Cavalia’s Odysseo opens in Calgary

The poetry flowing from this grand adventure shines a light on a more humane world where human and horse may live in harmony. For just a few hours, the spectator sets off to discover new horizons, the limits of his imagination, and gets to experience a waking dream in a world where beauty, serenity and hope reign.

– Cavalia Press Release


Nomads – Credits: Pascal Ratth??

No one in Alberta would argue that we have  just been through a long and tedious winter. Hence many of us have not been able to put as much time into our equine pursuits. Shows like Cavalia however, are great for re-igniting our passion, inspiration and excitement for horses as we launch into spring. Here is the opportunity to see a stunning demonstration of accomplishments with horses, in a unique and artistic way.

Reviews of Odysseo typically include the words dreamlike, breathtaking, thrilling, poetic, enchanting and magical. You don’t want to miss this show.

On April 24th, we joined a full house of 2000 for the premiere of Cavalias Odysseo.

Odysseo follows in the grand hoofprints of the original Cavalia in theatrical style. If you were fortunate enough to attend Cavalia when it came through Calgary in 2012, you will be familiar with the complex stage production, the stunning horses and incredible acrobatic performances.

Odesseo builds on the original production with an unbelievable stage. The 1626 square meter performance area includes a three storey hill built on a base of 10,000 tons of rock, so yes, you can actually see horses galloping into the sunset!  The landscape takes the audience through beautiful world scenery from Easter Island to the Sahara, to Mongolia. With lighting and technical effects, the ground can appear to be sand, grass, rock – just about any surface imaginable, including water. Real water that is, using an underground water system and 300,000 liters of water to almost instantly create a lake.


Odysseo Finale | Credits: Lynne Glazer

Think your home entertainment system is awesome ? To complement the stage production, the Odysseo background is composed of 3D high definition graphics, using 18 simultaneous projectors on an immense cyclorama the size of three IMAX screens. Married with the technical complexity of the stage setup, this is unarguably a revolutionary show.

You’ll be witness to some daring feats of acrobatic prowess, and displays of liberty horsemanship the likes of which you have never seen. Not to give anything away, but just try to imagine a liberty act with 32 horses in perfect harmony…

The Odysseo show has 70 horses of 11 different breeds, the most prominent being Lusitanos, Arabians and Quarter Horses. Truly an international production, the horses are from Spain, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, Germany, The United States and Canada, including 2 Canadian horses. There are no mares in the production which makes sense given that there are over 20 stallions.

This show capitalizes on something that no other show does: the horse simply being a horse. Oh yes, these horses are superbly trained, and the connection with their handlers particularly in the liberty work is both obvious and impressive.  But many of the scenes feature horses playing with each other. One particularly moving scene begins with the stage full of horses all lying down with their riders relaxing beside or on them.  I spoke with one of the trainers who mentioned that no show is ever alike.  The horses are spirited, energetic, and are allowed to have fun and express themselves.  For example, in a scene where many horses were on stage, one of the equine performers decided he was going to do his own thing, generating laughter from the audience. What I appreciate is that the handlers simply smile and work with what the horses give them. This dynamic is also the reason the show features live music.

The equine performers are truly the heart and soul of this show. Cavalias philosophy on horses follows.

We are committed to nurturing them and prioritizing their comfort and well-being. The Cavalia approach is based on training methods designed to ensure the horses enjoy training with us and performing on stage. Trainers pay close attention to the horses to ensure that every request is adapted and respectful of what they are ready to offer. Our philosophy is rooted in patience, trust and deep-seated respect. This genuine sense of caring and authenticity is inevitably what resonates with our audiences.


Grand Cavalia | Credits: Fran??ois Bergeron

As a strong advocate of horsemanship, I can honestly say that after viewing several shows, meeting the performers and trainers, and particularly visiting with the horses, that there is no hint of exaggeration in that statement. This is an amazing display of horsemanship, riding, and what can be accomplished with the human-horse connection.

But lets not forget the 2 legged part of this production!

The 49 exceptionally talented artists in the show hail from around the world. Acrobats, aerialists, riders, dancers and musicians. With over 600 Odysseo performances under their belts, these performers make the seemingly impossible look easy. You will not be able to watch this show without considering a membership at the gym.

As we watched these incredibly nimble people literally flying about the stage, I wondered how they keep coming up with new ideas for aerial performances. The fact that all the manoeuvres are beautifully intertwined with story themes, stage settings, music and artistic presentation speaks volumes about the creative minds behind this production.

But you have to see it for yourself.

For a preview of the show, great pictures and more information, visit??


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About admin

Scott has a wide variety of experience in the horse industry including mountain riding, outfitting, training horses and riders, starting and re-starting horses, producing horsemanship webinars and podcasts, running the Canadian Cowboy Challenge and of course, operating Amazing Horse Country. He affectionately refers to his herd of horses as his "kids". Scott has uniquely integrated his horsemanship with a knowledge of equine bio-mechanics and psychology to gain a thorough understanding of these great animals.

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