Cavalia gallops into town

July 13, 2009 (CHICAGO) The show 'Cavalia' opens on the city's West Side on Tuesday. It's all about humans and horses; Show business as you've never seen it before.

"Cavalia is a tribute to what the horse has done for us for so many years. We wouldn't be here if the horse hadn't been with us," said Normand Latourelle, founder of "Cavalia".

Normand Latourelle, who also founded Cirque Du Soleil, is now running the biggest big top in the world; 65 horses and 120 people backstage, onstage and on horseback.

"Cavalia is a combination of, of course horses ... multi media, acrobats, special effects, beautfy ... ah, love ... and passion," said Latourelle.

But it's not your traditional Big Top production.

"Well we have some fun moments but we don't have red nosed clowns. It's not a circus."

The production centers on horses. Trainers like Sylvia Zerbini teach their stallions with a gentle touch. p> "I'm talking to them the whole time because there's eight stallions mixed together and as we know stallions have their own temperament. You know strong willed," said Zerbini. "Yes, like men."

They call Mathieu Pignon the horse whisperer. He gets along with powerful horses like most people get along with cute little puppies.

"We try to play with them ... to have fun with them. And when they play back we can show the way. If they enjoy themselves it works because if they don't have fun we are not successful with them," said Pignon.

Cavalia runs through August 2, 2009. Tickets range from $50 to $100.

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