Odysseo: I’m Finding My Own White Horse in Chicago

I’ve been to Soldier Field several times, and I’ve never been disappointed. But, this VIP experience at Odysseo was truly unique. Walking towards a big white tent – I was destined to find my own white horse during an action packed evening with over 60 horses and acrobatics.

Standing 38 meters tall, the White Big Top is a traffic-stopping addition to the skyline of each city Odysseo performs. When visitors enter, they are immediately transported into a lavish and intimate environment reminiscent of any permanent theatre.

If you read nothing else about Odysseo or are trying to understand it, know this- my initial reaction after experiencing the VIP Odysseo experience:

I don’t think anything could prepare me for the joy I felt watching this production. 6k tons of sand, 51 gallons of water, 60+ horses, and the most abs I’ve ever seen in a room. Part of me wanted to do crunches and the other part wanted to roam in the river with white horses. What a masterpiece!!

The white tent experience was just the beginning. They had fresh, healthy kale salad, jumbo shrimp and delicious steak. VIP guests could go to the gift shop, drink champagne, beer, or wine, and relax on comfortable red couches. Some of the performers came inside the VIP tent for a meet and greet.

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Before seeing the show, we refilled our champagne glasses and grabbed a bag of popcorn. It was nice that they let you take food and beverage into the theatre.

Once we were seated, it was hard to comprehend what was happening. This show has no plot. It has no words. It’s hard to describe. It’s simply entertainment. I would compare it to a circus, but it was far more sophisticated both because of the equestrian piece, but also the backdrops, and the costumes, and of course the water scene in the second act. There are no fewer than 365 costumes used during a performance, and sometimes one costume is duplicated three times because actors do flips under the horse – yes under – one performer went under the horse and back around while the horse galloped.

Most of all, Odysseo was fun. It was enjoyable. There’s something whimsical about seeing white horses roam freely, yet synchronized (they even turned around in a circle) on stage.

After the first act, the VIP guests went back into the lavish white tent to feast on more champagne and delicious and decadent cheesecake, fresh fruit and mini tarts.

The second act was equally impressive. The show ended with a water scene.

And just when you thought you saw it all, VIP guests then get to experience the behind the scenes of this over-the-top performance. We got to pet and meet horses in the stables – which truely was magical since we were at Soldier Field – in the middle of Chicago – surronded by beautiful horses.

Odysseo: Larger Than Life

The horse has marked human history and progress more than any other animal. Horses have taken us to the ends of the earth, enabled us to build bridges between cultures and expand civilization. It is the beauty and harmony of this ancient relationship, this meeting of two worlds – those of horse and man – that inspired the creators of Odysseo. As friends, partners and inseparable performers on stage, 65 horses and 45 artists lead the viewer on a great journey in yet another world – a world of dreams – where, together, they discover some of the planet’s most unforgettable landscapes.

Odysseo marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before-seen levels. A veritable revolution in live performance, Odysseo comprises a list of superlatives: the world’s largest touring production and traveling big top, the biggest stage, the most beautiful visual effects, and the greatest number of horses at liberty.

Scenography and Visual Effects

To give life to this extraordinary equestrian adventure, a 17,500 square feet stage was created in the middle of which rise a three-story tall hill. Some 10,000 tons of rock, earth and sand are trucked in and then sculpted to create the vast space of freedom where humans and horses come to play in complicity.

Above the stage hangs an imposing technical grid capable of supporting 80 tons of equipment including, a full-sized merry-go-round, far beyond anything attempted to date on any touring show and comparable to the best-equipped theaters of Las Vegas, London or New York.

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QUICK FAQ ABOUT ODYSSEO

• Odysseo features 65 horses of 11 different breeds including the Arabian, Holsteiner, Lipizzan, Lusitano, Mustang, Paint Horse, Portuguese Cross, Quarter Horse, Selle Français, Spanish Purebred (P.R.E.) and Warmblood.
• The horses are from Spain, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Australia, The United States and Canada.
• There are 48 artists – riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers and musicians.
• The artists are from around the world including the United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Guinea (Africa), Russia, Spain, Ukraine, Japan, and Italy.
• There are 350 costumes and 100 pairs of shoes and boots in the show. Artists may have up to seven different costumes.
• An artist may have no more than 30 seconds to do a quick costume change between numbers.
• A team of 13 dressmakers, one property master, one designer and one shoemaker worked in the Odysseo studios to create the costumes.
• Materials used in the costumes include linen, silk, cotton, leather and some imitation fur. The use of natural fibers gives the clothes sheen and lets them fall in a way that synthetic fibers simply cannot match.
• The costumes are adapted to the artists’ needs, especially those of the acrobats and riders, to facilitate their onstage movement while not compromising their appearance.
• The on-tour costume department consists of one wardrobe person and three dressers who launders, mends and cares for the costumes. At times during the show, they juggle 15 simultaneous wardrobe changes. They have two sewing machines, one shoe-repair machine and one overlock machine.

ODYSSEO’S WHITE BIG TOP

More than twice the size of the structure created for the first production, Odysseo’s White Big Top is the size of a CFL football field. The 1,626 square metres stage, larger than a hockey rink, and the 15 meters wide backstage area offers a vast playground for more than 30 cantering horses. The grandiose stage also offers incredible possibilities for large-scale staging. A total of five tents comprise the Odysseo village. The White Big Top houses the stage and backstage, seating and lobby areas under a single roof.

The Rendez-Vous tent hosts VIP ticket holders for dinner, an open bar and photo opportunities with the artists. This package includes a private tour of the stables and the best seats in the house. The horses live in a climate controlled stable tent complete with showers, tack shop and a blacksmith department.

 

 VIP Odysseo Experience:

5:30PM
Arrival at the Rendez-Vous VIP Tent.

5:30PM to 7:00PM
Gourmet buffet dinner & drinks at the Rendez-Vous VIP Tent.

7:00PM to 8:00PM
Odysseo Act One.

8:00PM to 8:30PM
Desserts at the Rendez-Vous VIP Tent.

8:30PM to 9:30PM
Odysseo Act Two.

9:30PM to 9:50PM
Backstage visit, selfies with horse and artist.

9:50PM to 10:15PM
Stables visit.

Discount to See Odysseo:

When you’re booking your tickets for what is being called “the best show ever,” enjoy a 15% DISCOUNT using Windy City Cosmo’s promo code: SOCIAL at cavalia.com/live. This promo code is already active & is valid on all shows for Gold and VIP ticket categories.

Where: The White Big Top, Soldier Field South Lot, 1410 Museum Campus Drive

Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Tickets: $34.50-$269.50 (VIP price includes food and drink) at 866-999-8111 or www.cavalia.com

Make sure you follow Windy City Cosmo on Snapchat (@Rationalization) and on Instagram (@WindyCityCosmo) for live behind the scenes of events like Odysseo in Chicago.

 

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