Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cavalia in Denver

Last night Michael and I saw Cavalia, which is essentially Cirque du Soleil with horses.  It was amazing!  Apparently the show has been going on for 8 years, but this is the first time it has been able to come to Denver, because Cirque du Soleil is always here this time of year.

Here is another article about Cavalia in Colorado.  Also, click here to see some impressive pictures of Cavalia.

My pictures aren't so impressive.  We weren't allowed to take pictures during the performance, but since Michael sprang for seats in the Horse Lovers section, we got to go to the stables afterward, where we could take pictures.  Not that they were that good, but still!

At the end of the performance, while we waited for all the other sections to leave so that we could go to the stables, I got a picture of the two mustang colts cavorting around the stage.  These two colts were rescued in Colorado (translation: culled from a herd in Colorado), and are sent on the stage to play at the beginning and end of the show.

Mustang colts from Colorado at the Cavalia show in Denver

While the colts were on stage in the beginning of the show, some of the acrobats were performing.  Everyone else was watching the acrobats, but I was more interested in the colts!  There were horse toys (as in, wooden horses) strewn about the stage as props, and those cute little colts were picking them up and playing with them.  Cutest thing in the world.

Mustang colts from Colorado
 at the Cavalia show in Denver

This next horse was used for bareback riding and acrobats.  He had a kind of surcingle with handles on it, and as he trotted and cantered around a round pen-like setup, the acrobats were constantly hopping on and off his back.  I was really amused by him, because he was all business — he knew he had a job to do, and he took that very seriously!  His head set, pace, etc. never changed until the very instant the last acrobat had finished his last trick.

Cavalia's horses

This next one was a real character.  He was used in quite a few of the segments, and was recognizable (they had a lot of greys) because one ear is cropped in a way that makes it look like a Doberman's.  He liked to stick his tongue out like he was blowing a raspberry, and did it on stage as well as straight at me when I was looking at him in his stall.  His name is Iman — he's the only one whose name I remember of the horses I took pictures of.

Cavalia's horses

 One of my favorite horses in all of this was a Lusitano stallion who just recently joined the show.  He is one of two horses in a short segment in the beginning of the show, when the trainer rides the other horse bareback and gets both horses to do some synchronized movements.  This guy was hilarious, very mouthy with his trainer and the other horse, and doing little things to be the center of attention, such as yawning repeatedly to get the audience to laugh.

With his stage cavorting in mind, I was absolutely stunned to see how upset he was at having people walk by his stall in the stables.  Most of the horses didn't seem to care for it, mind you — they stood with their heads down, butts to the people, and ignored us as best they could.  (Not all horses were like that, though — some would even stick their noses out the bars to try to get us to pet them, which we weren't supposed to do.)

This guy, though, I felt bad for, because he was really upset by all the people, probably because he was so new.  He repeatedly charged the side of his stall, pinning his ears at people, and finally subsided into the hateful posture you see here.  I know having crowds of people file past and stare at him has got to be stressful, but how can a horse that is obviously brimming with personality turn so hateful so quickly?  I hope he gets used to it soon, or if he doesn't, that they stop submitting him to something that so obviously upsets him.

Cavalia's horses

His neighbor was a little Arab who was still in training.  He is a 2008 baby, very small and fine-boned, reminding me a lot of Panama at that age, and he stole my heart.  He wasn't afraid or upset by the people, nor did he turn away and ignore them; in fact, he ate in the middle of his stall, looking up occasionally with obvious interest.  Being trained with the show from such a young age, I have a feeling he is going to be a real star when he gets older!

Cavalia's horses

It was a wonderful night, and some of the acts were truly exhilarating.  In one of my favorite acts, the acrobats raced around the stage with teams of two horses, standing with one foot on each horse's back.  It was a very impressive segment, especially when they jumped the horses that way!  Wow, what a show!



At October 6, 2010 at 8:02 PM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

How long did the show last? I'm thinking of seeing it when it comes to San Francisco.

At October 6, 2010 at 8:16 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

It was about two hours, not counting the 20 minute intermission. (An hour, intermission, then another hour.) With the stable visit (which added another 45 minutes or so), it was a late night, but it was tons of fun!


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