Cavalia :: A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Man and Horse

When driving by Bayfront Avenue you will noticed a new landmark has sprung up along side the Marina Bay Sands - a majestic white tent with 4 fairytale spires towering 10-storey. That is Cavalia's iconic signature White Theatre Tent, touted as the largest touring tent in the world has now erected on Bayfront Avenue beside Marina Bay Sands in preparation for the Asian Premiere of the multi-disciplinary theatrical production Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Man and Horse.

A new addition to the skyline of Marina Bay Sands, Cavalia's White Theatre Tent

Cavalia’s White Theatre Tent spans more than 2,440-square-metres and accommodates a colossal 50-metre-wide stage, behind which a constantly changing digital background is projected onto a 60-metre-wide screen, drawing spectators into dream-like virtual environments. The audience faces a gigantic stage area that provides horses room to gallop at full speed, at times running completely free, unfettered by bridles or halters, allowing the equine stars to express themselves in all their grace, strength and beauty. Horses need to have enough space to display both their elegance and speed, eliminating from consideration a stage-in-the-round. Cavalia is a veritable revolution in live entertainment, incorporating the power and magnificence of the horses in a multi-media production that both captures the imagination and propels the centuries’-old tradition of equestrian arts into the 21st Century, where performers bring their gentle and magical way with horses to the heart and soul of each and every show.

Over the past decade, Cavalia’s White Theatre Tent has graced the skylines of the largest North American, European, Australian and Middle Eastern cities. Weighing more than 50 tons, the White Theatre Tent has more than 6,630-square-metres of canvas and seven trailers are required to transport it.

During the Media Call last Wednesday, Normand Latourelle shared with us what Cavalia is about and the process of making an innovative multimedia and multi-disciplinary production.

 From left: Milan Rokic, Base Entertainment Asia and Normand Latourelle, Cavalia

We were privileged to partake in the raising of the Cavalia White Theatre Tent and also see the Cavalia flag being placed at the peak of the spire.

 From left: Milan Rokic, Base Entertainment Asia , Normand Latourelle
Mathieu Latourelle, Cavalia

Raising the White Theatre Tent

Pitching the flag at the peak of the spire

In the coming days, the crew will begin putting together the different components inside the White Theatre Tent and will build a true theater. 2,500 tons of sand and earth will be used (100 truckloads) to create the stage. As the inside of the White Theatre Tent begins to take shape, crews are setting up five other tents on site, including the stables, a warm-up and artistic tent, the VIP Rendez-Vous tent, the general entrance tent and the staff cafeteria. Workers will also build paddocks next to the stable tent where the horses will have daily turn out once they arrive in their new home, early next month.

 The crew putting up a side pole - 120 side poles will be placed around the tent

All food are done in-house for crew and audiences. The show operates daily and we requires 200 people to operate the show. All this combined makes it the world's largest touring show.

We manage to steal a few moments with Normand Latourelle, Cavalia's Founder & Artistic Director to do an interview.

Wendy Shen
Normand Latourelle

RxR Magazine: Normand what inspired you to put up such a magnificent show?

Normand Latourelle: I'm very inspired by nature and I want to bring nature to stage which was a challenge at one point but I started to work with horses on stage about 20 years ago and they just kinda inspired me to bring nature to stage and also combine from my background - the Cirque du Soleil world with the equestrian world.

RxR Magazine: What can the audiences expect from the show?

Normand Latourelle: The audiences are going to witness 50 fantastic horses, almost 50 fantastic artistes in a very modern setting. Its the biggest touring show in the world, its the biggest tent in the world and its the biggest stage in the world. Cavalia is a very happy show to watch they are going to see fantastic acrobats, they are going to hear fantastic live music. All in all they are just going to have 2 hours of fun watching Cavalia.

RxR Magazine: Touring such a big production were there any major difficulties you encountered that left you fustrated?

Normand Latourelle: Well as we bring the biggest tour in the world everything is a challenge, but I think we have reached a completion of all the challenges and now the tent is going up, the horses arrive next week and we will be ready in two weeks.

