THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS! AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!

CIRCUS NOW OPEN!

2014 Convention

SAVE THE DATES

SAVE THE DATES

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: 'Cavalia' in San Jose


Riders and their horses in CAVALIA which arrived in San Jose
 July 18, 2012
 Photo credit: Lynne Glazer/Cavalia
By Karen D'Souza
from- mercurynews.com
07/22/2012
Normand Latourelle came to fame as one of the founders of the Canadian entertainment juggernaut Cirque du Soleil. But the impresario soon banished the idea of a circus without animals. Indeed, his smash hit "Cavalia," now galloping up a storm in San Jose, is a valentine to the equine.
Far more spectacular than in its initial Bay Area bow back in 2004, "Cavalia" is an unbridled homage to horses and if you know your Percherons and your Spanish Paint Horse from your Appaloosas, it may well be the hottest ticket of the year.
I've never heard as many collective "aws" generated by an audience. Ever. Many theatergoers seemed to know their way around a steeplechase. But even if you're not a member of the horsey set, there is no denying the beauty and majesty of these stallions. There are 49 such elegant creatures in this two and a half-hour show and it's hard to take your eyes off of them as they trot about one of the world's largest touring tents, an ethereal white big top.
While the special effects are also stunning, from the dreamlike projections to the acrobatic derring-do, it's the simple pleasures of watching the horses race that left the greatest impression on this reviewer.
Make no mistake, the trick-riding is mesmerizing, from the woman who rides six horses a la Ben Hur to the fellow who does back flips on horseback. The lass with the lasso works magic with a rope. The two female aerial contortionists also dazzle with their high-flying ballet. Theytwirl, spin and tumble right over the heads of two horses but they never spook them.
Still, time and again, the eye wanders back to the horses. They are the divas here, from their glossy manes to their fluffy tails and they know it. If you ever fell in love with a pony as a child, this show will take you back to that crush.
Latourelle (who also created the horse epic "Odysseo") actually encourages the horses to ad-lib and the warmth between the animals and their trainers is quite palpable. That bond and the fact that the horses clearly enjoy charging around the 160-foot stage at flat-out breakneck speed, gives "Cavalia" its spark. For the record, every horse has its own understudy, they travel by 747 and they get regular vacations back at the farm.
Of course, the finer points of dressage are lost on me, but after one or two interludes involving horses marching in formation, I found much more magic in the "liberty" sequence when the animals were left to roam free, nuzzling each other or rolling around in the dirt as they pleased. The serene moments, such as the opening number, when two foals gambol about, are also quite lovely.
 
Posted by Picasa
CAVALIA's White Big Top is raised by Highway 101 at 87 East in San Jose. This one-of-a-kind tent is long enough to allow the horses to get to a full gallop as they soar past astonished audience members.
 Photo Credit: Guy DeschÍnes/Cavalia
As it happens, like toddlers, horses are even cuter when they misbehave. One horse refused to stop licking another. Another wanted to lead the pack. While the trainer guided most of the horses to run in one direction, one of the steeds insisting on going his own way, repeatedly, and his rambunctiousness stole the show.
While Cirque devotees may delight in the show's over-the-top eye-candy, from Manon Desmarais's elfin costumes to Erick Villeneuve's scenic projections, to my eye the horses were fetching enough to hold our attention without these embellishments. In fact if the show has a flaw it's that it goes a little overboard. The running time is longish, the bleacher seating a tad cramped and you start to feel a little sorry for the acrobats.
Even a gold medalist can't compete with these horses when it comes to sheer star quality.
'CAVALIA'
Through: Aug. 12
Where: White Big Top, 301 Atmel Way, San Jose
Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (one intermission)
Tickets: $39.50-$239.50, 866-999-8111, www.cavalia.net

No comments:

Post a Comment


TO VISIT OUR PAST POSTS--SCROLL DOWN THE SIDE BAR. ALSO LINKS ARE FURTHER DOWN