When Cavalia came to Burbank in 2004, 2005 and 2011, it pushed the boundaries of circus and theatre. It not only had amazing Cirque Du Soleil-style acts, but these were performed mostly on horses. Now Cavalia is back in Burbank with a new show. In “Odysseo,” conceptions are challenged once again to disprove the adage, “You can lead a horse to water … but you can’t make him an acrobat.”
For those unfamiliar, Cavalia is similar to Cirque Du Soleil but showcases the unique bond between man and horse (the two brands are independent of each other, and are run by separate companies). Cirque began with one acrobat show, then branched out into many different themes including animals, the music of The Beatles, and film as seen in Hollywood at the Dolby Theatre with “Iris.” It has become the premiere name in acrobatic theatre shows, a dynasty that all others are compared to. Cavalia is not only nearly as impressive acrobatically, but also incorporates horses. After an astoundingly successful tour of its original show, Cavalia is expanding with themed shows, with Odysseo being its first theme.
The show is very water centric, with rain dances, visuals of rain, snow and melting ice on the backdrop screen, which is the size of three IMAX screens. The stage even magically floods with 80,000 gallons of water for the horses and acrobats to run and jump through. All of this is set under a 115-foot tall tent in view of the Ventura (134) freeway.
If you missed Cavalia when it was here before, don’t miss it this time around. If you did see Cavalia before, I don’t need to tell you it’s worth it, because you knew that before picking up this paper. There are new acts, new effects and new horses to thrill and delight spectators. An amazing soundtrack helps set the scene, played by live musicians and singers tucked away in tree house settings in opera box locations; you can see them making music without taking away from the horses.
For those who are “horse people,” the Cavalia store is for you. Last time the show was here, the gift shop, of course, was in the foyer as you entered so you couldn’t miss it, even if you tried. It sold tchotchke horses and Cavalia T-shirts. Now the gift shop is more focused on the horse person. Grooming brushes, saddle pads, riding jackets and more, all emblazoned with Cavalia, Odysseo or both. Cavalia marketing gurus must have discovered that a good portion of the audience would like their horse to get something from the experience, too. All they are missing is the shirt that says, “My human went to Cavalia and all I got was this crummy T-shirt.”
Overall, the show is great. It can’t be said that it’s better than the original because they each have different acts with acrobat, horse and rider. It’s like comparing apples and horses. But it is just as good as the original. If you enjoyed the first one, or if you just enjoy horses and acrobats, check out Odysseo playing now through March 24.
For ticket information, visit ticketscenter.com or call (800) 282-8495.