Review: Cavalia’s ‘Odysseo’ is a ‘Cirque’ of a slightly different color

cav

It’s hard not to get caught up in the spectacle that is the grand finale of Cavalia’s “Odysseo.” As the cavernous performance space — the largest big top in the world — is almost instantly flooded with water, 63 stunning horses and 47 supremely talented human performance artists splash about the ring in an incredible display of equestrian and theatrical artistry.

The theatrics leading up to this big finish, unfortunately, aren’t all as as awe-inspiring.

Created by Normand Latourelle, one of the original founders of “Cirque du Soleil,” “Odysseo” professes to be “an ode to horse and man.” But this show is clearly a love story that favors its equine stars.

The massive white tent boasts a ‘stage’ equal in size to two football fields. When the horses, often free of reign or bridle, are galloping to and fro, it’s nearly breathtaking. When the horses cede the spotlight to their co-performers, however, the human talent (with the exception of the aerial performers) appears a bit dwarfed by their grandiose surroundings.

Though the look, feel and sound of the production are all quite “Cirque”-esque, there is a distinct lack of death-defying feats by either gymnasts or trapeze artists. Impressive tricks include acrobats that traverse the space in a series of endless back flips at near light speed and several men that leap about, almost pogo stick-like, on urban stilts — but the routines swiftly become familiar, as their repertoire is limited.

At times throughout the show, both horses and riders seem to be repeating their paces. One particular bit feels like the equestrian version of the Westminster Kennel Show. Led by a human handler, the horses walk in a circle in one direction while people applaud. They change directions upon prompting and people applaud again and again. It must be note that, while the routines can feel rote, the audience is primed to be impressed.

And, yes, the trick riding is exciting to watch and a Rotating Carousel — which features stellar aerial acrobatics — is one of the show’s finest moments. But if you go to the Somerville Big Top looking for more of that kind of magic, you might be disappointed.

If you go
Through August 25
Under the White Big Top
201 Assembly Square Drive, Somerville
$34.50 – $219.50
cavalia.net


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."