Now in its ninth year, APASSIONATA, Europe’s most successful live entertainment show, featuring more than 40 horses and seen by more than five million fans in over 40 cities, will make its North American debut on April 27, 2012, at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.
The new show, entitled “The Beginning,” will kick off an 18-month, 66-city arena North American tour. For almost a decade this theatrical sensation with original music scored specifically to work with the horses has enchanted families and horse lovers alike with the finest equestrianship including magnificent dressage and exhilarating stunt riding. The natural elegance, nobility, speed and agility of these animals is something to behold. Different breeds – from Shetland ponies to Friesians – have been brought together from Europe and North America to create this evocative, thrilling theatrical event, where everything from the courageous to the compassionate, and complex to the comic is observed.
APASSIONATA is also proud to be a sponsor of the annual Kentucky Derby Festival as part of the US launch. Mike Berry, President & CEO, Kentucky Derby Festival, said, “The Kentucky Derby Festival is thrilled that the highly acclaimed APASSIONATA tour will make its U.S. debut in Louisville as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s official event schedule. Kentucky is widely known as the ‘Horse Capital of the World,’ so it’s only fitting that this magical equine event be showcased in the Bluegrass State.
APASSIONATA promises to be an unforgettable experience for everyone who attends.” The show’s success in Europe has been so remarkable and consistent, that its producer-creator Peter Massine and his American producing partner Tanya Grubich, were motivated to bring the experience and excitement of APASSIONATA to North America, which boasts the largest equine interest in the world.
Until APASSIONATA, horses had been seen by the public in competitive horse shows, dressage exhibitions, competitive racing, and American rodeos – but in APASSIONATA, Massine entirely re-envisioned how horses could be brought to the stage in a thrilling, dramatic and mesmerizing theatrical presentation.
Starting in 2003, APASSIONATA became an immediate sensation wherever it played. Soon after in 2004, the show began receiving accolades honoring creative and business endeavors including last year’s PRG Live Entertainment’s “Best Show” award, among the highest honors in live entertainment on the European continent.
In January 2011, on the occasion of the APASSIONATA’s engagement at London’s The 02 arena, the London Sunday Express said, “You have never seen a horse show like it. APASSIONATA is the Royal Variety on four legs … the result is pure magic.”
“Although showmanship is an important component of APASSIONATA,” Massine said, “this isn’t just a show about what kind of tricks humans can train horses to do, or how fast they can be ridden, or how high can they jump. This is a show about a very deep kind of joy, happiness and contentment that our cast and audience experience with these animals.”
When Massine originally created APASSIONATA, he sought out legendary horsemen and women of Europe, many of whom had spent their lives working with these animals or have continued the lineage of families that have worked with horses for generations, crossing many breeds of horses, and the wide range of how horse and man have interacted with each other.
“When I was a boy in Northern Germany,” said APASSIONATA’s producer and creator Peter
Massine, “everybody had a horse and everyone was connected with horses. Horses were a part of our lives and it was only later, once I lived in cities, that I understood how important that connection with horses was to me as a child. If we could re-create the relationship between man and horse on stage, we would have the basis for magnificent entertainment. And with the success we’ve had with this show so far, I think the public would agree.”
Massine and Grubich are taking great care in bringing APASSIONATA to North America. The full care and feeding and transportation of the equine cast of more than 40, is a major logistical undertaking. The European horses need to be carefully introduced to their new North American environment, as well as be conditioned to new horses acquired here for the cast. The show plays arenas on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but from Monday to Thursday the horses are housed and cared for in one of eight centers fully equipped and staffed, and strategically located around the continent.
In addition the producers have brought together an award winning, critically acclaimed Broadway creative team to be announced for its North American debut tour. This team is led by director Scott Faris, working with Holger Ehlers (Author and Artistic and Musical Director of the European tour) to bring all the elements together for the North American production. Faris has staged a dozen productions of the Broadway musical “Chicago,” “EFX!” at MGM Grand, “Bette Midler – The Showgirl Must Go On” at Caesar’s Palace, George Lucas’ “Live Adventure” in Japan, and “Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular,” which played a record-breaking 40-month North American arena tour. He was a veteran of the “Siegfried and Roy” team at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Director Faris said, “The show brings together top class horsemanship and many exotic breeds of horses not often seen in the U.S. APASSIONATA gives the audience an experience that will not be forgotten. The intense communication between horse and rider will thrill horse enthusiasts and audiences of all ages.”
For more information, visit www.apassionata.com/usa