Equestrian Art

Friday evening, in downtown Reading, we attended the first show of the weekend of The “World Famous” Lipizzaner Stallions. The excellent presentation was well appreciated by an enthusiastic audience that lamentably did not make much of an impact on the Sovereign Center seating chart. Hopefully the rest of the run will be better attended.The hundreds of people who did show up on Friday got what they came for – a world-class performance of flawless execution and great beauty. Our seats placed us right on the floor just a few feet from the mere foot-high barrier separating us from tons of pulsing, pounding horse flesh. We could see every detail of the thrilling exhibition of the brilliant stallions and their impressive riders.Classical Pas de Deux, Trois, and Quatre highlighted the parade skills of the highly-trained Lipizzaners. The varied musical accompaniment for each event on the program gave the fluid cadences of the Stallions’ movements a sense of classical dance and ballet. The contemporary soundtracks that accompanied some of the events lent the movements of the horses the look and feel of contemporary dance. The dance metaphor is one I didn’t expect to use in this review. But after witnessing the rhythmic and graceful movements of horses and riders, the feeling of viewing a dance performance was overwhelming.Perhaps the most impressive athleticism and feeling of weightlessness was evidenced by the “Airs Above the Ground” performance. These denials of the law of gravity held the audience spellbound as each horse demonstrated a variety of aerial movements, leaps, and bounds. As always, the horses seemed to be choreographing their movements in time with the musical accompaniment.The most splendid horse by far here was the Andalusian Stallion, a Spanish breed, with a broad strong build and a tail and mane worthy of Pegasus. All in all, The “World Famous” Lipizzaner Stallions is well worth attending. There’s still time and available seats for this weekend’s shows at the Sovereign Center.

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