My oldest and I had the chance to see the Cavalia show years ago when they came through Denver and all these years later she still has the little stuffed horse from the show in her room and vivid memories of the performers, musicians and, of course, the stunning horses and terrific stage production.
When I learned that Cavalia was coming through Denver again, but this time with a new show called Odysseo, I was determined to not just have my oldest see it again — she’s now just a few weeks shy of 18 — but also have my younger daughter, 10, see it too.
And Odysseo knocked our socks off!
You can get a taste of the show by watching this video:
The show is built around ten different scenes, five during the first half of the show, then after a 30 minute intermission, five more that complete the experience. Odysseo features 62 horses and 46 artists and it’s all performed in the largest, most expensive traveling tent in the world, completed at a cost of millions.
That’s a lot of money but when you realize it seats 2000 and is as tall as a 10-story building, has a complex and sophisticated stage hydraulics system, a projection screen the size of three IMAX screens, silks, rings, and massive steel carousel and circus ring assemblies that float down as needed, the complexity really hits home.
It’s one heck of an engineering feat.
We started out in the VIP Rendez-Vous lounge with appetizers and beverages, a magical place with subtle blue and purple lights and the requisite gift shop (later I bought my younger girl a little Cavalia stuffed horse there). At a few minutes before 8pm, we moved into the performance area and were delighted to find our seats were exactly at the center of the stage, about six rows back. Definitely VIP seating!
The show itself begins in a misty, enchanted forest where a herd of horses graze and frolic under a sky of rolling clouds and a setting sun, “Troupeau”. Then a half-dozen women in flowing gowns dash on stage, each standing balanced on two horses. My children’s Mom has a farm with a half-dozen horses so when I saw the acrobats on the pairs of horses I leaned over to my little one and said “don’t get any ideas” 🙂
As the show progressed it was startling to see how different projection patterns and colors changed the rolling sand-covered stage into a meadow, a desert, a flowing river, and more. Quite a cool effect.
From there, Odysseo takes us to some of nature’s greatest wonders, including the desert and savanna of Africa, the American Southwest, the Northern Lights, an ice cave, verdant fields and even Easter Island. All without leaving your comfortable seat here in Denver, Colorado.
The numbers that we most enjoyed were the ones that featured the talented African acrobats “Appel d’Afrique”. With their amazing gymnastic skills, enthusiastic drumming, chanting and hijinks they were not only tremendously entertaining but brought a lively wit to a show that had a tendency to be a bit too dreamy at other times.
In fact, one thing that struck my older daughter A- and I was how the previous Cavalia show had clowns doing goofy tricks with their galloping horses to general laughter and hilarity. This time there really wasn’t much humor other than from the African chanting and acrobatics, something we missed.
Indeed, while we liked all of the ten different scenes, some of them were fast and spectacular — the Carosello number comes to mind — while others like La Voyageurs were more contemplative and less engaging for my youngest.
Regardless, though, the performers are all beautiful, the horses are just gorgeous, and the African acrobatic tumblers? I’d pay for tickets to just see them perform for 90 minutes, they were that terrific!
We went on a weeknight and it’s a long performance. Starting at 8pm, it didn’t finish until just after 10.30pm, so unfortunately while our VIP Rendez-Vous tickets gave us access to the stables and chance to meet the performers, we had to leave to get home.
Arriving home at 11.30, we decided it was well worth the late night and both girls loved, loved, loved Odysseo from Cavalia.
My little one exclaimed it was the very best show she’d ever seen and that it was “100% awesome!”
Odysseo is in Denver until October 12th, at which point they’ll tear it down, load the performers and animals into their dozens of trucks and head on to another city. If you can, it’s unquestionably worth seeing a performance.
And we’ll go to the next performance when we’re lucky enough to have Cavalia back in Denver again.
Disclaimer: Cavalia comp’d us three VIP tickets to the show in return for coverage, which was great because we were going to attend the show anyway!