This awesome event returns to Los Angeles in Burbank for the first time since 2004 and resides under the White Big Top, the largest traveling tent of its kind, until February 13 only, before its tour.
To say breathless is surely apt, for the view of the enormous 160 foot-wide stage with 37 acrobatic performers and 19 stallions (of the total 49, the rest are geldings) moving around in a dazzling display of equestrian and aerial/acrobatic showmanship is just that. Aerialists swing from above and horses circle the entire stage as in riding competition, sometimes with rider and other times unbridled, like the Arabian horses with trainer Sylvia Zerbini. (more on this act later!) The men and horses connect, sometimes, even touching, as the aerialists swing down onto the horses and the horses vault over the poles held by the acrobats. It's an amazing sight. Behind the live spectacle is a humongous backdrop that serves as a screen with unbelievably vivid projections of wilderness, woods, ocean and other waterfalls, and castles amongst many other scenes that change and radiate every color of the spectrum. We are transported to the Middle Ages and back even further to primitive times. Latourelle stated that his mission is "to make people dream", and so the audience visually travels to a myriad of virtual settings. Behind the screen are five musicians and onstage as integral part of the show is a singer, lovely Mary-Pier Guilbault with cello and bass, all of whom perform live. Michel Cusson's score is needless to say hauntingly gorgeous, invoking a sensuality that only comes from an array of international music.
Not to single out Zerbini for her brilliant artistry would be a travesty. This lady single-handedly controls 9 Arabian horses, who gallop in circles - dividing into groups of 4 and 5 or into pairs - and perform unbridled. Like a horse whisperer (photo above) she talks to the horses and really knows and understands them. How else could she get them to move in so many different ways at her command? They are in continuous unison, and the timing is exact. This miraculous act alone makes the show worthwhile.
Many have described the show as "Horseplay at its best", "magical", "wondrous", "...like being in a dream". Its dream world is at once exhilarating in scope and compassionate and respectful by nature, expressing a genuine trust between man and horse. I can only add that the entire panorama is like a museum painting in which all of the elements come passionately alive. You enter it... and just for what seems a fleeting moment... experience its richly wild and perfect beauty.
5+ out of 5 stars
Don't miss the incredible Cavalia in Burbank at Front Street. Look for the Big white tent with the turrets of a castle! Through February 13 only. Bring the entire family! There are special packages with after show visits to the stables.
Call: 1-866-999-8111 or visit: