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
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

Movies

Interview: Robert Rodriguez doesn't mind that Jessica Alba…

In making a Hollywood-friendly adaptation of Frank Miller's gritty "Sin City" graphic novel series, Robert Rodriguez learned that some things have to go — namely…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Aug. 20: 'Extant,' 'Legends'…

See a two hour block of Halle Berry's scifi show, "Extant."

The Word

The Word: Mischa Barton in trouble, not that…

  People are really, really worried about Mischa Barton. Again. The former "O.C." star is reportedly in deep financial trouble and can't seem to get…

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Food

The Chic Wife tells us how to use…

Kris Schoels, aka The Chic Wife, grew up on a farm with peach trees. August is National Peach Month, but Kris Schoels doesn’t need a reason…