Monday, June 26, 2017

Cavalia Odysseo Review – Mississauga Premiere

One week before Cavalia Odysseo was scheduled to amaze spectators with jaw-dropping equestrian performances and graceful aerial acrobatics, the four-legged stars made their debut on the red carpet - healthy, happy and well groomed. The 38 meter high tent (the size of a CFL football field), stood proudly in my hometown of Mississauga, glistening in the midday sun as the scent of fresh popcorn and cotton candy wafted through the air. 

I had the opportunity to attend an exclusive press event to meet the horses of Odysseo, speak with performers backstage and see a 40 minute media preview of the show before it debuted on June 21st. After spending some time with the cast/crew and beautiful horses, it was apparent how much work and dedication goes into each production.

In the training tent, horses gathered (freshly bathed, brushed and braided) to stretch their legs and enjoyed some bonding time with their trainers.

Backstage there is a makeshift gym and an array of beautiful silk costumes, handmade wigs and practice equipment for the gymnasts.

On opening night the excitement was palpable as guests of all ages entered the tent with wonder. After a quick stop at the concession stand for a snack, it was off to the theater!

There are almost 2,000 seats available with a clear view of the stage, so whether you buy a general admission ticket or opt for the VIP experience, you are sure to have a fabulous night.

The cast and crew gather for photos after the media preview

Odysseo unveils a magical journey of man and horse exploring exotic destinations and extreme climates including an enchanted forest, Nordic glaciers, mountainous valleys and the wild African Savannah. The audience is instantly transported to beautiful landscapes with virtual waterfalls, high-tech theatrical effects and 3D backdrops accompanied by gravity-defying acrobatics.

Photo Credit: Lynne Glazer

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill tent or show - the experience is truly unique and spectacular. The big top supports 80 tons of equipment, and covers one of the largest traveling stages - featuring 150,000 liters of recycled water to create a magnificent lake and 10,000 tons of sand. There are 65 horses, 50 artists including riders, trainers, Chinese pole acrobats, stilt walkers, dancers and musicians who use 350 finely made costumes each night. The breathtaking decor is supported by a screen 3X the size of a movie theater - displaying exhilarating graphics and mesmerizing special effects that bring the fantasy to life.

The endearing moments in the opening scene where horses roam free and frolic in the forest, creates intimate engagement with the audience - truly unique to Odysseo.  Although the horses obey their trainers with a series of small gestures or commands, occasionally they wander off and do their own thing, much to the audience's delight. 

The mix of elegant aerial silks, mystical waterfalls and dream-like carousels that descend from the ceiling creates an amazing contrast of serenity and excitement. Odysseo successfully ignites the imagination and you won’t be able to look away as the 3 story hill rises up under the mountains with a flow of horses galloping majestically towards you.

Photo Credit: Dan Harper

The production is two and a half hours (including a 30 minute intermission) and there are lengthy segments of trotting, basic riding and gymnastic tumbling that seemed a little prolonged and repetitive at times albeit extremely skillful. The poetic music helps accentuate the mythical setting but there isn’t really a story – it’s a lovely series of adventures focusing on human-animal interaction.

The ring scene was by far the most thrilling display of skill as riders hung upside down under fast galloping horses and clung-on sideways in what appeared to be death-defying manoeuvres.  

Photo Credit: Jak Wonderly

In “Tempête,” the sky is adorned with hoops and billowing fabric as artists flip, fly and soar above-head like angles.

In the final scene, the stage is flooded with water as horses race through the lake, playfully splashing the front row. Performers convene for one last jaw-dropping spectacle of talent and everything crescendos to a close. It’s like watching the last moments of a fireworks display with all the best parts saved for last.

If you’re looking for a delightful evening, Odysseo is a treat and I dare you not to fall in love with the horses!

The show is in Mississauga until July 16, 2017 and tickets can be purchased online at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I love hearing from all of my amazing readers. Have a wonderful day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...