(Photo Credit: facebook.com/ValitarShow)
Valitar, one of the largest horse shows ever produced, is debuting to the public tonight at the Del Mar Fairgrounds – Del Mar, CA. I was able to score a couple of tickets to the exclusive preview show on Wednesday night. The venue is an enormous 45,000 square foot red tent erected in the parking lot to the left of the fairgrounds entrance — exactly in the spot where Cirque du Soleil previously set up their tent for Totem.
About Valitar™ – Experience the Undiscovered.
From the Latin word, Validus, meaning strong, mighty, and powerful, Valitar™ promises riveting interactions between 40 horses and 25 humans, while combining advanced technology and high-energy rock-style edginess. Valitar’s™ ethereal, mystical moments will immerse the crowd in a spectacular event. For more information, log on to http://www.valitar.net
I didn’t really know what to expect coming in to the show but was pleasantly surprised. Passing through the security check, I encountered the red tent with two giant black horse silhouettes. The entrance however, veered to the right into a small circular area that housed both the concessions and merchandise. Within the concessions area, there were monitors displaying various scenes from the show and practice sessions. I quickly reviewed the merchandise, which was pretty pricey — There were plenty of shirts, hats, and very cool letter openers cast in the shape of the Valitar sword. Programs could also be bought at the merchandise area and contained information about the cast and horses, accompanied with stunning photographs. We made our way to our seats, anxiously waiting for the show to start. I won’t go into much detail because I don’t want to spoil the show for you but here are some things I’d like to point out:
1) The cast was amazing, you could tell a lot of time was invested in this show and with training the horses. There were plenty of tricks that I have never seen before and will definitely keep you entertained.
2) The scenery had the makings of Hollywood theatrics, complete with projection screens and smoke machines. I really did enjoy the backdrop, and at times it reminded me of a video game set in the medieval era.
3) The music score was phenomenal and one of my favorite parts about the show. The musicians, especially the vocalist (Kate St.Pierrre), demonstrated command of their material. I do however want to make note that they also used a lot of pre-recorded soundtracks that at one point skipped several times. However, that didn’t bother me the least bit — It’s usual to have a couple hiccups during a premiere, especially with a show that is so intricately produced as this one.
4) Blocking at some times could have been better. The entrances and exits of the characters didn’t quite coincide with the spotlights but that also is an easy fix.
5) There is one 20 minute intermission where you can head back to the concessions and merchandise area. The food was moderately priced and they had quite a selection of drinks. The entire staff, from the security to the cashiers, were friendly and greeted you with a smile. — I’m all about having great customer service and they get two thumbs up for that!
At one point during the show, one of the horses slid and fell with a performer on it. The show had a brief halt as the performers tried to calm the horse down and resume their performance. Once accomplished, this was greeted with audience applause. — As with any animal show, these things may sometimes happen and I commend the performers for handling the unexpected incident as smoothly as they did.
Overall, I enjoyed my time watching Valitar. It’s funny that there would be two horse shows occurring in such close proximity to each other, Valitar at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Cavalia (which I have yet to see) at Petco Park. From my experience with event planning, ticket sales for both would suffer because of the competition. There was a special discount for 25% off Valitar tickets by Nov.16 going on but I’m not quite sure if that offer still stands today.
Show Dates: This show will be going through the month of November.
Tickets: Can be bought at Ticketmaster. Prices range from $45 to $185, so book soon!
Parking: $9 cash
Find more details at Valitar.net
(Photo Credit: Valitar.net)