As ballerinas execute grand jetÃ©s and fouettÃ© jetÃ©s, both types of jumps, throughout their performances, the Lipizzaner stallions execute jumps of their own called caprioles and courbettes.
The "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions' shows can certainly be likened to ballets of the equestrian variety, as the majestic white stallions execute choreographed movements in time to music and demonstrate the art of "airs," as the jumps are called. Historically, the stallions were originally trained in the art of airs to aid their riders in battle.
"We preserve these movements as a form of living equestrian art," the show's producer of more than 35 years, Gary Lashinsky, said.
Twelve to 14 of the "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions and their riders will perform at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Saturday in their 2009 world tour.
Lashinsky, who founded the tour, saw a performance by the Spanish Riding School of Vienna in 1964 and fell in love with the horses. Six years later, the Florida resident, along with his brother, Philip, put together a show that would emulate the Spanish Riding School's performances and tour various arenas and venues opening around the United States at that time. Lashinsky's Lipizzaner stallions gave their first show in May 1970 in Madison, Wis.
"We weren't sure how long it was going to stay on tour, but we took our chances," Lashinsky said. "The show was an instant success, selling out performances, (and) here we are 39 years later."
The "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions will perform at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the arena. Ticket prices range from $25 and $30 for adults and $23 and $28 for children 12 and younger and seniors 60 and older.
"It's a fresh new show with new acts, new routines, new music, new wardrobes, but it's still very traditional," Lashinsky said. "It's like "Dancing with the Stars,' but "Dancing with the Lipizzaners.'"