For approximately 5500 years, humans have had a love affair with horses. From the Catherine the Great rumors to Equus, people, human people, have always wanted to make love to horses. The USA is no different. From the creepy horse/pre-teen girl fantasy love that is constantly hinted at in popular culture to the unnecessarily long post ride rubdowns that Chick would give to Lightning during the heyday of the Cowboy, the U.S has never shied away from it's part in perpetuating the pseudo-sexual (or not so pseud(i)o. Ohh oh.) subtext that has long existed between humans and the fairer, more equestrian species. We've always wanted to ride the Pegasus.
Case in point: When I was a young man of 22, and the internet was just getting it's feet under it, one of the first documents a computer savvy roommate ever downloaded and printed was a detailed, single-spaced, eight page tutorial on how to properly romance and bed a horse. Human male, horse female. And in one case, male. It included flirtation techniques, foreplay instructions, how you know the horse is "ready," time periods, positioning ("approach from behind" and "get a stool") and, most notably, a technical, step-by-step description of how to extract and then drink a cup of Horse, uhhhh, you know . . . ummm, tangible evidence of the horse's enjoyment, let's say.
It was an incredible document. We read it aloud many nights until we were sure we had horrified and delighted ALL of our friends. I'm pretty sure even the Bill of Rights has never gotten those kinds of laughs.
I, for one, am not that into horses. I appreciate their strength and athleticism, I understand them as beautiful as all animals have some beauty, but I don't find them particularly fascinating. Seriously, I am not that interested in them. I swear. Please believe me!
This unsteady wagon train of thought could all be yours with a single viewing of Cavalia's Odysseo.
Cavalia's Odysseo is a show by the producers of Cirque du Soliel, which comped us a couple of tickets last year. The Peanut and I went, and we loved it. Almost unabashedly. This year, they ponied up (zap!) four tickets so the whole family could go.
I am pleased to say, no horse on human (or vice-a versa) lovemaking was evident in any of the show pieces. In fact, the horses were treated with great respect. This is not to say that one can't (or won't or doesn't) treat one's sexual partner with great respect, I'm just saying if something kinky was going on, and I have no proof that it was, it was all done on a pretty level playing field.
On the way in, there were some opening night miscues. Where to pick up tickets, what gate to go to, training of the cashiers in the gift shop. I never got a press pass and therefore did not get to go backstage after the show like many of my fellow bloggers did. It didn't bother me much since the kids were exhausted by the end anyway.
The best way I can think of to describe the show is picture the Dothraki hordes hanging out with the Riders of Rohan and everyone is on mushrooms. All of a sudden they're a bunch of beautiful and fun dudes and chicks riding around on their beautiful horses doing crazy tricks and smiling and whooping and all the while the landscape is shifting and the colors are undulating and oh man total visual ecstasy right here, man.
|"Where are we going, man?"|
" I'm just following the dude in front. "
"I think that's a chick."
"Whatever man. His dress is far out"
Through the show there was a group of mind-blowing non-horse riding acrobats that sort of acted as the chorus.
At some point, that distinctive horsey smell works its way into your nostrils, which actually enhanced the experience.
The show, as the Artistic Director and co-founder of Cirque du Soleil puts it, is the"world's largest touring show," and that he wanted to "challenge Cirque Do Soleil Las Vegas with Cavalia". From WBUR.org
"Owner and artistic director Normand Latourelle gladly gives a tour of the site. Smiling, he says everything about Cavalia is big. It’s got a $35 million touring budget, an 18-ton carousel, an 80-ton technical grid and two stages the size of hockey rinks. Dump trucks push 10,000 tons of dirt to make actual mountains under the tent that are three stories high.
Latourelle admitted quite frankly that he wanted to challenge Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas with Cavalia.“So we gave ourselves the technology to reach that level because a touring show, it’s more difficult than a permanent show,” he said. “Everything has to go in the truck.
The show actually packs into 100 semi-trucks, which Latourelle said makes Odysseo the world’s largest touring show."
And it was a huge show. And, if you love horses, even in a non-creepy way, it was probably excellent. For me, two things: There was a little bit too much of that pre-teen girl prince/horse fantasy action (Latourelle is definitely aware of the horse/sex connection. Definitely.) and I couldn't shake the feeling that the whole point of the show was to be the largest touring show ever. In Cirque, the acrobats and performers are coming up with new ways to perform crafts that have been around for thousands of years. In Cavalia, they did horse tricks that have been around for thousands of years in a highly stylized setting, but the tricks didn't feel that new. Just, "can you believe all these horses and this tent and all this dirt and stuff? Isn't it huge." From the general audience reaction, which was at it's height when the non-horse bound performers were on stage, many folks would agree with me. I could be projecting but hey, they're not here to say different.
As for the kids, the girl loved it until she fell asleep about ten minutes after intermission ended and the boy loved it so much he managed to stay awake for the whole thing, eyes wide and glazed. Good trip.
The tickets, befitting the largest touring show in the world, are rather expensive. Obstructed view for $50 up to $250 for VIP tickets. If you have that kind of scratch laying around, go, enjoy. You'll have a unique experience on some level. If not though, don't worry about it too much. And if you really, really, like horses well then . . . best show ever.