Cavalia, equestrian troop (Shawinigan, 2000 -). Cavalia was conceived by the visionary Normand Latourelle, who had already participated in the Cirque du Soleil venture. With his strong dream of creating a show where men and horses interact in harmony, Latourelle was able to bring Cavalia to the stage, fully respecting the animal's nobility, and overcoming a number of financial obstacles along the way.
Uniting poetry, spectacular scenery, multimedia, enchanting music and beautiful costumes, Cavalia now enjoys an international reputation. Its first performance, Un rêve de liberté, was in Shawinigan, in a modest tent erected in the parking area of the city's arena. The show was a sensation as soon as it opened, and the troop has been growing ever since. In 2011, Cavalia performed throughout the world, from North America to Europe and Asia.
Today, the Big Top which is completely white, can accommodate 2,000 viewers and is set up like a kind of cathedral with its four majestic towers. Covering an area of 50 metres, the stage requires more than 6,000 tonnes of rock, earth and sand for its construction in order to provide the horses and their riders the most secure freedom of movement.
The Cavalia stables include 150 horses. The riders and trainers are all imbued with Normand Latourelle's original philosophy, namely respect for the animals, their way of life, and their well-being. Each horse has its own personality, so dialogue and tenderness are an inherent part of the training and performances. Listening to each horse and being tune with its nobility and personality is the very cornerstone of the show's artistic creation.
Thirteen different breeds are represented in the Cavalia stables, originating from North America, Spain, France, Arabia, South America and the United States: the Appaloosa, Arabian, the Canadian, the Comtois, the Criollo, the Lusitano, the Oldenburg, the Paint Horse, the Percheron, the Spanish Purebred, the Quarter Horse and finally the Warmblood.
Of particular note are the Appaloosa, a breed developed by the North American Indian tribe Nez Perce in the 18th century, and the Canadian. The latter has a very particular history, having been descended from horses sent to New France by King Louis XIV. Nicknamed "the little iron horse" by the early colonists for its great endurance to the climate and for its strength, this horse was once on the verge of extinction. However, today there are some 2,500, and the breed's future is ensured.
In 2011 Cavalia presented the show Odysseo.