Odysseo | Soldier Field South Festival Lot | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Members of the equine cast of Odysseo

Members of the equine cast of Odysseo

Jak Wonderly

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through June 3 2017
Price: $34.50-$269.50
cavalia.com
Hokey on a grand scale, silly at the very highest level of technical sophistication, Cavalia's latest multimedia horse opera might charm even a bitter old man like me if it didn't consume so much of its two-and-a-half-hour running time in repetitive gambits. The trick riding is sharp, the dressage skilled, and the sight of galloping horses can be exhilarating . . . once or twice. But familiarity breeds tedium, even if you flood the stage and gallop (again) through standing water. Maybe that's why some of the best work here highlights people rather than horses. Aerial lyra and silks acts are strikingly choreographed, and a Guinean tumbling team stole the show I saw, despite attempts to spin its members as quaint tribal types. Cavalia's use of the Guineans underscores a glaring racial divide in Odysseo: all the riders are white. Odd that a company that culls talent from ten nations (and touts the diversity of its four-legged artists) couldn't find a performance-quality black equestrian anywhere. —Tony Adler

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