Cavalia is all about showcasing the beauty and power of the horse.
But the multimedia production opening Wednesday in Burbank is not just another horse show, says Founder and Artistic Director Normand Latourelle, who also helped build the famed Cirque du Soleil and other national and international performance events.
The horses run and play across the 200-square-foot dirt "stage" under the white Big Top. Some will have riders, others will simply be allowed to run free and do what comes naturally — all to original music performed by a sextet.
"The stage is their playground," Latourelle said.
About 45 horses are cast in the show, representing some 13 breeds.
"The show is not just for horse people," Latourelle said. "We do different types of riding with acrobatics, special effects and beautiful lighting."
Images are projected on the tent's massive wall behind the horses and subtly take viewers through time and the developing relationship between humankind and horse, he added.
"It's a visual poem," he said, put to live music.
Rider Fairland Ferguson said the show gives her the ultimate feeling.
"I remember when I first saw the show, how inspired I felt, and now to be the one inspiring others by being in the show and performing is a very big blessing," she said.
Ferguson performs Roman style, which is riding two horses at a time, with one foot on each, and trick riding, which is similar to what you see at a rodeo.
"Trick riding is riding a horse back and forth across the stage at fast speeds doing the tricks off the horse," she said.
Ferguson grew up riding horses. She started with English and progressed to hunter/jumping style, then Western pleasure.
"It's helped me because I wasn't scared of the horses," she said. "I could focus on balance and body control. I didn't need to worry about what the horses were doing. And what I do is basically multi-tasking on horses."
What: Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Horse and Human
When: Opening Wednesday
Where: 777 N. Front St., Burbank
Cost: $69 to $139 with additional packages available
Contact: (866) 999-8111 or visit http://www.cavalia.net