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Equestrian Ballet of Global Renown Gallops into Melbourne
Cavalia is billed as 'a magical encounter between human and horse' and something of an equestrian ballet. Created by one of the Cirque du Soleil co-founders, Normand Latourelle, this multi-media and multi-disciplinary production will be in Melbourne, and is sure to get horsey types more than a little gee-ed-up.
Since launching the international tour from its Canadian home in 2003, Cavalia has played to more than 4 million people in 2100 performances in 59 cities across North America and Europe. Its significant entourage now gallops into Melbourne following seasons in Brisbane and Sydney.
By all accounts Cavalia is a lavish production. Staged in a Big White Top the height of a ten storey building, the stars of the show are forty-seven horses of diverse breeds, who interact with thirty-seven riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians from Canada, France, Belgium, the United States, Morocco, Australia, Moldavia and Russia.
In essence Cavalia explores the relationship between humans and horses throughout history, on a 50 metre wide stage, and in front of a digital background projected onto a 60 metre-wide screen. The size of the arena allows space for the equestrian stars to gallop at full speed.
So what does Cavalia mean? Organisers explain "Cavalia" is a fabricated word, devised by combining the terms for horse in Spanish (caballo) and French (cheval), and the English word cavalry.
The horses are drawn from 10 different breeds, including one Australian Stock Horse, and together they reportedly consume 17,500 bales of hay, 16,550 kilograms of grain and 795 kilograms of carrots each year.
Six musicians accompany the spectacle on guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, cello and vocals, adapting as required to the pace of the four-legged cast members. Described as a unique blend of pop, classical jazz and world music, the songs are sung in French and Spanish.
Reviews of Cavalia have been upbeat. Among the accolades Larry King (CNN) announced it is "the best show I have ever seen" and Jay Leno (The Tonight Show) as "the greatest show I have ever seen". Telecinco in Madrid hailed it "one of the most beautiful shows in the world", and, closer to home, Sydney's Daily Telegraph declared Cavalia "Jaw-Dropping! Mesmerising! Spectacular!"
Due to overwhelming demand, thirteen additional shows have now been added to the original Melbourne season which opens on 24th July and runs until 18th August. Get a group together and enjoy a discounted rate. If you're really keen, there are VIP packages available which include a tour of the stables.
I'd love to take my daughter to see this! Still tossing up - cheapest tickets are $64 adult and $44 child for weekday seats with a partially obstructed view (*gulp*). Would be interested to hear from anyone who has been - maybe a partially obstructed is worth it. :)