WE HAD THE CHANCE to catch up with Odysseo’s Brennan Figari to ask how he came to be involved with the innovative traveling equestrian arts show. See performances at the White Big Top on Third Street (near AT&T Park) through December 13. cavalia.net
How did you end up with Odysseo? I have always been involved in a lot of theater and sports and I think once I found the circus arts I realized it was a great mix of combining both the really athletic things that I liked and the more artistic aspects. A friend of mine was a rider in the creation process for Odysseo and she emailed me and said, “Hey, you know they are looking for more acrobats, are you interested?”
Have you ever worked so closely with horses before? No, growing up in Woodacre, we had a couple ranches nearby so I was used to seeing horses and being around them, but we have more than 65 horses in the show now. I don’t think anything would have prepared me for that so it has been quite a learning experience. Every day I learn something new about horses and it’s a lot of fun. They are fun to work with. They keep everything fresh and interesting. I have been really lucky to be learning more riding as well as some liberty which is when you are in front of the horse and you have horses behind you and you take them on various patterns and figures and ask them to do different tricks. I was originally hired to do aerial work, so obviously I am still doing that. You will see me doing a solo on the hoop and you will also see me on the horses, so it’s kind of all come to fruition.
How many shows do you perform in every year? I think on average we do about 220 per year. We spend about six to eight weeks in each city and then we spend a couple weeks moving around where everybody gets to rest, the horses especially. They get to go off to a nice little ranch and roam around like horses do. It’s great for the artists too because I get to come home and see family and friends.
Anything you’d like to add? I am super excited to be going back home. I 'll be home for Christmas.