Odysseo’s four-legged stars host a red carpet meet-and-greet
The equine stars of Cavalia’s touring show, Odysseo, have arrived in Toronto after a two-week vacation in Georgetown, Kentucky.
Members of the media were recently invited to meet the 70 horses set to grace Odysseo’s skating rink-sized stage starting Wednesday, April 8 in the port lands.
Journalists were also offered an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the cavernous space, which covers the equivalent of a dozen professional basketball courts and has the capacity to seat 2,000 people.
Darren Charles, Odysseo’s resident art director and choreographer, served as the day’s tour guide.
The first stop was the vast stage area, which has an 18-ton carousel that can be raised or lowered as needed.
The sides of the stage, which are designed to look like a forest, also feature room for the animals and 45 human cast members to comfortably enter and exit during performances.
Those in attendance were then invited to take a walk on the stage area, which is home to a three-storey “mountain” inspired by the topography of a Montreal-area ranch the show’s creator/artistic director Normand Latourelle saw and wanted to emulate.
Charles also pointed to the massive high-definition IMAX screen that runs across the sides and back of the stage area as well as the composition of the sand on the stage, which is course and grainy and produces little to no dust.
He also made mention of the 300,000 litres of water that floods the stage at the end of the $30-million show. Latourelle said he also wanted to incorporate water into his massive production.
“It’s one of the most spectacular shows in the world and it’s one of the biggest,” Charles said, before ushering journalists to a training ring backstage for a red carpet meet-and-greet with the four-legged stars.
“This is the centre of activity during the show and during the day,” said Mississauga native Amanda Orlowski, one of Odysseo’s latest performers.
Trainer/performer Elise Verdoncq then gave a short demonstration of the art of liberty training with four white Arabian horses. Liberty training is a series of exercises with the intention of bonding with horses.
“Liberty is really about the relationship between us and the horses. This is where you really get to see their personality,” said fellow cast member Emmy Love.
“What’s so great about Liberty is you can do so many different tricks. It’s really amazing to see because the horses are completely free.”
The event concluded with a visit to the spacious stable tent, which is connected to the Big White Top.
Visit www.cavalia.net for more details or to purchase tickets.