立場新聞 Stand News

Cavalia

2015/4/8 — 11:25

If you can lead a horse to water but not make him drink... can you lead a horse to a show and make him perform?

A stirring exhibition of equestrian and acrobatic arts, Cavalia is the brainchild of Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of famed Cirque du Soleil. Like Cirque, Cavalia invites the audience into a wonderous world, complete with its sprawling 50-metre stage backed by a 60-metre screen - and holds everyone there for almost three hours (with a 30-minute intermission sandwiched in between). The live band adds a lovely element to the show and I loved the singer for this production. Cirque is famous for its compositions and Cavalia has a wonderful soundtrack.

It describes itself as a "horse ballet" and is just that. Cavalia blends circus arts like trapeze with trick riding and dressage. For people who have been exposed to the rodeo growing up, seeing roping and trick riding isn't anything unfamiliar but for Hong Kong audiences this is brand new. Kids will really enjoy the spectacle in the show. It's pure entertainment; high quality sets, costumes and lighting. Act Two is really beautiful from a design perspective- they really pull out all the stops. Tickets for Cavalia are far from cheap but the show looks and feels very expensive.

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I enjoyed that every element and season was integrated into the theatrical design. We had fire, wind, earth and even water. Look forward to the magic of Act Two when they flood the stage. Audience members sitting close to the stage should be prepared for a splash zone.

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The show lacks a traditional plot and character based storyline. I had wished for a little more continuity in the story they were telling but overall the show is very enjoyable for audiences. Maybe a narrator could have assisted with this.  Why were these acts chosen to represent these countries?  Italy and Arizona made sense, China did not.

The horses in Cavalia are beautiful with over a dozen breeds represented on stage. Animal lovers will appreciate seeing them in all their glory. My favorite moments in the show were where the horses and humans worked together synergistically. The trick riding with the scarf in Act Two and the Aerial piece in Act One were by far my favorites. Certain pieces like "The Ball" and "The Guineans" seemed like the horses were forced into them. I thought they were far stronger without a horse; sticking a pony in at the end came across as a gimmick.

There were obvious mistakes last night in some of the tricks and some of the horses looked frightened on stage. All the human perfomers handled the flaws like pros and carried on with the show. I appreciated their tenacity. Some of the tricks they performed, like the chariot, looked quite dangerous. I would encourage ushers to take a stronger hold on the "No Flash Photography" policy as it was quite apparent that the horses were getting spooked by behavior in the house. It would be very sad to see a performer injured because of someone taking a picture with their iPhone. As with all shows with live animals, they can be unpredictable at times. It was nice to see professional behavior by the trainers and actors, on stage and off.

I would recommend Cavalia for audience members who love animals and shows like Cirque. It's a big budget show with a lot of flash that is sure to delight.

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