Cavalia trots, gallops and jumps into San Jose

Riders and their horses in CAVALIA; Photo credit: Lynne Glazer

Cavalia is a new show to San Jose, but it has been touring North America and Europe since 2003.  Normand Latourelle, a co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, is the visionary and creator behind Cavalia, and it shows in the beauty and emotion that comes through in the performances of the human acrobats and their horse friends.

Before I saw the show I expected it to be filled with great music and gorgeous backdrops, amazing acrobats and aerialists, and, of course, a lot of horses doing tricks.  I expected Cirque du Soleil with horses doing the performing.

I was totally and completely wrong.

A rider and an aerialist in CAVALIA; Photo Credit: Frédéric Chéhu

Cavalia‘s goal is to give a tribute to horses and celebrate the relationship that humans and horses share.  And so most of the 49 horses are on stage simply being horses.  The stage is over 200 feet wide and the width of a football field, and covered with 2500 tons of dirt and sand, allowing the horses to gallop full speed across and around the stage.  Some were ridden by human partners, some had human partners doing jumps from their backs, but many simply walked around, played, or just galloped around the stage.  There were a very few horses which did jumps, and several who did some intricate step work, but overall there were absolutely no horse tricks (and certainly no horse acrobats!).  The horses were simply being horses, and while the humans did tricks around them, all eyes were on the beautiful animals.

What Cavalia gives us instead of the amazing acrobatic feats of Cirque du Soleil shows is something which you have to see to understand: it gives us the beauty of the horse.  Eleven different breeds from France, Spain, Portugal, Canada, the US and the Netherlands, the 49 stallions and geldings are some of the most beautiful horses you’ve ever seen, and they are on stage for less than 6 minutes each.  The opening prologue focused on the two youngest horses, Idalgo and Geronimo, simply walking around the stage unaccompanied, playing with little toys, with the vocals of Marie-Eve Bedard in the background.  Often there would be groups of acrobats on stage with the horses, and though the men sometimes failed to stick the landings of their jumps, it didn’t matter because… HORSE!  Of course there are still the colorful and beautifully lit backdrops you associate with a Cirque show, and the tremendous live music you expect.  All in all it is a thing of absolute beauty that you just don’t see anywhere else.

Tickets range from $44.50 to $139.50 (+fees), however if money is an issue be assured that every seat appears to have a great view.  If money is no object, there are package deals which include things such as a cocktail/dinner reception and a tour of the stables.  The show is suitable for children and adults of all ages, and something that any horse or animal lover should not miss.

A rider and her horses in CAVALIA; Photo credit: Lynne Glazer

WHAT:  Cavalia
WHEN:  Premieres July 18, 2012
WHERE:  Under the White Big Top, at the intersection of Hwy 101 and 87 East on the 101 Tech campus site, across Hwy 101 from the San Jose Airport.
TICKETS:  Available at or by calling 1-866-999-8111. $44.50 to $139.50+
applicable fees. Special pricing and packages also available for groups, children (2-12),
juniors (13-17) and seniors (65+).


3 Comments so far

  1. Horse And Human Connect In Cavalia, Now In San Jose – TrulyNet | e-Horses.Biz (pingback) on July 21st, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    […] […]

  2. Horse And Human Connect In Cavalia, Now In San Jose – TrulyNet | eHorse (pingback) on July 21st, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    […] […]

  3. Victor Solanoy (vsolanoy) on August 1st, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

    Cavalia was incredible! It’s definitely one of the must see events
    in the South Bay!

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