. The thought, “Oh, how do they….?” is sure to run through your mind a hundred times (at least).
Time flies. You are not in a big white tent at the Southtown mall. You are worlds away. You’re on a mountain. You’re next to a scenic lake. You’re part of a time and place so magical that you cannot possibly picture it. Until you’re there. So invest in yourself; reward yourself with the experience that is Cavalia Odysseo.