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Krakatuk, the very theatrical Russian "floating circus" will be making its way to Israel for the first time this summer with its new show, "The Nutcracker." Half of Macabbi Tel Aviv's basketball court at Yad Eliahu will house a circular stage and six rows of seating to debut a complex, intricately designed circus, set to a somewhat stylized and modernized version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.
The eagerly awaited acrobatic extravaganza, which has made the rounds in Europe with great success, will perform 11 shows between July 21 and August 2. It is a new and exciting format for Israeli audiences. The cast includes acrobats, Chinese tumblers, clowns, ballerinas, and other various dancers all in colorful, elaborate costumes and extremely exotic makeup.
Similar to Cirque du Soleil, the circus "floats" as cast members perform on ropes and sometimes bungee cords. Others dangle and swing from rings and bars, and the main characters dance and soar through the air on wires to create an almost "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" effect. All of this occurs while at the same time special effect lighting, pyrotechnics, fog machines, and visual projections add to the edgy whimsy of the storyline.
But unlike Cirque du Soleil, Krakatuk is decidedy darker, sharper, and at times, scarier. Villains dress in outrageously elaborate black costumes that look like giant bugs, and there is a moment when a rogue acrobat strapped to bungee cords actually dives into the audience, grabs an "unsuspecting" member, and, while holding onto her, flips through the air to deposit her safely on stage.
Despite the beauty of the show and the accessibility of the story, the costumes are sometimes slightly sexualized, and the evil characters, although breathtaking in their costumes, can be a bit scary for younger children. However, that may not be the biggest reason to make Krakatuk's "Nutcracker" a date night event and not a family outing. Unless your family is a member of the YES Satellite Company, which offers a slight discount, tickets cost NIS 240; expensive, but possibly well worth it to experience a truly exciting theatrical evening.
To order tickets, call, 03-604-5000 or visit www.tkts.co.il.