Circus family reopens Moscow’s unique cat theater

Circus family reopens Moscow’s unique cat theater
Updated 02 June 2013

Circus family reopens Moscow’s unique cat theater

Circus family reopens Moscow’s unique cat theater

Up on a brightly lit Moscow stage a clown loudly welcomes the stars of today’s show — 20 highly trained cats.
Packing out the auditorium with excited children and adults, the feline performers are the main attraction at the world-famous and unique cat theater.
Founded just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the theater — run jointly by its founder, circus clown Yuri Kuklachev, and his sons Dmitry and Vladimir — has recently reopened after a major renovation.
From the very first moments in the venue — even before the show begins — visitors are plunged into the feline kingdom’s unique atmosphere: some cats watch spectators’ arrival from behind a glass wall while others are already darting about the stage.
When a bell rings for the beginning of the show and the curtain opens, the audience explodes with applause: on stage, a cat balances on a wheel spun by a clown as a furry co-star skateboards on its hind legs.
Then a conjuring number follows and a cat appears to bang a drum as a dove emerges from under a cloth in a clown’s hand.
Other numbers — less acrobatic but equally difficult — also show that training the cats must require well-honed skills.
“With cats, each show is an improvization,” Yuri Kuklachev’s younger son, Vladimir, told AFP.
“Cats often behave instinctively and one should always be behind them as they just do what they want.”
“Some cats enjoy the stage, they love it when we watch them attentively, while others do not like noise or lights and sit motionless,” he added.
The 30-year-old former ballet dancer said it took him a year to get used to training cats.
“With dogs it is easier, we show them what to do once, and that is it.”
His father Yuri, a legendary Soviet-era clown, started training cats to stand out from the competition and established the theater in 1990 on Moscow’s central Kutuzov Avenue.
Every show involves around 20 cats and the theater has 100 in total.
Before the theater reopened, animal rights groups called for its shows be banned, saying that the animals suffered abuse from trainers.
But Vladimir Kuklachev dismissed the criticism, arguing that recent inspections found no violations in his theater.
One of the young children watching the show, Daria Kalinovich, said she was thrilled by cats’ talents.
“I loved so much seeing the cats jumping up and down, running after a ball and juggling,” she said.
The theater’s shows — “The Cat Thief,” “The Puss in Boots,” “The Nutcracker and the King of Rats,” and even “Swan Lake” — run throughout the year, with teams of feline performers led alternately by Kuklachev-senior and his two sons.

Besides Russia, the theater has toured France, Canada, Japan, the United States and China.
It is not the only unusual animal theater in Moscow.
The Durov animal theater founded in 1912 has performers including a raccoon, ravens and mice who run a miniature railway.


TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps

TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps
Updated 18 January 2021

TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps

TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps
  • Facebook-owned WhatsApp badly hit by a backlash after updating its privacy policy

DUBAI: Signal is more comfortable instant messaging service to use compared with other apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram, according to half of those who responded to an Arab News poll.

Signal’s surge in popularity among smartphone users, thanks to a two-word tweet from technology entrepreneur Elon Musk endorsing the encrypted messaging service, clearly showed as 50 percent of the 1,451 respondents expressed contentment with it.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp, badly hit by a backlash after updating its privacy policy, got a thumbs-up from three out of 10 poll respondents while Telegram had about a tenth of supporters. The remaining 10 percent of Arab New readers who responded to the poll meanwhile said none of the three instant messaging apps were comfortable to use.

 

 

Musk earlier urged users to “Use Signal” after WhatsApp, the most popular instant messaging app, was accused of forcing subscribers to share their personal data with its parent company Facebook for advertising.

Users had to accept these new terms before February 8, otherwise their accounts will be deleted. The ensuing furor prompted WhatsApp to delay its take it or leave it privacy update until May.

It likewise came out with a clarification the privacy changes were focused on how businesses used the app.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way,” WhatsApp said in a statement.

“Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”