Cavalia gallops into heart of Seoul

A Cavalia performance.

It was just a five-minute walk from Sports Complex Station to get out of the hustle and bustle of the capital city and into the surreal world of "Cavalia."

The cast of "Cavalia" - 50 beautiful horses and their 46 two-legged friends - delivered a magical mix of equestrian arts, acrobatics, multimedia and special effects on its opening night Wednesday, taking the audience on a fantastic twohour journey.

The audience, in return, gave a rapturous standing ovation.

In some parts, the show was poignantly simple.

Two beautiful horses, unfettered by bridles or halters, nuzzled in an atmospheric, dreamy mood, with scenic images displayed on the 60-meter-wide screen and gentle music performed live by a band behind the stage.

Later, the stage turned into a Roman Colosseum, with a rider standing on two horses while holding the reins of two others that galloped together around the stage.

Toward the end of the show came another highlight that pulled together over-the-top feats in both horsemanship and acrobatics into a jaw-dropping spectacle. Horses blasted across the stage, with daredevil stunt riders hanging on dangerously. The aerialists flipped through the air on a Russian bar as tumblers somersaulted across the ground.

In the finale, horses splashed through an onstage lake set up in just two minutes with 120,000 litres of water.

Throughout the show, the horses were front and centre.

"Wow…This is just…wow," a male spectator repeatedly said, as he walked out of the White Big Top where the show was performed.

Gleaming white with fairy-tale spires towering as tall as a 10-story building, the world's largest touring tent has taken residency next to the Jamsil Baseball Stadium.

Created by Normand Latourelle, one of the cofounders of famed Cirque du Soleil, "Cavalia" premiered in Canada in 2003. The show has since toured North America and Europe, enthralling more than 4 million spectators. It is on its first Asian tour, with Seoul being the second leg.

The show will run through Dec. 16 at the White Big Top erected by the Jamsil Baseball Stadium near Sports Complex Station.

Tickets cost 50,000 won (S$59) to 250,000 won. For more information, call (02) 1588-5212 or visit