Cavalia, a Magical Encounter – Human and Horse Extravaganza

Cavalia, the magical encounter, a human and horse extravaganza will arrive at Melbourne soon and open its show on July 24, 2013. Touring the east coast cities of Australia during the autumn and winter of 2013 Cavalia is an innovative multi-media and multi-disciplinary entertainment production from Canada that combines both the equestrian and performance arts, in a show of breathtaking beauty. There is a cast of 44 horses and 36 world-class acrobats, aerialists, riders, dancers and musicians.

Watching a beautiful horse in action with someone on their back who is especially attuned to their rhythm, is an emotional, poetic and pleasing sight.

Horses have a natural curiosity and interact wonderfully with the humans who surround them and engage in a spiritual connection that is both tangible and real.

Normand Latourelle is one of Canada’s leading innovators in the performing arts. He is also a former pioneer of Cirque du Soleil (Executive Vice-President and Director General). He has been dedicated to producing and artistically directing Cavalia since 2003 and is guiding its passage a decade later down under.

Latourelle heads up an impressive creative team who help him to bring this dazzling display of horsepower and beauty to audiences world wide. The show is held on a grand stage and highlighted by high-tech theatrical special effects. These take place on what can only be described as a monumental scale, which seems to have become an aspect that we almost expect today, whether we are watching a live performance or are at the movies.

The show takes place within a glistening white and very distinctive beautiful big top, that when sited under a full moon ensures that magic will definitely be afoot. It takes astonishingly 40 people 12 days to put it up and seven days to bring it down.

It can hold some 2000+ people at each session and a powerful drawcard, it has an attached village of nine other tents gleaned from a circus tradition that has survived since the eighteenth century.

Horses and humans have melded together seamlessly for thousands of years now, long before technology and the invention of the motorcar. The equestrian arts practiced by luminaries around the world today are a constant reminder to us all of how well we used to work with nature to innovate our future.

In 2007 Normand Latourelle became a Chevalier l’Ordre national du Québec, a civilian honour for outstanding achievement. It’s good to see that he has reinvented a way to display both the beauty and athleticism of both horse and riders, as well as to portray the sacrosanct bond that has always existed between them. He is transforming the art form to inspire a whole new generation to look far beyond what they just simply see.

Cavalia productions are like a beautiful symphony of movement and music, as horses from different breeds and the humans who train and ride them interact in a truly extraordinary way. Latourelle’s artists reveal the strength and nobility of the horse in a story that is not only all about the past but also speaks powerfully to the present.

The reason is simple, respect, honour and trust are in evidence and ensuring that patience and love prevail is reflected in Cavalia’s powerful, magical performances.

The many different horse breeds on show include the Appaloosa, Arabian, Ardennais, Belgian, Canadian, Comtois, Criollo, Lusitano, Oldenburg, Paint Horse and Percheron, as well as the Quarter Horse, Spanish Purebred and Warmblood. Not all are working all of the time, out of an average sixty horses always in training about 40 perform at each show.

The horse’s domestication began more than 5,000 years ago dramatically changing human history as they became a means of faster transportation for early human societies and a vital component of warfare and hunting. The ‘heavenly horse’, the Appaloosa, was considered the most valuable horse in the ancient world, where it was also regarded as the most beautiful horse alive.

There is a tradition that has grown up over time of always naming them for the region where they were bred, or for their colours, which are distinctive and often include a ‘blanket’ of spots, mottled skin and striped hooves.

The Appaloosa horses the company uses originated near the Palouse River of Idaho and Washington, where they were once a versatile hunting and warhorse of no equal for Indian tribes. The Spanish Conquistadors first introduced them into America as they blazed a trail across the new world and by 1700 most Indian tribes were riding them.

It’s considered the oldest identifiable breed of horse in the world and their image can be found etched into the ancient walls of caves in Lascaux and Peche-Merle in France some 18,000 years BCE. Today they also flourish in Australia, having come here from California during the swinging sixties.

An Appaloosa is as much sought after today as he was in history because of his intelligence, ability to adapt to local conditions and the beauty of his coat. Like their human counterparts, no two are ever the same.

The horse that is all about beauty, breeding and speed is the Arab horse. Nothing can prepare you for the sight of a group of Arab horses working together or in flight, there are no words that can adequately describe their majesty.

This year the Arabian horse was the subject of a grand exhibition in London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee from Arabia to Royal Ascot.

From the deserts of Arabia to Derby Day down under all thoroughbreds today trace their lineage back to three foundation sires: The Darley Arabian, The Godolphin Arabian and The Byerley Turk who were named for their respective owners Thomas Darley, Lord Godolphin and Captain Robert Byerley. They brought the stallions to England from the Mediterranean Middle East around the turn of the seventeenth century.

The Arab horse is renowned for his stamina and also has many myths and legends associated with his name and presence. His bloodlines are found in almost every breed of modern riding horse. He has a long history on the Arabian Peninsula where he became an important cultural phenomenon and a noted part of the traditional Bedouin way of life. The ‘Arabian horse’ was developed through selective breeding, and with features including a distinctive head profile and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most familiar horse breeds in the world

The Quarter Horse is undoubtedly the most popular horse around the world today. He is stout and strong and was developed from the Arab, Barb and Turk breeds who were also shipped to America by Spanish explorers and traders.

He is heavily muscled, highly intelligent and very versatile and has become synonymous with both the American cattle industry and more recently (from 1954), with the Australian outback experience where he has achieved almost legendary status.

He takes off like a rocket, excels over short distances and has proven his natural ability to judge and anticipate the actions of cattle, making him one of the most invaluable tools in the cattle breeding business since the 18th century.

The American Quarter Horse has a refined head, strong muscular body with a broad chest and powerful hindquarters and is quick and agile. Today the Quarter Horse performs at the rodeo, is used recreationally and to round up humans by working in mounted police units, where he’s renowned for his bravery.

The Cavalia experience promises to be one of those once in a lifetime events in Australia and the debut tour of this inspiring show will sure to be feted as it tours our east coast capital cities

The horses cavort in front of a constantly changing digital background, which is projected onto a 60 metre-wide screen, drawing spectators into dream-like virtual environments.

Unlike traditional horse shows, the audience faces a single 50 metre-wide stage, which allows the horses space to gallop at full speed, at times running completely free, unfettered by bridles or halters. Just think how exciting it will be.

“Having travelled half the globe, the art of Cavalia is truly a universal language and we can’t wait for Australians to experience its magic.” said Normand Latourelle”… it is an honor to bring this show, an idea that started in Canada, on the other side of the world, to a country which has such a great affinity with the horse” Latourelle said.

It’s hard not to be moved by the mesmerizing qualities of a beautiful horse and there will be many Australians who cannot wait to experience the magic of Cavalia, which is sure to prove to be pure poetry in motion.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle 2012-2013

Watch a Video of Cavalia Highlights


Now ON – Closes July 7th
Under the White Big Top, on The Showring at the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park

Premieres July 24, 2013
Under the White Big Top, at The Docklands

TICKETS: Available or by calling 1800-765-955.


Artistic Director: Normand Latourelle
Director & Visual Conceptor – Érick Villeneuve
Scenic Designer Marc Labelle
Music – Michel Cusson
Costumes – Manon Desmarais
Lighting Design – Alain Lortie
Choreography – Alain Gauthier

Ref: Kath Rose & Associates
PO Box 208 Wilston QLD 4030

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