Visually-impaired children meet Cavalia cast and equine stars in exclusive tour

Cavalia cast member Spencer Rose Litwack (left) and Lighthouse School special education teacher Jannet Barlisan Dacumos (in yellow) watch over Lighthouse School pupils (from left) Nur Ezzati Hamidi, 15, Zhuang Jun Hao, 7, and Muhammad Nifai
Cavalia cast member Spencer Rose Litwack (left) and Lighthouse School special education teacher Jannet Barlisan Dacumos (in yellow) watch over Lighthouse School pupils (from left) Nur Ezzati Hamidi, 15, Zhuang Jun Hao, 7, and Muhammad Nifail Muhammad Ridwan, 5, as horses gallop around them. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Muhammad Nifail Muhammad Ridwan (centre), 5, is introduced to the horse Orion, from Cavalia, during an interactive tour for children from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Muhammad Nifail Muhammad Ridwan (centre), 5, is introduced to the horse Orion, from Cavalia, during an interactive tour for children from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Children from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped interact with Cavalia horses during a tour. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Children from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped interact with Cavalia horses during a tour. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Children from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped interact with Cavalia horses during a tour. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Children from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped interact with Cavalia horses during a tour. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Cavalia cast member Spencer Rose Litwack (left) and Lighthouse School special education teacher Jannet Barlisan Dacumos (in yellow) watch over Lighthouse School pupils (from left) Nur Ezzati Hamidi, 15, Zhuang Jun Hao, 7, and Muhammad Nifail Muh
Cavalia cast member Spencer Rose Litwack (left) and Lighthouse School special education teacher Jannet Barlisan Dacumos (in yellow) watch over Lighthouse School pupils (from left) Nur Ezzati Hamidi, 15, Zhuang Jun Hao, 7, and Muhammad Nifail Muhammad Ridwan, 5, as horses gallop around them. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Cavalia cast member Spencer Rose Litwack (in orange) guides Muhammad Nifail Muhammad Ridwan, 5, as he strokes Orion, a horse in Cavalia, during an interactive tour for children from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped. -- ST PHOTO:
Cavalia cast member Spencer Rose Litwack (in orange) guides Muhammad Nifail Muhammad Ridwan, 5, as he strokes Orion, a horse in Cavalia, during an interactive tour for children from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

SINGAPORE - Seven children from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped were treated to a hands-on, behind-the-scenes tour of Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Man And Horse on Wednesday.

For one hour, the children and their minders were guided around the stables by members of the cast of Cavalia, a big-top show that features aerial ballet dancers, acrobats, riders and horses.

The visitors touched and groomed the horses, felt their heartbeats through stethoscopes, and listened to them galloping at 45kmh. At the tour's end, each child was given four tickets for Cavalia's weekend performance. The show runs till Sept 14.

This tour for the visually-impaired is Cavalia's 10th, and its first in Asia. It has organised similar tours in Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Eric Paquett, the brains behind the tour, said he was inspired by a little blind boy who attended one of Cavalia's performances in San Jose, California, one and a half years ago.

"His mother had to explain everything to him," said Mr Paquett, a public relations director at at Cavalia. "This made me wonder if there was a way to enhance the experience for visually-impaired children, and bring the show's magic directly to them."

tjoash@sph.com.sg

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