Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Cavalia, Melbourne July 23, 2013 *****
Cavalia: A Magical
Encounter between Human and Horse White Big
Top, Docklands, July 23 until August 18, 2013 Reviewer: Kate Herbert on July 23 Stars:***** Review also published in Herald Sun online on July 25, 2013 and later in
Cavalia will leave
you gaping at its exuberant, elegant and thrilling celebration of the beauty,
grace and muscularity of horses and humans.
an enormous White Big Top, gentle, mesmerising, lyrical acts counterpoint
audacious, red-blooded feats of speed and dexterity that are all performed
amongst atmospheric video projections providing landscape and story.
by Normand Latourelle (co-creator of Cirque du Soleil) and directed by Erick
Villeneuve with their Quebec-based company, Cavalia is an inspired and original
production that boldly explores the boundaries of equestrian and circus
astonishing thing is that this company of 48 horses and 36 humans displays
jaw-dropping virtuosity while still engaging the audience with their charm and
program includes exceptional riding, masterly ground and aerial acrobatics,
eclectic dance and evocative live music with the flavours of Spain and France.
quieter, enthralling acts include the stylish La Vida in which two men ride
stately, controlled white steeds as two women float above them as if suspended
in space, and the ethereal Le Miroir in which two mediaeval Guineveres mirror
each other on noble beasts.
Discovery is a sweet, intimate relationship between girl and horse while
Libertad is a romantic and skilful aerial straps duo.
acts highlight the exceptional training of these magnificent beasts and the
trust and control that exists between rider and horse, such as in the magical
Haute Ecole and Pieds Percussion, and the exquisite Carousel that is set
amongst the mists of Avalon.
uncanny relationship between horse and human is seen in the consummate powers
of the horse whisperer who imperceptibly instructs six, gloriously unfettered
horses in Grande Liberté.
crowd cheers the daring Bareback Riding, and the ferociously exhilarating
Roman Riding with its fearless performers standing astride two horses as they
pound around the Colosseum.
exciting, comical and dangerous escapades of Trick Riding titillate the
audience as the intrepid riders gallop across the stage in an intoxicating,
hectic display of risk and dexterity.
it is the dazzling finale that sends the excitometer over the top as aerialists
fall from the sky on bungee cords, trick riders tear fearlessly across the
space, acrobats climb into impossible balances and the horses do it all
visual design (Villeneuve) provides some remarkable imagery that includes
mediaeval halls, Roman friezes and aquaducts, cave paintings, ancient forests
and an imperious stallion magically projected onto falling rain.
Cavalia, there is a feeling of a community on stage, with humans treating
horses with respect and love and the animals responding in kind. Cavalia is
inexplicably beautiful and intoxicating.