My three year old son and I were fortunate enough to attend the opening night of Cavalia’s Odysseo this week in Somerville, MA, and it was certainly a night that neither of us will ever forget. It was a stunning display of beauty, horsemanship, acrobatics, music, and nature all rolled into a spectacle that undoubtedly brought the entire audience along on an adventure that exceeds all expectations.
We have attended several shows that take place under a big tent, but from the moment we stepped inside, I could tell that this space was really something special. The tent stands as tall as a ten-story building, and the lighting added an air of sophistication and mystery to the ambiance. The world’s biggest tent, it can hold 2,000 people, and with a sold out opening night, the place was teeming with excitement.
I have always loved horses, but to be completely transparent, I did wonder how thrilling it would be to watch horses perform for two hours. How much can horses and riders really do? Well, you need to see Odysseo yourself to find out, and I guarantee, you’ll be blown away. 63 horses from 11 different breeds and 47 artists – riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers and musicians – also from around the world ranging in origination from Russia to Guinea display mind-blowing skills that are accented by special effects, gorgeous costumes, rousing music, and high definition computer graphics projected upon a backdrop the size of three IMAX screens create a night filled with magic and fantasy. The strength of both the people and horses involved in this show is downright unbelievable, and they not only perform incredible physical feats, they also grab hold of your imagination, and take you on an epic journey comparable to no other show out there.
As an animal lover, I am often wary of how animals are treated when they live a performer’s life, and I was beyond impressed by the way the people and horses interacted throughout Odysseo. These animals were not poked, prodded, or bribed with treats. The trainers would literally just speak to the horses in soft voices; they seemed to truly be legendary horse whisperers. These lovely creatures were rewarded with hugs, kisses, and affectionate pats throughout the show, and there seemed to be an obvious mutual respect and admiration between the horses and people. They really seemed to be one big team rather than a display of people dominating animals.
Regarding the alluring music that set the tone of the show so beautifully, I would like to give a special shout out to David Piché who plays violin in the show. From our seats, we had a very clear view of him, and I would have to guess that this man is as strong as the acrobats to maintain such constant and rigorously superb music throughout the length of the show. Even with the mind-bending displays in front of us, my son and I couldn’t help but watch the violinist performing his own magic in the upper reaches of the tent.
If you’re wondering whether this show is family-friendly, the answer is a resounding YES. My son, who only recently turned three, was completely captivated. This show had an 8 pm start, and at almost 10:30 pm, as we watched a magnificent horse literally dance through a stage that had filled with 80,000 gallons of water over the course of a few minutes, he wasn’t even slightly less enthralled with taking in every bit of the experience than he was during the opening scenes. My little guy can’t stop talking about Odysseo, and I could tell that he was emotionally moved by the music and the sights throughout the show. I am so happy that he got to experience such a unique and creative tableau of artistry.
Odysseo will run until August 25, 2013 in the Somerville location. Tickets are on sale online at www.cavalia.net or by calling 1-866-999-8111. I don’t think it is possible for anyone to regret seeing this show. Even if you can only do one very special night out a year, this is the one you are looking for. If you live outside of the New England area, note that tickets will soon be on sale for shows in Washington DC; Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, WA.
*All images are courtesy of ROCHEFORT & ASSOCIATES, media contact for Odysseo.
**A big thank you to the Herb Chambers Companies, the official car sponsor of the Boston engagement.
This post is linked up at Friday Flash Blog.
Disclosure: I received tickets to Odysseo, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.