Seeing horses in Calgary is really nothing new. After all, we’re home to the world famous Calgary Stampede, our police patrol on them and wild horses have been known to even wander our city’s streets.

But seeing the horses like the 70+ featured in Cavalia’s new show Odysseo?  Well, now that’s something you’re lucky to see in a lifetime.

If you’re not familiar with Cavalia, a lot of people confuse it for Cirque Du Soleil with horses, but while the mood and energy are very similar, the show is actually not under the Cirque, um, tent, or umbrella, rather. The similarities make sense though, Cavallia too comes out of Quebec and was created by one of Cirque’s original co-founders.   But if you didn’t know any of that, thanks to the giant tent, the elegant setting and the popcorn, you’d probably think you were at a Cirque show.

But yes, the horses are definitely a sign that Cavallia is a different kind of hybrid-circus experience.  But before we get to the horses, it would be silly to ignore the sheer magnitude of the world’s largest travelling tent show.  The massive tent that houses Odysseo is exactly that, massive: 9,910-square-metres in fact. It takes a crew of more than 80 people, who work weeks to assemble it. The tent is the size of two football fields, the stage is bigger than an NHL rink and it features three IMAX screens. THREE!  Experiencing the tent itself is part of the magic of Odysseo.

So what does a Cirque-type show featuring dozens of horses look like?  Well, nothing like you’ve ever imagined. Which is what makes Odysseo more than just a show, it really is an experience. Beautifully merging the worlds of human and horse, the show delves into the pure power of these animals, all while giving you unbelievable staging and acrobatics. I know there is a huge population of the world that loves horses, almost as much as I love Frozen, and I can’t imagine how much they would love this show.

It’s hard to write a review for a show like this, because part of the magic of it is the “What are they going to do next?” element. And that’s where the show really amazes.  No second is like the last, no feat is too daring, but because it’s all done so perfectly and safely, you can just sit back and enjoy the once in a lifetime experience, except by the time it’s over, you may just want to be back and experience it again.

Cavalia’s Odysseo gallops in Calgary until June 1st. Tickets start at $24.50


Mike Morrison


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