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Cavalia is Pure CelebrationJune 2017

Story: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

The horses vacation at the farm The horses of Cavalia are ready to inspire you once again, after a well-earned holiday in grassy fields at nearby hosting stable. The biggest touring group in the world has been busy setting up the new stage, after their last round of shows in Chicago. Cavalia’s second and latest production, Odysseo, is presenting for the first time in Mississagua, ON (located next to the Hershey Centre), June 21 - July 16, 2017. It is a feast for the senses, taking the audience on a magical journey of art in motion, physical strength, precision, joy-filled spirit and beautiful harmony celebrating the ancient bond between horse and human.

10,000 tonnes of sandy stage is the playground for these pampered horses. Choreography is present but with great latitude to allow the horses to express themselves, especially in the liberty scenes. Body language is the training tool for these beautiful interactions. With no reprimands for deviating from the exact plan, each show is a little bit different. The expression of strong communication established between the trainers and their horses is evident.

The Odysseo horsesThe scenography, emitted from the simultaneous use of 18 projectors is derived from original paintings of incredible landscapes all over the world. High energy, acrobatics are performed to live music against stunning projections. Constant transformation from awesome to ethereal culminates in a spectacular water scene where 150,000 litres of recycled water inundates the stage in just a few minutes, giving the horses and their co-stars another opportunity to frolic.

Anyone who takes part in the VIP experience (including a tour of the stables) will see the passion and dedication of the staff, ensuring top horse care and well-being. Everything has been designed to minimize stress for the horse, and since change can be a major stressor, the troupe has eliminated any change that they can control. The same tent and layout is used for every location, creating a familiar environment. After traveling (by land or by air) they will always return to the same stall, with the same neighbours, located in the same area in the tent, and everything else will also remain the same (e.g. location of the riding area). Each horse has a large box stall with ample space to stretch, lie down, sprawl out, roll and relax. Read more.

They always eat the same hay brought from Quebec, have an individualized diet program and plenty of time for walks and stretching. The horses live in a climate- controlled stable tent complete with showers, tack shop and a blacksmith department. They are kept impeccably clean with daily grooming from attentive caretakers who out number the amount of horses!

The entourage of close to 200 permanent employees includes veterinary technicians, grooms and 48 talented performers. The team includes the same farrier flown in to take care of routine hoof care. In between shows, all 65 horses of 12 different breeds (Appaloosa, Arabian, Quarter Horse, Canadian Horse, Canadian Warmblood, Holsteiner, Lusitano, Paint Horse, Percheron Hanoverian Cross, Selle Français and Spanish Purebred) enjoy downtime with a break from training at farms with large paddocks. Then the co-ordinating marvel begins arranging for 65 horses to all arrive on location at the same time, often chartering a Boeing 747 up to $250,000 for longer trips. There are up to seven shows a week and the horses are on a rotation to ensure adequate rest.

“It is not always obvious or easy when working with horses for performances as they can’t talk, but it’s important to take the time to understand them and our number 1 priority is always the horses,” says Cavalia founder and artistic director, Normand Latourelle. The company fosters an environment where patience, trust and deep-seated respect for the four-legged stars come first.

From multi-cultural backgrounds, 11 nationalities come together as family in this inspiring travelling show. They give back to each host community, sourcing local workers to help with set up and certain operations, sourcing local products such as the massive amount of sand and textile fibre used for the footing. At the end of the engagement, the sand is often donated to a local equine charity.

Acknowledgement was given citing how Canada has been different than a lot of other countries in that it has welcomed refugees with open arms. To recognize and emulate the tradition, on opening night, June 21, Cavalia welcomed 1,000 Syrian refugees to enjoy the performance for free.

In short, Cavalia is an uplifting celebration sure to engage and impress horse lovers and everyone else!

Show is currently running until July 16, 2017

Box office 10am – 7pm:
5399 Rose Cherry Place, Mississauga, ON, L4Z 1R9
Phone: 9am – 9pm 1-866-999-8111 (Eastern time)
or order online

Members of the equestrian community receive a 10 – 15% special discount on Gold and Rendez-Vous VIP Category tickets.

To purchase tickets (promo code GALLOP)

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