a kate west review
created by Normand Latourelle
directed by Erick Villeneuve
under the White Big Top
corner of Colorado & Central, downtown Glendale
April/May – Extended!!! Tix $59 - $79, V.I.P. $175
Contact (866) 999-8111 or www.cavalia.net
For those of you fully entrenched in the endlessly fascinating and diverse world of the equine, the magic of “Cavalia” is a dream come true. Created by Nomand Latourelle (co-founder of the world-renowned mystical world of Cirque du Soleil) and directed by Erick Villeneuve, “Cavalia” is a show of lights, acrobats, stunning visual projections and even more beautiful horses. In fact there are thirty-three of them: Arabians, Belgians, Lusitanos, Percherons and Quarter Horses and they are all magnificently impressive, even for those of us who know nothing about horses. And the people keep up the pace pretty nicely as well.
Direct from sold-out runs in San Francisco and all over Canada, this fabulous team of Canadian artists gives the crowd their money’s worth, leaping, bounding and dancing their merry way around the arena. Composer Michel Cusson and Costume Designer Mirelle Vachon provide a new age atmosphere and stylistic costumes while the technical crew also puts on a dazzling display of effects. Scenic Artist Marc Labelle and Lighting Designer Alain Lortie create one of the most imaginative sets this side of the Mississippi by ingeniously projecting a series of incredible images on the backdrop. It really has to be seen to be believed. Jerome Boisvert also does well with Sound Effects and Choreographers Brad Denys and Alain Gauthier provide captivating tribal-like dance numbers.
Then there are the fantastic co-directors: namely, Frederic Pignon (they call him a “horse-whisperer”) and his equally talented wife, Magali Delgado. They appear throughout the production, skillfully showing off the horses’ best tricks, including bowing to the audience (always a classic). It is amazing to watch their quiet rapport with these noble beasts. Each act showcases the highly skilled. Two standout numbers include riders thundering by on Quarter Horses with an astounding display of trick riding and also twirling acrobats high on trapeze swings, interacting with the horses and riders. From beginning to end, the horsemanship is remarkable. Trainer Andre St-Jean is to be applauded as well.
Although the show drags a bit for those of us not completely obsessed with horses, it is suitably entertaining and a huge step above your average circus act. Insider tip: purchasing the V.I.P. package gets you into the V.I.P. tent where the food is plentiful and the service impeccable. And after the show you can visit the stables and see the “artists” up close (no touching allowed) and ask their human companions for autographs. Well worth paying a little extra and watching the younger fans’ delight. This truly original production has something for everyone and is definitely an enchanting evening.