Cavalia: Not Just Horsing Around

Published: 2003-10-21
Cavalia, the equestrian show that's come to Toronto is quite the event. It
is what you would expect of Cirque De Soleil meets horses. There are
moments of great emotional impact where the creators have succeeded in their
efforts. Other moments elicit vastly different responses from various
members of the audience.

The type of acts included are many. There are traditional big tent horse
tricks where riders stand on the back of moving horses and perform leaps and
spins. On the other end are the trained tricks of making horses walk
sideways. This is where I had problems. Even though the bond between the
performers and animals was evident making them do silly tricks to amuse
people is demeaning. Yes, it is apparently quite a feat to make a few
horses walk backwards but it is unnatural and pointless.

Where the show worked best was when the horses were free to run and do what they would; when the performers would run alongside them and they would play. The other style of act that was incredible was the integration of acrobatics, tumbling and dancing with the horses. They would soar around in the air on wires and return to the backs of their steeds.

The music was excellent with a small live band who were occasionally
illuminated behind the backdrop. It was the music supporting and coupled
with the majesty of the horses that served to create magical moments.
Overall the show is amazing and well worth seeing. A unique event.

Writer: Nathaniel Whitfield



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