Od•ys•sey (noun) — A long series of wanderings or adventures, especially when filled with notable experiences.
I recently had an opportunity to experience “Odysseo,” the latest Cavalia horse show, now visiting Redmond’s Marymoor Park. What a treat for the senses!
Even before you enter, you are struck by the sheer size of the tent (the largest of its kind in the world), aware that you are about to witness something spectacular. Open the doors and you are welcomed by beautiful scenes from the show, and merchandise to get you excited as you make your way to your seats.
There isn’t a bad seat in the house. And, from halfway up the rows, I felt like I had a great view of both the high and low visual lines of the production.
The lights went down and I was taken on a ride through time and space, transported to a distant land or an earlier time, as a ballet between horses and performers played out in front of the crowd. I will leave the surprises for you to experience, but I will say that every scene was something new and exciting, and — many times — took my breath away.
There are acrobats, dancers, musicians and riders who use every opportunity to thrill their rapt audience with their beauty and strength. The acrobats do things that I didn’t think the human body could do, pushing their bodies to the extreme; dancing their hearts out and appearing to love every minute of it. The catapulting stilts that some of the dancers use will have you researching how you can get a pair for yourself. But, the most exciting performance comes from the horses. I cannot describe the emotional effect of seeing such majestic creatures acting in total concert with their gentle riders and one another. It will dazzle you and sometimes bring tears of happiness and wonder.
As I watched I got so taken in by the bond of animal and human that it brought tears to my eyes and gave me goose bumps. Not only do we see these animals as majestic, they are given the utmost respect by their handlers. You can see the personalities of these horses as they run around the landscape. They communicate with each other by looks and actions; if one horse isn’t pulling its weight then another will bite it on the hind quarter. It is hilarious and adorable. The extreme beauty of seeing horses run “wild” in a natural-looking environment left me sitting in my seat motionless and captivated. The horses are directed by vocal calls and hand gestures which makes this show extra amazing. I can only say that I wanted to see more, more, more!
All of the action is set against a backdrop featuring the most amazing sets, re-creating faraway lands and interactive environments. Huge screen use projections to help tell the story of every scene. Whether in the air, on the ground or in the water, the performers use every inch of the set to take you on a transformative journey. By the show’s end, I felt spellbound, knowing that I had seen something really special. You will feel like you are flying when you leave the arena!
Redmond has fully embraced this world-traveling wonder, as tickets have been selling at fast clip. Odysseo has already been extended two weeks! Get yourself to Redmond and take an adventurous trip with Oysseo. You will be changed.