The US president-elect's transition team confirmed overnight that New York dance company The Rockettes will perform at Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony on January 20. However, a member of the dance group has suggested that they are being forced to perform against their personal political beliefs.
Dancer Phoebe Pearl posted a now-deleted message on her personal Instagram expressing her feelings. “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,” she reportedly wrote.
The American Guild of Variety Artists, the group's union, has already ruled any planned boycott of the inauguration by the dancers to be "invalid," according to BroadwayWorld sources.
The email from AGVA reads, "We have received an email from a Rockette expressing concern about getting "involved in a dangerous political climate" but I must remind you that you are all employees, and as a company, Mr. Dolan obviously wants the Rockettes to be represented at our country's Presidential inauguration, as they were in 2001 and 2005. Any talk of boycotting this event is invalid, I'm afraid."
Reportedly written by a high ranking union administrator, the email states that dancers that "are not full time, [do not] not have to sign up to do this work. If you are full time, you are obligated." The Wrap reports that of around 36 Rockettes, 12 are full-time.
The Rockettes performed at George W. Bush's inauguration ceremonies in 2001 and 2005. The dance troupe are scheduled to appear alongside previously previously announced performers The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Jackie Evancho. According to a report by The Wrap, Celine Dion is among those believed to have declined an invitation to perform at next year's inauguration.
The FADER has contacted MSG Entertainment, who manage The Rockettes, for comment.