Cavalia is a Cirque du Soleil-style equestrian extravaganza that has landed on Singapore’s shores as part of an ongoing worldwide tour. They’ll be performing in the Little Red Dot for the next 6 weeks, and it’s a large-scale production, with 50 horses (all males interestingly enough – a mix of geldings and stallions) and a crew of acrobats, riders and aerialists. I headed along to a performance with our nearly 4-year-old to check out what all the fuss is about!
You can’t miss the huge set-up of white tents, all flying the Cavalia flag, down by Marina Bay Sands – it looks like an enormous circus, but actually the footprint of the tents is taken up by stabling for the horses, a VIP lounge and a large boutique on entry (selling stuffed-toy horses, naturally!) so the arena itself isn’t quite as large as you’d expect from the outside. Some people might be a little bit squished too, as there’s not a lot of legroom in the very narrow and vertically stacked seats.
The show begins exactly as we have come to expect from Cirque shows (Cavalia was created by one of the original Cirque du Soleil team) with a female singer coming onto the stage and doing some world music woo-woo-type singing dressed in a long robe, and lots of enthusiastic back-flipping and tumbling from a troupe of African acrobats. From there though, the performance quickly evolves beyond expectation as the performers bring in horses to canter across and around the stage in various exciting set pieces – there’s a moody, softly-lit piece with romantic white horses, a thrilling piece with riders hanging off the horses in death-defying feats and lots, lots more. The live music is apparently altered on the spot to fit in with the movements of the horses, as they are of course slightly unpredictable!
The first half of the show absolutely gallops by with awesome displays of horsemanship and was a huge hit with our daughter (though we realised at one point that she had expected that the horses would SPEAK – so slight disappointment there). There’s a 30-minute intermission and then a slightly slower second half where you could probably do without about 20 minutes of, especially as they were still working on the air conditioning situation… Phew, it was a little bit sweltering in that tent! I heard staff saying that improvements would be made quickly though, so I’m sure future performances will not suffer from the same issue.
Post-show if you have bought a VIP ticket you can head back to the lounge to meet some of the artistes, and then even take a tour of the stables (no horse petting is allowed though). Energetic young cast members were incredibly friendly and happy to talk about stunts and share funny stories of the “bloopers” that happen behind the scenes.
I’d say that the minimum age for kids to truly enjoy the performance would be about 3.5 to 4 years old, as any younger and they’d get squirmy during the slower scenes. As adults we were definitely more than entertained, and would definitely recommend getting your mitts on tickets if you can!
Tickets are available from Sistic now.