“Cavalia” means freedom

Cavalia means freedom

Cavalia! Cavalia! To your right and to your left, come one, come all! There’s a horse show in Salt Lake… or is it Sandy? Either way– it’s spectacular according to the advertisements!

If you haven’t seen it by now, the Salt Lake valley has been covered in Cavalia billboards, or as I see them, ‘horse boards.’ This spectacular picture of a white horse has been pasted everywhere. I mean, you cannot turn a corner without seeing this, and like myself you have come to ignore it.

So what is Cavalia? Well it’s a horse show, put on by the Odysseo company. It’s sort of like Cirque Du Soleil, but replace their enigmatic, suggestive billboards with a white horse. Is the show nothing more than a bunch of horses prancing around potentially throwing in some flips and tricks right? I got circus vibes until I actually researched what it was.

I was partially right: while it may be some prancing and dancing there is also some musical accompaniment and some actors under a giant white tent in Sandy.According to the Cavalia page, “this new production is a celebration of the beauty and harmony of the meeting of two worlds: those of horse and human. As friends, partners and inseparable performers, they will lead you on a journey to another world – a world of dreams.”

It really doesn’t get any more magical than horses delivering dream worlds, folks. However, tickets aren’t simply a trot around the arena. Tickets can range anywhere from about $50 to almost $300, depending on how much magic and excitement you want. Or as the website says, “Through a symphony of colours and emotions, a series of wonders will unfold. In this intimate yet grandiose setting, humans and horses live in harmony.”

Or just magic.

The most ironic part of this whole experience, though, has to be how much emphasis the creators put on the word “freedom,” which is often expressed in their website and occasional YouTube clips. In reality, these horses and performers are, respectfully, constricted by and contractually bonded to this show. Show business is a demanding arena, one that will drain you physically and progressively carve off pieces of the soul. Where is the freedom in that?

Although the “most amazing show” has departed Utah, its memory lingers.

So those large, elegantly designed billboards are more than just ‘horse boards’; they are venues in which reality and unreality intermingle. “Where,” as a past President once said, “our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” I will leave you with another quote aptly taken from Cavalia’s website, one which captures my sense of this magically, ironically absurd place:

“What do horses dream about? The same thing we do: Freedom.”