Choreographer Darren Charles brings his talent and vision to this new production, Odysseo, where man and horse marry in art. He draws from his vast experience in ballet, contemporary dance, ethnic movement and acrobatics, and incorporates an imaginative fusion of styles into his choreographies.
Steve Duffy: How have you been able to incorporate your own artistic style into the show?
Darren Charles: I have been given a lot of artistic freedom for the show. I also help the riders present themselves when riding.
SD: How is the bond created between the horse & the rider and/or trainer?
DC: The trainer creates the bond by training the horse. Each of the riders have one horse that they work with individually so the horse will recognize their voice and smell. Both the rider and horse need to have great respect for each other.
SD: Given the size of the show, there would seem to be a lot of commotion happening behind the scenes. How are the horses kept from getting spooked?
DC: The horses are very well-cared for while back stage. Trainers/performers have to remember that the horses are still wild and have to work hard at maintaining that respect. Horses are smart. They know their cues, performances, and their music. The acrobats train a good hour warming up before the show. It helps them warm up, so we don’t have any injuries.
SD: When can the audience expect to see?
DC: We take everyone on a journey through our landscapes. It is very unique and very visual. We create memorable moments for everyone. You feel that you are part of the show. It’s a one-of-a kind show and it’s breathtaking.
SD: Have you ever tried to perform on a horse? Also, how are the artist trained?
DC: No, working with horses was a first with me. Trying to find a balance with what the performers can do on a horse was a challenging. I found it easier to train the artists off the horse first and then try them on the horse.
Cavalia’s: Odysseo can be found under the White Big Top at Assembly Row in Somerville. For more information and to purchase tickets to Cavalia: Odysseo visit www.cavalia.net or contact the box office at 866-999-8111.