Cavalia: a spectacular encounter between horse and human

by admin on September 10, 2014

I was recently invited along to Cavalia (pronounced Cav-ar-lia) for its social media night. Cavalia originates from Canada and was created by Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of the world-famous Cirque du Soleil. It is billed as an epic adventure, a fantastic demonstration of horsemanship that transports the audience into virtual environments.
There are 50 horses and 46 performers in the production, which takes place under a vast white canvas tent that looks like it’s come from a fairytale. It is much more than a show about horses and is in fact as much about the performers as it is about the horses. You get to see a real bond between these magnificent animals and their riders as they trot, canter, gallop and jump and do tricks around the 50m stage. For one hour and 40 minutes you are taking into a fantasy world where you’ll witness to horse and human interaction, acrobatics, dance and death-defying aerial stunts. The backgrounds and special effects are stunning. When it snowed, it was magical and at the finale, the stage is filled with water and transformed into a pond. The first half felt a bit slow by the end but things changed up a gear in the second half and this kept everyone’s interest. There was a cameo from Troubadour, Cavalia’s littlest stallion, who stole the hearts of everyone in the audience. The show got a standing ovation and there was lots of whooping and cheering, something quite rare to see in Singapore.

When I was first asked along to Cavalia, I was hesitant because I’m not usually a fan of show with animals. But after the show we went behind the scenes and got a tour of the 1,500 sq. metre stables and it was easy to see how well the horses are treated and how much the riders care for them. Their training is based on a philosophy of understanding their needs and emotions, they get pampered with massages and hairbraiding and get regular exercise, as well as downtime in grassy fields when the show is on a break. I don’t think I have ever seen such beautiful, healthy looking horses. I was particularly taken by Renato, a particularly handsome Comtois stallion from France, who was rescued from being slaughtered as he was blind in one eye.

Cavalia has travelled to 65 cities and put on over 2,500 performances in ten years. This equestrian extravaganza is fresh, original and if you haven’t been I would say go before it closes (its currently running until the end of September) and get VIP tickets so you get to see the horses in their stables. I would recommend it for families with kids above about 5 years old.

To buy tickets, visit

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