search
Blades of GloryBlades of Glory

Russian ‘Holocaust’ ice skaters to bring ‘Ice Age’ to Israel

Famed skating reality show garnered controversy this fall with death camp-themed number performed by wife of Putin spokesman

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

An image from Tatiana Navka and Andre Burkovsky's Holocaust-themed ice skating performance on the Russian reality competition show 'Ice Age,' November 26, 2016. (Screen shot, YouTube)
An image from Tatiana Navka and Andre Burkovsky's Holocaust-themed ice skating performance on the Russian reality competition show 'Ice Age,' November 26, 2016. (Screen shot, YouTube)

Remember the Holocaust-themed ice show starring the wife of Putin’s spokesman, who competed in a popular Russian reality TV show?

It’s coming to Israel.

Called “Ice Age,” the figure skating reality show features champion skaters from Russia and other Russian bloc countries, and will be coming on March 18 to Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena as part of a world tour.

“It’s a hugely popular show in Russia,” said promoter Carmi Wurtman. “It’s like ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ but on ice.”

The skaters are all male and female champions in their 30s and 40s, “whose competitive careers are over,” said Wurtman. Now they travel for two months around the Russian bloc, and this time, will be coming to Israel as well.

Figure skaters from 'Ice Age,' the Russian ice skating reality show that is coming to Israel in March 2017 (Courtesy 'Ice Age')
Figure skaters from ‘Ice Age,’ the Russian ice skating reality show that is coming to Israel in March 2017 (Courtesy ‘Ice Age’)

If the show succeeds, there is an option for a second show, he said.

Ilya xx, the Jewish Olympic silver medalist, who directed a controversial Holocaust-themed piece, will be part of the 'Ice Age' contingent (Courtesy 'Ice Age')
Ilya Averbukh, the Jewish Olympic silver medalist, who directed a controversial Holocaust-themed piece, will be part of the ‘Ice Age’ contingent (Courtesy ‘Ice Age’)

With high ratings of some 100,000 Israeli units watching the reality show on Russian television in Israel, Wurtman said he expects a higher ratio of Russian Israelis in the audience, and more adults than kids.

“Israeli ice skating shows have been mainly for kids and more Disney,” he said. “This is for adults.”

The Israeli show will also feature live music rather than recorded, using singers and musicians from the Israeli reality TV show “A Star is Born,” with the aim of appealing to the Russian and reality TV audiences.

The show may include the controversial Holocaust piece directed by 2002 Olympic silver medalist Ilya Averbukh and performed by Tatiana Navka, a former Olympic figure skating medalist and wife of Putin’s chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

She donned striped concentration camp uniforms complete with yellow stars of David, along with her partner Andre Burkovsky, and the two skated across the ice to “Beautiful That Way” by Israeli singer Achinoam “Noa” Nini as they competed for top honors on the reality show.

“It was an educational thing for them,” said Wurtman. “I thought it would kill my show but it’s the exact opposite. They’re very proud of it.”

An ice skating reality show featuring Russian figure skaters is pretty new territory for Wurtman, who produces mostly rock concerts and festivals. He’s amused, given his own personal background. His parents were both avid campaigners in the US, where he was born, for the release of Soviet Jews.

“The reason we’re in Israel is because my parents were Soviet Union activists,” he said.

Tickets range in price from NIS 164 to NIS 544 and can be purchased by calling *2207 or at the 2207 website.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed