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Raising the roof for 'Cavalia': White Big Top arrives at Marymoor Park | Video
Marymoor Park was abuzz with the raising of the circus tent for the show, "Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse," which opens Jan. 24.
"Cavalia" is a lavish performance of acrobatics, aerialists, music, dance and of course – equestrian stunts. It's like Cirque du Soleil, but with horses.
It took less than 20 minutes for crews to raise the 10-story-foot-tall tent, spanning more than 26,000 square feet. Unlike traditional circular circus tents, the Cavalia tent is built to be big enough to allow the horses freedom to move during the show, so the audience sits on one side of the tent, and the show takes place on the opposite side.
Kevin Brown, director of King County Parks and Recreation, said at the tent-raising that he was pleased that the show is finally coming to Redmond after years of discussing the possibility with Cavalia's artistic director, Normand Latourelle, who cofounded Cirque du Soleil before breaking away 20 years ago.
While Marymoor has hosted numerous Cirque du Soleil shows, this will be the first time it has housed a show by Cavalia — which is also the name of Latourelle's company, as well as this particular performance. The company additionally has another show that combines circus arts and horses called "Odysseo," currently playing in Georgia and Florida.
Latourelle said the inspiration for a show with horses came in the early 2000s, when he used a horse in a previous show, that simply walked across the stage.
People were transfixed by that animal more than its human counterparts on stage.
In an age where many people live in cities, and are becoming increasingly removed from nature, the chance to see a show with these majestic animals is special, Latourelle said.
The relationship between human and horse goes back thousands of years. Throughout various cultures, people rode horses for many aspects of live, from travel, to hunting. This history is presented in the show.
"Even people who don't know horses come to this show, and they are moved by what they see," Latourelle said. "It's in their blood. It's because of our ancestors."
For tickets, call 1-866-999-8111 or visit www.cavalia.net.