POTD: Cavalia the equestrian extravaganza in Singapore

Photo of the Day: Cavalia is an equestrian theatrical performance that leverages innovative multimedia displays and multi-disciplinary performances. It is now running in Singapore from 12 August to 14 September 2014.

* All the photos in this article (except the portrait of Alain Gaulthier) were taken with a Sony A7R full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, with a 55-210mm E-mount zoom lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

This pretty lady kept looking in my direction, so I took a portrait for her.

This pretty lady kept looking in my direction, so I took a portrait for her.

The production was created by Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of the famed Cirque du Soleil.

Hailing from Montreal in Canada, the lavish production involves 50 horses and 46 riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians from all over the world.

Since the show’s debut in 2003, some 4 million people from North America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East have watched the show.

Cast and dancers of Cavalia at the end of the show. I love how the lady's face lit up when she turned around and smiled at her fellow dancer.

Cast and dancers of Cavalia at the end of the show. I love how the lady’s face lit up when she turned around and smiled at her fellow dancer.

There has been more than 2,400 performances over the course of ten years. The 50 horses in Cavalia comprises 11 different breeds.

The period costumes and digital backdrops added a sense of surrealism to the production.

The period costumes and digital backdrops added a sense of surrealism to the production.

I had a chat with Alain Gauthier, the Choreographer for Cavalia last week.

Alain Gaulthier, Choreographer for Cavalia.

Alain Gaulthier, Choreographer for Cavalia.

He shared that he tends to vary the movements slightly from one show to the next to keep the horses and performers from getting bored.

Occasionally, he would introduce a larger revamp to the show choreography, especially when the show is debutting in a new country, such as it’s doing now in Singapore.

The last revamp was about six months ago.

I had the pleasure of watching the renowned Spanish Riding School perform in Vienna in June.

That was a different show entirely, focussing more on control and restraint, where the riders and handlers showed off how well they can control the Lipizzaner horses to perform precise, controlled movements with slow dignified poise.

Thirsty horses after galloping through the water.

Thirsty horses after galloping through the water.

Cavalia, on the other hand, shows off the unbridled nature of its horses and you get to watch them as if they’re wild and free, galloping on the 50-metre wide stage.

Horseman herding

Horseman herding “wild” horses as they gallop on the 50-metre wide stage. The Sony A7R didn’t have any problems following and freezing the action despite the low light and fast movement.

Personally, I enjoyed Cavalia tremendously. It is lively and entertaining and is two-and-a-half solid hours of visual treat for the audience – be it young or old and whether you’re a horse lover or not.

I believe Cavalia appeals to old and young, horse-lovers and non-horse-lovers alike. Fabulous show!

I believe Cavalia appeals to old and young, horse-lovers and non-horse-lovers alike. Fabulous show!

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10 Responses to “POTD: Cavalia the equestrian extravaganza in Singapore”

  1. Konrad Schmidt says:

    You watched the Spanish Riding School as well? It was terribly expensive! And you’re right, it’s very different from Cavalia which I caught in Belgium. It’s very slow and my boys were bored stiff. They much preferred Cavalia.

    • tech4tea says:

      A little anecdote: when I bought the tickets, I was delighted to see we were seated in row 1 – Front seats! When we went to the show, we found there was only ONE row! LOL! we were on the upper level so had a good view of the performance. And yes, it’s a lot slower, focus more on precision and control. In Cavalia, the acrobats were also fun to watch in their own right.

  2. Xiu Fen says:

    Such a pretty lady! Nice shot!

  3. Gisele Thorpe says:

    Now I know what “Cavalia” means. Been wonderign for the longest time!

  4. Sam Tan says:

    Going to watch it tonight. Hope it’s as good as you say it is!

  5. Ian Bishop says:

    I saw it Sunday evening. Fantastic!

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