before you beneath a soaring beamed ceiling. As the show opens on the circle of earth below, a gypsy troupe sleeps as their horses gather around a waterfall. It is the morning of a great wedding feast. Bartabas, who co-founded the equestrian theater Zingaro (Italian for gypsy) in 1984, has a new show, Battuta (beat or rhythm in Romany), which also features bears, geese, dogs and acrobatics galore. But this is no circus act it's a celebration of the migratory tradition, and of the cycle of life modern society seems to have forgotten. Resplendent brides, angry fathers, jealous rivals and belly dancers race around the circular arena on their beautiful steeds, as dueling bands strings from Transylvania and brass from Moldavia drive the whole spectacle toward climax.
Battuta offers feasts and romance, weddings and funerals, imbuing them with the absurdity and surrealism of dreams. As the furious crescendo finally tapers and night falls, a violin draws a melancholic tune while the caravan beds down, their horses shifting in the darkness. After the show you won't want to leave, and may sit down and order a feast of your own in the velvet-curtained dining pavilion. Or you may linger around the bonfire outside the theater sipping a mint tea or spiced wine, trying to prolong your dreamlike state until, grudgingly, you catch the last metro back to reality. www.theatre-zingaro.com