Throughout history, the Arab horse has been revered and valued. The Arab’s proud, graceful nature has inspired writers to pronounce “thou shalt fly without wings and conquer without swords”. History repeats itself. Prepare for your heart and imagination to be conquered once again by the magnificent Arabians in the new version of the theatrical production Cavalia Odysseo.
The awe-inspiring stage production gallops into Scottsdale, Arizona starting February 21 under its massive White Big Top with a spectacular display of showmanship, horsemanship, and beauty, featuring Arabians as premiere equine stars of this never-before-seen version of Cavalia Odysseo that will dazzle you.
Last in Scottsdale five years ago, Cavalia Odysseo returns with an even bigger theatrical experience that will mesmerize audiences of all ages. More magical, grandiose and spectacular than before, Cavalia Odysseo will take your breath away. The production now features more magnificent horses (70) of 12 different breeds and more talented artists (50) that include riders, acrobats, dancers, aerialists, stilt walkers, and musicians. The $30 million breathtaking production has grown considerably in size and scope over the last few years without losing its soul. The stage itself is nearly twice its original size, enabling larger-scale and even more cutting-edge performances. For breathtaking perspectives, the new scenic space includes a full 3-story high mountain built with 10,000 tons of earth. You really don’t need to go to Vegas to see a Vegas show while Cavalia Odysseo is in town.
The 70 horses in the performance represent 12 different breeds from around the world. The equine performers include the Appaloosa, Arabian, Canadian Horse, Warmblood, Lusitano, Paint Horse, Percheron Hanoverian Cross, Quarter Horse, Selle Français, Thoroughbred, Spanish Purebred (P.R.E.) and Warlander. All the horses are male, either stallions or geldings.
Cavalia Odysseo has 12 Arabians on tour. Nine perform on stage and three are in training. The beautiful Arabians play leading roles in this spectacular theater that combines stage arts and equestrian art, skill, and beauty. The Arabians in the production are lively, curious, and very intelligent, each displaying an individual character. It is the Arabians that wow the audience with the liberty work on stage.
The Freedom scene opens with a trainer kneeling alone in a forest clearing. As if by magic, one by one, nine gorgeous, snow-white Arabian stallions slowly approach the trainer, circling around him. This is not a fantasy, nor a dream. Using barely visible signals and commands, the trainer communicates with the beautiful horses in a demonstration of liberty work that evokes a sense of freedom, beauty, trust, and skill. The Arabians freely dance, circle, change gaits, directions and whirl in unison, but not without individual expressions of personalities: one cheeky guy makes faces at his playmates, while another turns his head to watch the audience as he canters past. The scene is a delight and a joy for every horse person to admire.
The mystical scenes of horses and humans freely interacting in the magical Cavalia Odysseo production involves a specific and deliberate training process built on trust, affection, and communication. This freedom training begins as a game and little by little, the choreography takes shape. The end result is a phenomenal display of trust and a beautiful dance between human and horse. One of the Freedom trainers, Ms. Elise Verdoncq, describes the process and the appreciation every trainer has in their relationship with their equine partner when she expresses, “What I find most gratifying is their trust in me. This develops when they feel truly comfortable around me. Horses are like children. And when I am working with them, I feel like a kindergarten teacher”.
How have the Cavalia Odysseo trainers accomplished so much with these Arabians? The company fosters an environment where patience, trust, and deep-seated respect for the horses comes first. Cavalia’s training methods are designed to ensure that the horses enjoy training and performing on stage. The trainers pay close attention to the feedback from their horses. Every request is adapted and respectful of what the horses are ready to offer.
Training these equine stars begins with establishing a bond and the knowledge that they are there to play and have fun. These intelligent, willing Arabians respond to their trainer’s voice and body language to create a lovely, flowing choreography.
In keeping with the Cavalia philosophy and practices in training all their equine stars, Ms. Verdoncq states, “From the very start of our relationship, the horses read my body language. I move toward them or back up, I spread my hands or draw them together. I try to add variety based on what the horses are prepared to give me. Afterward, we have to live with what works or doesn’t. I always respect what the horses decide. They accept my requests only because they want to. And they want to because they’re free and we’re having an exchange, we’re sharing something in this playful moment”.
Cavalia Odysseo has once again managed to artfully and magnificently marry the equestrian arts, stage arts, and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before seen levels. This is a revolutionary live production filled with superlatives: the world’s largest big top tent and touring production, the biggest stage, the most beautiful visual effects, and the largest number of horses performing at liberty.
Although the creative genius and monumental scope of Cavalia Odysseo boggles the mind, the essence of this equestrian odyssey is a live performance that feeds the soul. True to their nature and heritage, the Arabians in this magnificent production exude energy, intelligence and nobility. Cavalia Odysseo offers an experience that is magical, beautiful, and tender. The spectator is transported to discover new horizons, unlimited imagination, and a dream world where beauty, serenity, and hope reign. Prepare to be wowed. Don’t miss out on a show of a lifetime.
For show schedule, tickets and more information, click here