When the curtain lifts on Cavalia, a woman and a gelding stand on a stage covered in sand. They appear to be strangers to one another – fine representatives of their species and sexes, reflected in the pool of water between them. But when the woman moves, the horse responds and when the horse moves, the woman responds. She offers him water from her hand, he drinks. Gradually, this tentative reciprocal play turns into an interactive dance in which the two bodies become absolutely complementary and logical in their togetherness.
“Cavalia” is a multi-media spectacle that combines circus acrobatics, dressage, dance and music, and features 35 two-legged and 50 four-legged performers. Since opening in 2003, it has been seen by over 1.5 million people in North America and Europe. Its success stems in part from its professionalism – artistic director Normand Latournelle was one of the founders of the immensely successful Cirque du Soleil – but also from the narrative at its core, one of enduring fascination: the relation-ship between man and beast.
“Cavalia’s” equestrian directors are the young French couple Frédéric Pignon and Magali Delgado. Pignon is one of Europe’s most renowned “horse ...