Friday, August 9, 2013

Horse Extravaganza Show Extends Near Boston

The Travelers V / Les voyageurs V | Credits: JF Leblanc
Cavalia’s Odysseo, a $30-million horse show imagined by Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, has extended its run under the White Big Top at  201 Assembly Square Drive in Somerville, MA at the intersection of Interstate 93 and Route 28.

Tickets, priced from $34.50-$139.50 are on sale through Aug. 25: or by calling 1-866-999-8111.  VIP tickets (Rendez-Vous package) offer the best seats in the house, buffet-dinning before the show, open bar, deserts during intermission and an exclusive visit of the stable after the show. The Rendez-Vous package prices range from $154.50 to $219.50.

To give life to this extraordinary equestrian adventure, Cavalia created a 17,500-square-foot stage, in the middle of which rise two hills each three storeys tall. Some 10,000 tons of rock, earth and sand are trucked in and then sculpted to create the vast space of freedom where human and horse come to play in complicity.

Above the stage hangs an imposing technical grid capable of supporting 80 tons of equipment including, a full-sized merry-go-round. Odysseo presents a “live 3-D” voyage with extremely high-definition computer graphic images that transport the audience across the world’s most beautiful landscapes. To project these
breathtaking graphic backdrops on an immense cyclorama the size of three IMAX screens, Odysseo uses 18 projectors simultaneously.

The dream begins in a misty, enchanted forest where horses graze and frolic under a sky of rolling clouds and a setting sun. Horses, riders, acrobats and musicians embark on a soulful journey that leads them from the Mongolian steppes to Monument Valley, from the African savannah to Nordic glaciers, from the Sahara to Easter Island.

Among the sites on this grand voyage are urban stilters,  a troupe of African acrobats, horses powering angelic aerialists in a four-person silks act that takes them into the skies, an African harp called a Kora and purebred Arabian horses directed by inaudible vocal commands from their kneeling trainer.

The scenes follow the seasons; at times, the horses and people become too numerous to count. The Odysseo epic wraps up with a fantastic crescendo as the stage is inundated with 80,000 gallons of water in just a few minutes. A virtual waterfall overhangs the resulting lake, in which horses, riders and artists join to frolic, leaving behind them the traces of their splashes and an astonished audience.

Fun Facts:
  • Odysseo features 63 horses of 11 different breeds including the Appaloosa, Arabian, Canadian, Holsteiner, Lusitano, Oldenburg, Paint Horse, Quarter Horse, Spanish Purebred (P.R.E.) and armblood.Headquartered in Montreal.
  • The horses are from Spain, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, Germany, The United States and Canada.
  • There are 47 artists - riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers and musicians.
  • The artists are from around the world including the United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Belgium, Guinea, Russia, Spain and Ukraine.
  •  There are 350 costumes and 100 pairs of shoes and boots in the show. Artists may have up to seven different costumes.
Cavalia Inc. is an entertainment company that specializes in the creation, production and touring of innovative shows for audiences of all ages. Founded by Latourelle, the company has an expertise in equestrian and performing arts, and is known for cutting-edge technology, multimedia and special effects. Cavalia, seen by some 4million people across North America and Europe since its 2003 debut, celebrates the relationship between humans and horses by loosely recounting the evolution of this bond.

The website for Odysseo says information about tour stops in Washington, DC and Seattle is coming.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)
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