“CAVALIA” the equestrian cirque nouvelle arrives in the South Bay for the first time!

image above: (Mathieu Bianchi - horseman)

image far right: (Keith Dupont - horseman)

All photos by Charles F. Jarrett, Rossmoor News

(Fairland Ferguson - horsewoman)

Two years ago I had the good fortune to attend the San Francisco premier of “CAVALIA” in the big white tent across the street from AT& T Park, and this was the second time I had witnessed this extravaganza of flying hoofs and sweaty equestrian costumes in the past 8 years. Now, the City of San Jose and the citizens of the South Bay get to play host to this equestrian show of all equestrian shows as it opens this evening just a few blocks from San Jose’s Norman Mineta Field Airport. I will be taking my grandchildren this evening to see this spectacular show.

If you have not seen “CAVALIA” the equestrian cirque nouvelle, a thrilling multimedia theatrical experience that is the equivalent of an ethological equestrian union between man, woman and horse, then listen up - - because that opportunity is now back on our southern doorstep!

Created by Norman Latourelle, one of the founders of Canada’s famed Cirque du Soleil, this show does for the equestrian lover what the original Cirque du Soleil has done for the circus. It re-invented the old style circus horse show, that had horses parading in a small ring, generally alongside two other rings under a typical circus tent, and elevated it to a new plane.

The previous shows were built around the talents of Frenchman Frederic Pignon and his wife Magali Delgado, and their predominantly large horses (Lusitanos, Belgians, and Warm Bloods) including the gorgeous and brilliantly trained, Templado, but they retired from Cavalia and returned to France in 2009. Sylvia Zerbini stepped into the arena in the 2010 show and delivered a stunning “Grande Libertè” parade featuring her own eight unbridled Arabian horses in a liberty act of breathtaking freedom combined with precision and stunningly orchestrated beauty.

This year’s show is equally beautiful, with new practitioners of the art of acrobatic and bareback riding; demonstrations of rapid fire tumbling and majestic aerial acrobatics, melding man, woman and horses in incredible feats of trick riding. Roman riders stand on horseback and defy gravity as they race across the 160 foot sand covered stage and hurtle jumps of constantly changing heights, all in a colossal coliseum setting.
Yes, there are still plenty of Lusitanos, Percherons, Belgians, plus Paints, Appaloosas, a Comtois, and Ardennes, Quarter horses and even a miniature horse, in addition to over 30 human performers (including aerialists, tumblers, acrobats, musicians, a vocalist, and dancers).

The most spectacular feat in “Cavalia” is its marriage and integration of all these elements into a highly choreographed production, melded with incredibly sophisticated digital multimedia backdrops projected onto a 200 foot high screen, live music and a living kaleidoscope of lighting effects. The light and visuals can take you back in time to ancient Rome, to a mystical and exquisite south eastern Asian landscape, and even whisk you through the seasons of the year, as though you were traversing the world in a timeless magical musical orb.

One of the most exciting and romantic vignettes to me is an exquisite and breathtakingly romantic magical winter scene, where a beautiful woman descends from the heavens to meld with a man and his horse amid the starlight sky and falling snow! This is definitely a don’t miss show!

All of this equestrian nirvana is contained within the largest touring white big top in the world. The tent alone is 110 feet tall and covers over 26,000 square feet, large enough to accommodate a stage as wide as a football field width (160 feet), and all the seating and mechanicals that make it work. When you walk into the tent and see the staging and its awesome size, it almost leaves you frozen in your place before the show even begins. It is truly amazing!

This shown has been seen by more than 3.5 million people worldwide. Cavalia is a living tribute to the beauty and highly personal relationship that humans and horses have shared together for centuries. Cavalia has traveled throughout Europe, including multiple cities in Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and North America. If you would like to check the latest developments with Cavalia, you can check out http://www.tw%20%20%20%20%20itter.com/cavalia or www.facedbook.com/cavalia . For information on regular tickets, plus special package deals, visit http://www.cavalia.net.tickets/ range in price on weekdays between $44.50 and $139.50. The toll free phone number for ordering tickets is 1 (866) 999-8111. Check out the incredible “Horse Lovers Package” on line that offers special food, drinks and even allows you to take the children behind the scenes to actually meet the horses in person after the show. “CAVALIA” has just extended the run through August 12th. Performance times are at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with two performances on Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday performances at 3 p.m. through July 29th, when the schedule for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays changes from 8 p.m. openings to 7:30 p.m. openings. Performance dates & times can be confirmed on the http://www.cavalia.net/ website in the schedule section.

“CAVALIA” has raised its magnificent and majestic white tents on the highway 101 Tech Campus Site, at 301 Atmel Way, located between the Bayshore Freeway (Hwy 101), Charcot Ave., North 1st street and West Trimble Road. It took me approximately 45 minutes to drive to the tent site from Walnut Creek, Alamo area. I take highway 680 South to Montegue Expressway, then wend your way West to Tremble Road, then South on Orchard Parkway approximately two blocks until you come to Atmel Way. Then turn right until you arrive at the “CAVALIA” parking lot where you will disembark and make your way to the “Rendez-Vous” greeting tent or the Box Office. Have a great time, don’t miss this incredible visual event, perhaps the best entertainment you will see and experience all year!