Skip to main content

Must See: Cavalia's Odysseo Returns to Toronto Opening April 8 2015 #Cavalia

Cavalia Presents Odysseo
Opening Night: April 8, 2015
at the Portlands, Toronto for a Four Week Run (So Far...)

Get Your Tix


With gorgeous, nimble dancers and acrobats - including a fully vulcanized troupe of acrobats from Guinea - the usual Cirque-ish attention to production values, live music and of course, horses and more horses, there's not much not to like about Odysseo, Cavalia's  spectacular production that returns to Toronto's portlands after a three year hiatus.

Odysseo is essentially a fantasy, a meditation on various landscapes - rendered in a stunning panoramic set with a combination of superb video from three IMAX screens and a stage set that included a mountain the horses rode down from and - at the very end of course - a 300,000 liter pool that fills up at the bottom of the stage.

With 70 horses, 45 performers and countless stage and technical hands (and they hire half their stage staff locally - another bonus,) this is the largest touring production of anything, anywhere and takes a spectacular logistical feat to get and keep organized.

Just a few of the details:

• 1,626 square metre stage
• 10,000 tons of rock, earth and sand are trucked in to create the setting
• The Big Top is 37 metres tall
 
According to founder and Artistic Director Normand Latourelle, it takes 21 semi-trailers and two to three weeks to get the show packed up and either set up or torn down. The company spent the winter touring Dallas and Mexico, with the horses taking a break in Kentucky before coming to Toronto for the show's run.

This is no "just the show" experience either - there's a swank indoor/outdoor lounge area, bar, washrooms better than most night clubs and merchandise to any taste.

The run has already been extended by two weeks and I suspect it will be again for at least that long. Last time they were in Toronto in 2012, the show ran an impressive 18 weeks and sold 150,000 tickets.

Man & Horse
What is most to love about Cavalia is the clear love all of these people have for the magnificent animals they work with. The scenes include elegant exhibitions of dressage and formation riding, then switch to acrobatics, then Western-style daredevil trick riding on Appaloosas that thunder by at breakneck speeds.

One of the highlights for me is the so-called liberty training - where the horses perform without rider, saddle or any tack at all, free and only to the voice of one trainer. Twelve white and grey Arabians performed various moves - and behaved despite the obvious rivalries between them. It takes a very deep understanding and trust to be able to pull that off; an impressive feat.


Comments

What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:

POLINA SEMIONOVA TO APPEAR AS GUEST ARTIST
WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
FOR 2011 SPRING SEASON AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

Blues/Rock:
The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…