Today, we would like to tell you the beautiful story of a French equestrian show, created by an ex-vaulting athlete, Alexandra and her husband Arnaud Macé, horse whisperer.
The first creation of the Cabaret Orstella, La Vie en Ose is an equestrian musical. During more than two hours, you can see twenty horses on stage, but also dancing, singing, aerial, acrobatics, humor, and vaulting of course! The Cabaret merges several arts to carry an universal message of hope and courage : go after your dreams! It all begins with the fallen dreams of a little girl on the road to a conventional life that is not the one she imagined, until the day when the wonderful world of showing comes to prevail from her gray reality towards another universe, where reality goes beyond fiction. She becomes aware and start an initiatory journey, worthy of those who dare!
The show is an enchanted interlude, in a unique place where the magic flirts with the escape.
Alexandra was born into a family of professional riders and grew up on a pony’s back. Little girl, she practices dancing. Her parents put her on the run to avoid the show jumping virus! But it is through Vaulting that from year to year becomes a great passion that she will tread the competition grounds until her recruitment at the “Pôle France”. In this exhilarating world of high level begins a sacred initiatory journey. She meets a great lady who opens the doors of the unexplored territories of her being, Armelle Cornillon, then choreographer of the French Team. Alexandra already perceives that the world of shows is more hers.
She also meets the first horse of her life, Drake. The companion of childhood dreams and disillusions towards the adult passage. A knee injury will keep her away from Vaulting. But the link with her horse lasts longer than ever, even though the time has come to focus on studies and professional life. After studying Economic Intelligence and a few years of experience in a Parisian consulting firm, the desire to flit again wakes up. Fate strikes when Davy Delaire, the National Coach offers her to create a solo for the opening of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, in a huge crowded stadium. “A 3-minutes freestyle show in front of 20,000 people !!! Sensational and unforgettable!” she told us.
This project revives the grain of madness that she had silenced by the force of things for far too long. She takes the path of training.
A few days after this great moment Drake flies to horse paradise. She did this unlikely show with her heart full of sadness and with the jitters. Galvanized by her magical sensations, Alexandra goes back in “normal” life. The months go by, and her knee was definitely tired. She decides to undergo the operation that she would have to undergo years earlier. After a long stay in a rehabilitation center that has cared for both body and mind, she returns with the only evidence that is: the desire of having a horse. Seeking the second horse of her life, Camael, she meets the man who will change the course, Arnaud Macé: her husband dreamed of having an equestrian cabaret. She, more reasonably in her own words, dreamed of doing an equestrian show. But she finally jumped ahead and realized his dream as a wedding gift!
The birth of Orstella
First of all there was the phase of creation of the show, in addition to building the infrastructure, located closeby Saumur, France. The seven artists all collaborated to build the show from scratch, in parallel with practicing the various living arts they master. Alexandra initiated herself to disciplines then unknown: pole dance and aerial straps:
“A good exercise of humility when you imagine naively that when you have been a vaulter, you can do everything!”
Physical condition was acquired over the construction of the show. Now that the show is ready, the body work is balanced between basics or acquired exercises and new challenges as the show is constantly changing.
“Creating and directing this cabaret is more than a full time job! It is a commitment body and soul that requires the combined qualities of marathoners and sprinters! I graze the burnout several times! But I have a wonderful team around me. All these energies make us lift mountains!”
The artistic team consists of seven very versatile and complementary artists. To them are added all the little fairies behind the scenes without which, according to Alexandra, “nothing would be possible” : bellhops, curtains, sound, lights, costumes, service in the room… Among these artists, Alexandra convinced another ex-vaulter to take this path, Lauriane Duflot:
“In my serious life I am a clinical psychologist specializing in body mediation (body-oriented psychotherapy) and I have long practiced mediation with horses.
In my life of passion and I am a polycompetent artist at Orstella.
It must be that I like jobs that are closely related to a kind of magic!”
To get new ideas, Lauriane told us that it’s often music that will inspire her something: “Some songs make me imagine pictures, a staging, some costumes, a set. Then it has to get real … We try our ideas, we do by groping. Very often, we also put our feet back on land in relation to the first idea. We must compose with the character, the personality and the abilities of our horses and humans who surround us. I also inspire myself a lot from other artists on social networks that allow me to open my mind.”
We asked the girls the difference between competing in Vaulting and showing, and the answer is unequivocal:
“The difference comes down to one word: freedom! Do what you feel as you feel. The beautiful image is more important than the raw performance. The emotion more than the technical prowess, submitted to the sometimes absurd scoring system. It is the freedom to get out of the frame, to go beyond time, to dress as you want, to free your horse from his equipment. The freedom to go down, to go up, to stop your horse and go back to canter….”Alexandra & Lauriane
From November to May: Friday and Saturday
From May to October: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
For more information & bookings check our the website of Orstella.