SINGAPORE: Fans of horses and thrilling stunts can look forward to a theatrical spectacular from August 12.
Cavalia, a multi-media extravaganza that tells the story of the evolving relationship between man and horse, is making its Asian debut in Singapore and it announced itself here by erecting its trademark arena at Marina Bay.
Cavalia’s White Theatre Tent, the largest touring tent in the world, was painstakingly assembled by some 100 workers is part of a village that includes smaller tents. Standing at 35 metres, or about the height of a 10-storey building, the gigantic structure spans 2,440 square metres or about 23 five-room HDB flats.
When it's fully done up, the tent will be able to seat 2,000 people, who will all face a stage the size of an Olympic pool.
"We've heard great things about the city; the entertainment industry is doing very well here,” said Mathieu Latourelle, tour director of Cavalia.
“Marina Bay is such a great spot. You can't be in a more prime area than Marina Bay. We're just beside the Sands Hotel, the Sands Casino. A lot of nightlife, people come here to walk, it is great exposure for us, so it's just a perfect site and a great city.”
Cavalia has travelled to North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia, performing to some four million people along the way. But for its Asian debut, elements such as music and costumes were tweaked to cater to audiences in this part of the world.
The show will feature more than 40 performers, but according to the show's founder, it is the 50 horses that are the stars. The horses are currently in Belgium under quarantine and will only be showcased here in about two weeks.
Organisers stress that the horses' well-being takes centre stage.
"It's making sure the horses are comfortable when we transport them and when they arrive, the stables are set up and are completely ready to have a good rest after their trip,” said Mathieu.
“The interesting thing is we have some younger horses and some older horses. So the younger horses look at the older horses to see how they react. And when the older ones are calm, the younger ones are calm too."
Normand Latourelle, founder and artistic director of Cavalia, added: "Here everybody knows it's about them, it's not about us. When you go to a traditional circus… when it's time to applaud the trainer says 'tada, it's about me.' Here, we always say 'tada, it's about the horse.'"
The show has been in the works for about a year, and it involved organisers working with more than 15 government ministries and agencies such as the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and the National Environment Agency (NEA).
But it appears the effort has been worthwhile - Cavalia has added two weeks of shows to its season due to overwhelming demand.
So step right up, the circus is coming to town. - CNA/ec
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