Cavalia: pitchin' a DIA-inspired tent

Cavalia’s star steeds like to horse around–pun intended. “Half the time, horse are totally free on stage. It’s the basis of Cavalia, to make sure horse find stage as their playground,” explains the equestrian spectacle’s founder Normand Latourelle. Flipping the script on traditional beast-based circuses, Cavalia treats its equines as equals–artists in their own right. “We created a huge stage to allow for improvisation.” Many audience members even view the animals as superior in the entertainment department. “It’s challenging to bring acrobats to horses. The moment you are on stage with horse, you are upstaged. You have to realize that. It’s all about them.” Backstage, some PETA supporters might be surprised to learn of the creatures’ VIP treatment. Sponge baths (including both shampoo and conditioner), generous meals (with nutritionist supervision) and daily exercise are all standard perks. Few humans are as pampered. How do Cavalia’s trainers know their trainees are happy? “Horses speak body language–the ears, the mouth, the look…it all means something.”