November 2017 - Cavalia Returns

Odysseo brings equine dreams to Ventura County.

by Patti Schofler • photo: © Jak Wonderly Photography

Opening November 11 in Ventura County, the spectacular production Cavalia Odysseo comes to life under the world’s largest touring tent. More than 110 horses and artists portray the tale of the horse and human journey through nature, wedding enchanting, athletic equestrian arts, breathtaking stage arts and unique high-tech theatrical effects.

Odysseo’s signature White Big Top presents incredible large-scale staging where spectators are mesmerized by the feats and beauty of the equines, riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers and musicians, on a stage that equals the dimensions of an NFL football field.

In this vast playground for 65 horses of 12 different breeds, the stage takes them and the audience literally through a variety of environments, weather conditions and terrain, reaching into the four corners of the earth and creating an experience you’ve never seen before on stage.

Enjoy a taste of Odysseo’s tale to be told under White Big Top located in Camarillo, right off Santa Rosa Road on US 101.

The Herd
Odysseo begins in a serene forest meadow inhabited first by a lone horse, soon followed by others who test their surroundings and find friendships. Gradually, horses and humans mingle to leave in your mind an image of collaboration and harmony. As a lone singer brings music to the forest, the horses, with total freedom, gallop and leap about the stage.

Village Celebration
The pace explodes into celebratory competition. Ground-based acrobats tumble, creating a sense of fun and joy. Others leap and bound on the stage aboard stilt walkers, high-tech devices taking them to incredible height at great speed. Riders gallop into the mix to challenge the acrobats at jumping.

Serenity returns to the stage as a woman kneels in a circle of light, surrounded by nine grey Arabian horses. Then, as if by a secret language, she asks them for a demonstration of liberty that speaks of freedom and beauty.

With this scene, the audience realizes just how amazing is the staging of the show. A background vision of Easter Island totems grows mysterious and the sky swirls with cloud formations. As if out of your imagination, 20 horse and rider teams ride over the crest of what is a real hill, not flat scenery, three-stories high, made from 10,000 tons of rock, dirt and sand.

Northern lights and shooting stars are backdrop for a full-sized merry-go-round.  Acrobats are escorted on white stallions to the carousel to perform a dramatic, athletic dance up and down the poles and on the carousel white horses that replicate the living equines.

The Odyssey
After intermission, the audience returns to a scene never seen before: on the hillside 15 horses lie down at rest -- with no tack attached. Only here and there humans are at their sides. One horse rolls. Another stands up and shakes off sleep. Gradually, they all walk about the hill with their humans -- and no tack. Groups of four horses trot in patterns with the humans guiding their movements from the ground until thunder sends them scampering off stage.

The Angels
Spanish Purebred and Lusitano horses carry onto the stage four white clad angels to swirl and fly above ground in aerial silks while on the ground cavaliers and their equine partners use silks to guide their aerial angels.

The Great Adventure
Before a waterfall, at the pinnacle of the hill, in silhouette, a stunning baroque horse and rider piaffe and passage to Spanish music. More riders gather at the bottom of the hill where a 40,000-gallon lake has appeared. The haute école horse canters downhill, and leaps into the water to perform dressage poetry.  Horses with riders and horses at liberty gallop through the lake, around the stage, and about the hill.
This is only a sampling of the breathtaking multimedia arts, the staging magic and the equine beauty that lies ahead in Ventura County.

Tickets are available at For a memorable outing, the Rendez-Vous package offers the best seats in the house, a full meal buffet dining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and best of all, an exclusive visit to the stables after the show to meet the four-legged stars!