According to the ancient Chinese Book of Changes, or I Ching, dragons are to the sky what horses are to the earth, and if you have any doubt about the truth of this statement, check out Cheval Theatre, which has selected Denver to open its U.S. tour. The brainchild of Gilles Ste-Croix, a co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, Cheval Theatre, as its French name implies, is a show based on the talent and grandeur of our equestrian friends and the simpatico between them and their human caretakers and trainers.
The moment you enter the first hand painted tent on the grounds of the Pepsi Center, you are immersed in the culture of horses, passing by the 30 horse actors as they are getting groomed for the show. From the giant Percherons and Clydesdales to the American Miniatures, 17 different breeds are represented.
The acts exhibit a range of equestrian and acrobatic arts including vaulting from horse to horse, vaulting around and under the horses, pyramids, and various gymnastic feats upon single horses. The Spanish tradition of Garotcha, which consists of spirals and pirouettes by horse and rider around a pole, is performed as a seductive dance. All sorts of dressage are also featured, displaying remarkable individual choreography and synchronized dances, some performed with riders and some by the horses themselves under the guidance of a trainer.
In between these impressive performances are a smattering of comic scenarios consisting of interplay between ever-patient horses and the traditional inept clown. As always, the costuming, lighting, musicianship and sound design throughout the show are exquisite.
Whether you're a horse lover or a fan of the theatrical circus in the style of Cirque du Soleil, you'll love Cheval Theatre. It runs through September 16th. Tickets are available by calling 1-877-528-0777 and through TicketMaster outlets.