Feature

'Cavalia' hosts its equestrian extravaganza in Marina Bay

By Zaki JufriEvents - 24 July 2014 10:00 AM | Updated 29 July 2014

'Cavalia' hosts its equestrian extravaganza in Marina Bay

When Normand Latourelle of Cirque du Soleil fame started ‘Cavalia’ 11 years ago, the show’s White Theatre Tent took two weeks to go up. This big top has since become an icon of this equestrian spectacular, and the show has gotten better at setting up its tent.

On Wednesday morning at the field along Bayfront Avenue, the tent took only 10 minutes to be hoisted up 10 storeys. The world-renowned stage production trots here for its Asian tour debut on 12 August.

“The show has definitely evolved into something that I’m proud of,” beamed Latourelle, “And it just gets better every year.”

BLEND OF PERFORMING AND EQUESTRIAN ARTS

The brainchild of Latourelle, who is one of Cirque Du Soleil’s co-founders, ‘Cavalia’ is the world’s largest touring show. It features 50 horses and 42 human performers. “It is a graceful blending of the performing and equestrian arts,” he told inSing.com. 

‘Cavalia’ became an instant hit when it launched in 2003, showcasing a mix of equestrian and performing arts, multimedia and special effects, acrobatics, dance, aerial stunts and live music — and this has never been done on stage. 

'Cavalia' founder Normand Latourelle with the construction and technical crew at the tent hoisting event at Marina Bay

It is a self-described “epic adventure” and has been seen by more than four million people across the world since its debut. 

“When I left Cirque Du Soleil, I created a show with one horse as an extra and when it came on stage it just stole the show from the human performers. After that I became fascinated by horses and started learning more about them.” Latourelle said about his fascination with horses.

“From there, I discovered that horses are the perfect ingredient to take performing arts a step further.  That’s why ‘Cavalia’ is something that you cannot witness anymore else in the world,” he added.

"It is a show that reflects the special relationship between man and horse. I want everyone who comes to see ‘Cavalia’ to leave reality outside the tent so they can travel somewhere truly magical, and then leave very happy.”

A PLAYGROUND FOR HORSES

‘Cavalia’ is not simply a show — it is an entire village. Besides the stage and 2,000 unobstructed-view seats, there are food and beverage counters, stables, a VIP tent and a staff cafeteria. Two-dimensional HD images will be also projected onto a surface that is twice as big as an IMAX theatre screen in the White Theatre Tent.

Latourelle and Poncho. Photo: Timur Gafurov

The stage, which Latourelle affectionately calls “a playground for horses”, is 50 metres long, the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, for the horses to run and trot around on.

The stage needs to be this massive because acts involve horses running up to 35 kilometres per hour or roaming freely and playing with their trainers; and, in one act, audiences can expect to see as many as 12 horses on stage.

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Bareback Riding - Voltige en rond. Photo: Andrew Miller

 

 
 

SPECIAL BOND

‘Cavalia’ features 11 different horse breeds from all over the world, each having their own characteristics; and pure Spanish breeds make up the largest group among them.

One of the things that Latourelle insisted for the vision of the show was to let “horses just be horses”.

“It’s amazing to witness horses just having fun. Our horses are not afraid of humans because we trained them slowly to adapt to performing, the lights and the audience,” he explained.

“The training is based on their natural behaviour. We don’t want them to act like humans and do tricks or crack a whip and demand them doing tricks. This show is about the special bond between the riders and the horses”, he added.

Latourelle says that looking back at the last decade, he is still amazed at what ‘Cavalia’ has achieved. “When I first created the show 11 years ago, I thought it would only last a year, but here we are in Singapore,” he said.

'Cavalia' | Date: 12 Aug – 14 Sep | Time: various | Venue: White Theatre Tent | Address: Bayfront Avenue (beside the Sands Expo and Convention Centre) | Tickets: $58-308 from cavalia.net/en/cavalia-show/tickets-info/singapore


Zaki Jufri (@mzplusj) is inSing.com's arts, entertainment and film editor

Cavalia in Singapore

Cavalia in Singapore

Date Aug 13, 2014 - Oct 05, 2014

VenueMarina Bay Sands Singapore

Ticket PriceS$58.00 - S$308.00
 (excludes booking fee)