Next up for the interview was Mathieu Latourelle (Normand's son), Cavalia's Tour Director.

Wendy Shen
Mathieu Latourelle

RxR Magazine: Firstly welcome to Singapore. How do you find the weather in Singapore?

Mathieu Latourelle: Its hot at the same time I don't hate it, I like the warm nights, we can go out for drinks walk along the promenade its very nice.

RxR Magazine: What are the challenges you face when setting up the tent in various countries during the tour? 

Mathieu Latourelle: It is challenging, when you set up such a big site you always think about the workers safety. Mother nature is going to give you a challenge wherever you go. Each country has a different challenge. Some countries are very hot some countries are very cold. Its always different, we had to deal with snow at some point when we put the tent up and if we set up by the sea there's lots of wind. Singapore for example is hot we have to make sure they are hydrated, we give them electrolyte tablets to help them to stay hydrated. It does bring some challenges but the Cavalia team is such a hardworking crew they always make it happen. 

RxR Magazine: Seeing the snippets of Cavalia earlier on, some of the acts in Cavalia are astonishing, how much training do the horses go under for a show like this?

Mathieu Latourelle: It depends on the horse it goes from 8 months to many years. 8 months are the ones that just ride, they come with the rider and go round. Many years are the dressage horses, the dressage horses need all the muscle building, the flexibility, the practice. Our horses are really artistes and like any artiste if you want to be an artiste of high level you need to have the patience to train your body to make sure you can actually achieve what you want.

RxR Magazine: What moves you most about the bond between humans and horses in general?

Mathieu Latourelle: The mutual respect, the love, its very interesting. For human its easy to understand how a human can love a horse, its a beautiful animal, its gentle. But horses in their own way they are not like dogs but in their own way they show affection as well. I'll give you an example: each of our rider trains many horses, this rider has 2 horses, when he trains one horse the other horse is jealous. The other horse will start to kick in the box, make noise, move and really what it is is the other horse wants to play with the rider, wants to be with the rider its his way to show his affection.

RxR Magazine: With all these emotions does the horses know they are celebrities? Do they throw 'diva tantrums'?

Mathieu Latourelle: I hope they know! We do enough for them if they think we don' I mean I think the horses know, the grooms (care taker of the horses), the veterinarians, the farriers they all have good relationship with the horses. And you know when your a horse and you have someone coming giving you a massage, playing with your hair and giving you a shampoo everyday I think the horses know they pampered. 

Oh yes they do! They sometimes don't want their hair to be brushed and we would go ok we will leave you alone today.

RxR Magazine: How would you describe Cavalia in your own words?

Mathieu Latourelle: Its my life its my baby. For me its the most beautiful show with the most beautiful performers the most beautiful horses. Cavalia is all about beauty the show is statically pretty. A horse in the field is a horse, whilst a horse on the stage is a star. It makes it so that when you see a horse on stage its so beautiful. Of course, you will find some thrilling moments, exciting moments, softer moments where its all about the horse visage or when they are a team because they do high octane acts, when they do their tricks its a team of 2 people when you have a horse and you have a guy doing some kind of acrobat at its side its a team. The horse needs to know whats going on and do his job so that the rider can do his job and vice versa. So someone will see beauty but see also excitement, fun and overall have a great time.


Cavalia is presented in Singapore by Mediacorp Vizpro International and BASE Entertainment Asia. Cavalia’s presenting sponsor is Fuji Xerox, supporting sponsor Standard Chartered Bank. The official partner is Marina Bay Sands and media partners include: Official TV station Channel 5; Supporting TV station Channel 8; Official radio station Class 95; Supported by MeClub and Official outdoor media is Moove Media

When: Premieres 12 August, 2014
Venue: Under the White Theatre Tent, at Bayfront Avenue
Ticket Price: From S$58* excludes booking fee of S$3 per ticket.
Bookings: Through Internet or by phone +65-31586735

For more information and ticketing details please log on to