The Radio City Rockettes, a legendary precision dance troupe from New York, have signed on to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremonies. The Rockettes have been added to the Trump inauguration line-up, but the Trump campaign has reportedly struggled to find willing performers for the event after being turned down by big name stars like Elton John, Garth Brooks, and Celine Dion.
In a statement made to CNN on Thursday, Trump inaugural committee spokesman Boris Epshteyn said the Radio City Rockettes would definitely be performing at the festivities. “We’re extremely excited. We’ve had a ton of great performers, entertainers, and just Americans reaching out wanting to be a part [of it]. And I can announce right now on your air that the Radio City Rockettes will be taking part in the inauguration celebration,” he said.
The Radio City Rockettes traditionally perform multiple shows around Christmas including the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony as well as their regular five shows a day schedule at Radio City Music Hall. Despite being attached to Trump’s inauguration celebration, there have been reports that the Rockettes contract is against the troupe’s will.
Amanda Duarte, a New York writer and director, claimed on Facebook late Thursday night that “most” of the Rockettes did not support performing at Trump’s inauguration ceremonies. “Most of the Rockettes do not want to perform at the inauguration. AGVA, their union, has put in writing to the full time Rockettes that they must accept the inauguration gig or they will lose their jobs. It’s perfect, actually. What could be more fitting for this inauguration than forcing a group of women to do something with their bodies against their will?” Duarte said.
Duarte isn’t the only one to decry Team Trump on her social media pages. According to Billboard, Phoebe Pearl, a current Radio City Rockettes dancer, posted a now-deleted statement on her Instagram account expressing her opposition to the performance.
“I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion. Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed. The women I work with are intelligent and are full of love and the decision of performing for a man that stands for everything we’re against is appalling. I am speaking for just myself but please know that after we found out this news, we have been performing with tears in our eyes and heavy hearts. We will not be forced! #notmypresident,” Pearle said via Instagram.
The Trump inauguration party has proved as divisive as his campaign. According to the Miami Herald, a cadre of artists including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Jay-Z has been proposed for a competing anti-Trump inauguration day concert. The suggestion was posted by former secretary of labor under Bill Clinton Robert Reich, who posted on Facebook, “Someone just suggested to me a televised ‘freedom concert’ to air at the same time as the inauguration — with huge celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay Z, Madonna, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, and so on,” Reich wrote. “Alec Baldwin MC’s the event, playing Trump as he does on SNL.”
Reich’s suggestion hasn’t gained any official backing or funding since the time of his statement, but a potential anti-Trump concert could grab people’s attention. Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Katy Perry all campaigned for Hillary Clinton. Beyonce and Jay-Z even performed a special concert in Cleveland featuring Clinton in order to inspire young voters.
Since the Rockettes’ Trump inauguration confirmation, the line-up for the Trump festivities includes the dance troupe, America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Trump, feeling spurned by the multiple celebrities that turned down Team Trump, tweeted criticism on Thursday night, “The so-called “A” list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!” the President-elect stated on Twitter.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]