A Theatrical Treat for Horse Lovers

Growing up with horses, I acquired a deep appreciation for these elegant creatures. When the opportunity arose to take a behind-the-scenes peek at Cavalia’s “Odysseo” show, I jumped at it. The $25 million production just recently put down its stakes on the corner of Scottsdale Road and Mayo Boulevard, and with it brought the stars of the show, 56 beautiful horses.



Created by Cirque du Soleil co-founder Normand Latourelle, Cavalia pushes the limits of live entertainment with a theatrical experience like no other. Its newest production, “Odysseo,” combines awe-inspiring acrobatics, equestrian arts and high-tech theatrical effects under a massive 10-story tall white big top. A 15,000 square foot stage features a real carousel and a magically appearing 80,000-gallon lake in front of a stunning video backdrop the size of three IMAX screens.


Normand Latourelle with Gorrion


Experiencing the show

The two-hour show is a moving experience. Acrobat BJ Erdmann from Buffalo, N.Y., has been with the production since its inception and helped create the acts he and his girlfriend, Chelsea Teel, perform. Both execute acrobatics high above the stage on the aerial hoops and are part of the carousel act, one of the show’s signature spectacles.


Erdmann recommends audiences immerse themselves in the experience fully, rather than focusing on a single element or performance, and he is right. As you enter the venue, you are immediately transported into a lavish and comfortable environment reminiscent of any permanent theater. From your seat you become part of an immersive, three-dimensional experience.


“Odysseo” is indeed magnificent; I don’t recall the last time I went to a show that drew as many audible gasps and wows as this production.  



Nine different breeds of horses are featured in the show, and I was pleased to learn of a homecoming of sorts. The company purchased a horse in Scottsdale a few years back, and it is now featured in the show. The show’s 43 human artists hail from all around the world. Normand Latourelle is the show’s artistic director. British-born Wayne Fowkes is the director. 


VIP packages

In addition to an amazing show, “Cavalia” offers Valley audiences exclusive VIP packages. The intimate Rendez-Vous experience has limited opportunities per show. Guests are treated to a red carpet arrival, and partake in a gourmet dinner and all-inclusive bar. During intermission, they retreat to the VIP area for dessert and coffee, and after the show mingle with artists and take an exclusive tour of the stables. The Rendez-Vous experience includes the best seats in the house.


A VIP lounge


The contemporary Horse Lovers VIP tent offers a more casual VIP-lounge experience with gourmet hors d’oeuvres and bar pre-show. Desserts with coffee are served during the intermission. The Horse Lovers VIP offers a tour of the stables and includes fantastic seats for the show. The VIP lounges offer a first class experience to guests. The areas are well-appointed and comfortable. Friendly hosts help with check-in and assist guests with shopping in the exclusive VIP boutique located in the lounge. 


Cavalia’s “Odysseo” has been extended through January 20.


More information and VIP tickets


– Text by Al Wynant, CEO of EventInterface.com, an event software company 

– Photos courtesy of Cavalia

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