Magical ‘Cheval’ debuts at Bellagio

Nov 20, 2001 2:57 AM

From the creative talent of Cirque du Soleil comes a magical entertainment experience where 30 extraordinary horses lead an international cast of acrobats, actors, dancers and musicians to create a celebration of equestrian and human endeavor.

Cheval (French for horse) will be performed from Nov. 21 through Jan. 6, 2002, under the hand-painted big top south of Bellagio at Harmon and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Created and directed by Gilles Ste-Croix, Cheval is a new touring company featuring 17 different breeds of horses and a cast of 27 in an enchanting performance.

Horses and humans perform together inside the intimate 46-foot center ring as the captivating live music provides the original score.

“This show presents the combination of the strength and grace of the horse with the acrobatic artistry of humans,” said Ste-Croix. “It’s an homage to the relationship between humans and horses.”

“Cheval continues the MGM Mirage tradition of bringing world-class entertainment to Las Vegas,” said Robert Baldwin, CEO of Mirage Resorts, Inc. “Guests of all ages will be amazed and awed by the feats performed under the big top.”

Presented by Bellagio, the Cheval experience begins before the show as the audience walks through a stable tent prior to entering the 2,000-seat big top. The exterior is hand-painted to replicate a castle from the Loire Valley in France.

The 90-minute performance features multiple acts including equestrian vaulting demonstrations, Garotcha, The Carousel and Bohemio ”” a comedic horse who lets his trainer know who truly is in charge.

The various breeds of horses include spirited Arabians, Andalusians and Spanish horses. Belgians, Boulonnais draft horses and Canadians carry fearless, agile athletes on their powerful hindquarters, defying the laws of gravity. American Miniature horse “Chabo” makes up in spirit what he lacks in size.

Las Vegas is the third stop of the production’s three-year, 19-city tour. Since its premiere in Montreal in May, Cheval has won over audiences and critics alike. Some of their rave reviews include: “Mesmerizing! A treat for all the senses,” according to KUSA-TV (NBC), Denver; “The grace and beauty are undeniable and unrelenting,” says the Rocky Mountain News.

Tickets may be purchased by calling (702) 693-7722 or (888) 488-7111.