Australian Dance Reviews

Cavalia in Brisbane

The Big White Top, DFO, Brisbane Airport
March 20, 2013 

By Belinda Williamson.

Marketed as “a celebration of the horse,” the show Cavalia certainly delivers on its promise. This extraordinary show is like nothing you have ever seen before. It is a beautiful combination of magnificent horses and exquisite acrobats.  

From the moment you enter the big white tent you step into a magical world of equestrians, acrobats, aerialists, singers, dancers, lassoists, riders and musicians. The show consists of 30 artists from around the world, including Canada, France, Belgium, the United States and not to mention Australia. Alongside these performers are 44 horses also from around the world. There are 10 different breeds of horses that while not performing are treated like the rock stars they are. With air-conditioned stables, shower areas, luxury stalls and lots of attention, they are definitely pampered ponies.

Inside the beautifully constructed tent, the stage is a skillfully designed masterpiece. With multiple levels and ‘tracks’ it can transform with the simple pull of a curtain or switch of an edge to create rings, reveal trampolines or even rain. This certainly is the ultimate stage with limitless uses and transformations.


Bareback riding, Voltige en rond. Photo by Pascal Ratthe.

Cavalia provides a wonderfully magical experience for the audience. There was a huge variety of acts and performances which included oversized balls, trapezes, acrobatics and of course, horses.  The entire show was fantastic but there were a couple of parts that were absolutely breathtaking. To witness the Grande Liberté, staring Thomas Aubron and six horses, was a once in a lifetime experience. Aubron was able to control six horses and maneuver them at his will. With little more than his love of horses and simple commands he was able to get six horses to turn, follow each other, line up or just walk in sequence.

The finale of the show was also a commendable act. With every artist playing their part and 18 horses included, it was an extravaganza of acrobatics, trick riding, dancing, aerial acts and music. It was a great end to a great show.

A special mention must be given to Julien Beaugnon and Jennifer L´ecuyer who caught the attention of everyone with their stand out performances and cheeky antics. L´ecuyer’s aerial skills are amazing and were performed seamlessly.

To include everything about this show I could waffle on for hours but the only way that one can fully appreciate the artistry and spectacular that is Cavalia is to go see it. So please do! Bravo Cavalia! Bravo!

Photo (top): by Frederic Chehu

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