Cavalia: Not Your Average Pony Show
When I saw the signs in Miami for Cavalia, the horse show from a Cirque du Soleil founder, I was interested and intrigued. My companion, however, scoffed: “Why would I want to see them dance around with horses?” Admittedly, I turned his statement over in my mind and thought he could be right. Then, another friend surprised me with a ticket to the event and it seemed as if fate had brought me to the spectacle. Cavalia is not merely dressage - by definition show- ing off the jumping and willingness of the horses to perform. Cavalia is a show saluting the historic bond between rider and horse, and presents it as a poem. The animals are rotated and well cared for, and according to devotees of the show, even given vacation time off on country horse farms.
Cirque du Soleil traditionally does not use animals in their performances. Acrobatic, beautifully performed scenes set to music, amidst projections of Roman arenas and other virtual locales are the driving force behind the performances. In Cavalia, we see horses and performers bond together with artful music, both acoustic and sung. Whether we see a dainty maiden in a virtual ballet with her white steed, watch acrobats fly onto and off the horses, perform in mid-air, or witness an homage to the trick riding of the Old West, there’s a real love between rider and horse.
The Roman Riding, presented against an imposed screen of a Roman arena, showcases svelte riders that stand on and ride two horses at a time. This interlude is perhaps the show stopper. The male performers gallop out and even make the horses jump over improvised obstacles. It took my breath away a few times. On more than one occasion I feared that the performers (or the horses) breaking a leg or neck. However, these are calm performers—both equine and human—that love to entertain.
The gentle bond that trainers have with the more than sixty horses is truly breath- taking. Since the closest relationship I have had with horses comes from childhood sum- mer camp experiences, seeing their natural dexterity was more than I bargained for. And the audience was an excellent mix of ages (including the mandatory contingent of uni- corn-obsessed pre-teenaged girls).
You will not be disappointed seeing these athletic performers gallop and ride with a physical dexterity and grace that borders on sensual. Be sure you gallop over to the Web site and purchase your tickets. You’ll be glad you did.
|TICKETS:||$39.50 to $189.50
day of week
|DATES:||Through February 7th|
|BOX OFFICE:||1075 Biscayne Blvd.