Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay
Behind the entire goings on is a shifting backdrop on three curved IMAX screens, taking us to Africa, the Easter Islands, the American West, and to hazy, dreamlike worlds with ever-changing, glittering light. It gives a 3D effect without glasses since even the floor is covered with a projection.
Odysseo is not all horsesthere are acrobats, dancers, and riders who are extraordinary. All of the acrobats are dazzling, from the four beatific entertainers who look like they are floating through air with ribbons of white silk to the trick riders who do astounding things. There is a group of African acrobats who perform incredible feats like tumbling, leaping, back-flips, and cartwheels with fantastic height and speed. One of the highlights of the show is Elise Verdoncq with a group of unleashed Arabian horses. She is what I would call a "horse whisperer" and this is a most intimate display of the trainer-horse bond.
Odysseo's first act has a giant merry-go-round with six artificial horses descending from the ceiling and spinning in the middle of the stage while 12 acrobats use poles to swivel high above the ground elegantly and naturally. In the second act, toward the end of the performance, there is suddenly a lake in front of the audience and horses and humans frolic through 80,000 gallon of water across one-third of the stage. The horses race, with Elise Verdoncq beautifully posed on a horse that runs past the audience at breakneck speed, splashing water on those sitting in the front rows.
Odysseo truly sets itself apart from anything I have seen before with its visual concept and the astonishing beauty and pride of the horses. The production plays in the tall white tent directly in back of the ballpark at AT&T Park, 1051 3rd Street, San Francisco though January 20th, 2015. Tickets and information can be found at http://www.cavalia.net/en/odysseo or by calling 1-866-999-8111 toll free.