Cavalia Spectacular!

Cavalia Show Highlights Cavalia is back again in Southern California, this time in Burbank. Normand Latourelle, one of the founders of Canada’s famed Cirque du Soleil, created the grand spectacular between horses and humans we know as “Cavalia.” The first year Cavalia came to California was in 2004. One of the most amazing things about the production is the sheer size and scale of it! Cavalia is held under the largest touring big top in North America reaching a height of 100 feet with a stage that is 160 feet wide! This allows the horses enough space to gallop and play with the artists at times free, unfettered by bridles or halters, my kind of show!

The first time Cavalia came to Southern California, I went only once, because that is the way people usually do it, just attending one performance once a season. The next time I couldn’t help attending the show three times- especially because Cavalia doesn’t come ever year, and there is no guarantee that they will return. I thought I was probably in the minority going back to see three shows in the same season. Few people are as horse crazy as I am! Then I found out that many people have returned many more times than I have.

This year I got to go back stage with the press on media day. That was when I discovered how delicious it is behind the scenes. In fact, behind the scenes in my estimation is even greater than the show itself, if that is possible. Behind the scenes, under the protection of the big top, the atmosphere is soft and comforting from the glowing light that filters through the tented stables, and time seems to stand still. The horses are content and happy. The care of all the horses shows a true love and respect for the horse like I would like for all horses. The horses are in top form and are kept as clean as sculptures in a museum. The footing for the horses is as wonderful back stage as it is on stage.

Now that I have attended the opening of Cavalia at Burbank and have been back stage, the only thing left to do is to get to observe more training sessions of Sylvia Zerbini. She is the captivating liberty act that performs with her 9 Arabian horses. Her relationship with her horses is breathtaking from the standpoint of what she has achieved with them. She has truly crossed over to the other side from our world to theirs and they know how lucky they are to have her in their lives. The connection she has with her horses is the connection we would like to share with each other.

So, what is the best part of the show? The best part for me- past the changing set designs, live music, the water screen, and the virtually changing seasons with falling snow and falling leaves, through extraordinary lighting and the time stopping pace is Sylvia Zerbini’s act. Her act opens in a magical forest with horses that are running free through the woods, aware of their freedom and each other. You get to see horses grooming each other, mock fighting, playing, and rolling on the ground with high spirited energy as they move around freely showing many interactive rituals natural to horses that I have learned to understand and has brought me the bond that I share with them in my life. Sylvia then appears on the scene, and then, one by one they greet her as they naturally become aware of her presence. What happens is a spontaneous greeting of all the horses to Sylvia right in front of your eyes, as she starts to play with them. Little by little, a planned choreography begins to take shape that turns into a precision connection that you are just not going to see any place else!

Because of the freedom and playful nature of the horses on the stage, every time I go I see a different horse behavior that continues to shed light on my studies of horse behavior. Normally for horse lovers to get to see these interactions take place you would have to spend many months in the wild- and still maybe not get to see as much as what Cavalia offers in a single evening’s event.

Now that I have myself worked up over how much I liked the show, my next wish would be to get the chance to personally interview Normand Latourelle over lunch one to one. I have been to Cavalia this year in some form or another three times, and plan on returning before the show leaves. Maybe I will see you there! Here is some video of the show, interviews and the arrival of the horses and Sylvia working with her horses as well as Fairland Ferguson giving an interview while Roman Riding. Lori Brown Smith videoed during the media day for my coverage of Cavalia. She also got the opportunity to get some pointers from Fairland Ferguson on Roman Riding. We also got to see the kind of Roman Riding pads they use to stand on.

If you go, Cavalia offers special tickets that will let you get to talk to the artists and visit with their horses behind the scenes. I would highly recommend this to get the fullest experience that Cavalia offers. Even if you do not get the package I mentioned- be sure to get your tickets as early as possible so you can get the best seats!

I look forward to hearing about more new horse and human sightings!

Have a great weekend!

Carolyn