So, just what IS Cavalia?
Cavalia is more than a circus, and I could describe it as a real life movie. Cavalia Odysseo combines digital, live music, singing, water, animals, and air for a show like nothing I’ve ever seen. Marrying the love of the horse, Cavalia touts superlatives like “world’s largest touring production and traveling top, the biggest stage, the most beautiful visual effects, and the largest number of horses.”
In my own words, it’s one of the most extravagant, spare no expense, production that I’ve ever seen. How many events come to town and bring their own stadium? Think about that. Also, I noticed the abundance of billboards and signage. Cavalia, I SEE YOU.
Read on for more about Cavalia Odysseo and what it takes to bring the $7 million dollars live entertainment production to Nashville.
Odysseo is the story of horses, riders, acrobats, on a soulful journey that leads them from the Mongolian steppes to Monument Valley and from the African savannah to Nordic glaciers, from the Sahara to Easter Island. Along the way, they meet lively stilt walkers, African Acrobats, a live carousel and a troop of horses and riders where they exchange song and dance.
So just how many horses and performers are there?
65 horses from 12 different breeds including the Appaloosa, Arabian, Canadian Horse, Warmblood, Lusitano, Paint Horse, Percheron Hanoverian Cross, Quarter Horse, Selle Français, Thoroughbred, Spanish Purebred (P.R.E.) and Warlander.
The horses in Cavalia are the star of the show, for sure.
The artists (aerialist, stilt walkers, acrobatics, and riders) are from around the world including the United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Italy, Guinea, South Africa, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine.
Tell me more about the horses….
The horses are from Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, the United States and Canada.
Horses selected for their temperament and trainability and are cycled through onboarding, acclimation, trust, training, performance, and retirement for what I could see as the best job in the world (for a horse). Some horses are paired with riders, and some horses, that are trained for group performances.
Each horse is bathed, groomed, massaged every day. Their hair washed and braided daily.
In between cities, the horses, along with the handlers and staff vacation away at ranches where the horses get a chance to stretch their legs and just be horses.
Have other cities had the Cavalia experience?
Cavalia premiered in 2011 across US, Mexico, and Canada. Nashville will be one of its few stops in the SE United States. Cavalia boasts over 2 million spectators thus far!
Just how massive is its set up?
The original European production is twice the size. The big white tops that travel the world were specially-designed in Europe. Odysseo’s White Big Top is the size of an NFL football field. Included in construction is a 50 foot-wide backstage area offers a vast labyrinth of horse stalls, practice rinks, and grooming bathing stations for the famous horses. Locally sourced construction workers sign on to participate in the approximately six-week installation of the big white top project and are often offered contract extensions to travel with the productions.
The horses live in a climate- controlled stable tent complete with showers, tack shop and a blacksmith department. A staff kitchen tent prepares more than 300 meals daily.
Each of its 18 digital screens creates an effect called cyclorama which is over three times larger than the largest movie cinema screens.
So what did you think about it KB?
It was really cool. I’m the type of spectator that not only is looking around at the cables and contraptions, how the digital screens work, and where was the source of the live music. At the same time, I like to enjoy the show and the message. Both were the message of grandeur, sensuality, energy, and grace. It was art alive. I would recommend this show to the family as well as a date night for a “something different, this is the coolest show I’ve ever seen” type of experience, reminiscent of a Las Vegas show.
My favorite parts were the carousel, the horse tricks, and the horses in the water. I clapped and cheered, ooo’d and ahh’d!
Grab your tickets to Cavalia Odysseo here: https://cavalia.com/nashville/
Here’s a 5-minute video with snippets of the show!
Karla (KB) Burnett is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Life. She loves coffee and donuts. She is a Nashville Native and Lifestyle Blogger; a Free Spirit, and a Music Lover. Be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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