A big white tent has stood next to Marina Bay Sands for a month now. Each night it opens to snaking queues of people all eager to watch horses trot across the stage.
Before you argue that you can also do that at the Singapore Turf Club (and perhaps win some money at the same time), these aren’t ordinary horses. They’re the stars of the celebrated equestrian ballet showcasing the relationship between horse and man. To date, the show has garnered glowing reviews all the world over.
Both horses and humans are consummate performers
From the moment the first horses walk onto the stage, an audible gasp rises up from the audience. These are the supermodels of the horse world with glossy manes nearly reaching their hooves and shiny coats.
But don’t expect them to be jumping through hoops or balancing on balls (those will be done by the human performers), Cavalia only showcases natural behaviour from the horses. We were told that only patience and positive reinforcement is practised during their training and every aspect of the show is tailored to suit their needs.
We also heard that horses take about two months to get used to the stage and whenever a change is made, the trainers are sure to rehearse with the horses beforehand so as to get them used to it.
But it’s not just about the horses, there are human performers too. They flip and fly through the air in seemingly superhuman ways, and their flexibility will make you feel all too stiff and limited.
The stage is also worth keeping an eye on. Expect special effects and interactive elements to further draw you into its magic. We'd tell you, but we really don't want to ruin the surprise.
The top-tier Rendezvous ticket will grant you access to the hospitality tent where you get to enjoy nibbles and drinks before the show. Go early to make the most of the great grub and the open bar, but try not to overindulge in the latter, there’s a beautiful performance that deserves your sobriety.
During the intermission, we were ushered out into the same hospitality tent where trays of desserts awaited us. And when you’re being pampered like that, you’ll find that intermission is way too short.
The fun for Rendezvous ticket-holders doesn’t end when the curtains close. After the show, we were treated to some time with two of the human performers to take photos and have their programmes autographed. But the real highlight was still awaiting us - the stable tour.
Backstage with the real stars
Before stepping into another white tent that houses the horses, everybody had to apply hand sanitiser which shows just how much care goes towards the well-being of the horses. On top of that, no one was allowed to touch the horses. So you might be able to to tour the stables, but you won’t be patting any of the horses.
Even with those restrictions, it was an eye opener peering into the stalls and at their hooved inhabitants. They’re really a sight to behold up close, massive muscled beasts placidly chomping on their hay and even better looking up close.