Donald Trump inauguration: Rockettes ‘will not be forced to perform’

The Radio City RockettesImage copyright
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Dance group The Radio City Rockettes were founded in 1925

Dancers with The Radio City Rockettes will not be forced to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president, the company managing the group says.

The Madison Square Garden Company said the dancers were volunteers and that their participation was “their choice”.

Thursday’s announcement that the Rockettes would perform at the ceremony on 20 January was met with resistance by some members.

A number of musicians, including Elton John, have refused to perform.

  • Pop stars bow out of Trump inauguration

The announcement led to a number of performers associated with the dance group expressing “disappointment”.

Phoebe Pearl, a member of the Rockettes, posted a message on the image-sharing network Instagram in which she said she felt “embarrassed and disappointed”.

“I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion,” she said.

“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.”

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Members of the Rockettes perform at a Christmas in August event in New York City

On Friday, the Madison Square Garden Company issued a statement clarifying its position on the requirements of members of the Rockettes.

The company said that dancers “voluntarily sign up” and “are never told they have to perform” at events.

It added that for Mr Trump’s inauguration, the company had received “more requests from members to participate than we have slots available”.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has claimed that many celebrities have been requesting tickets for the event.

On Friday, he tweeted: “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!”

That is seemingly a reference to the fact his democratic rival Hillary Clinton lost last month’s presidential election despite having the support of many celebrities, including Katy Perry and Beyonce.

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is made up entirely of volunteers

One performer who has already been booked for Mr Trump’s inauguration is 16-year-old former America’s Got Talent singer Jackie Evancho.

Boris Epshteyn, the communications director for Mr Trump’s inaugural committee, confirmed on Thursday that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Radio City Rockettes would join her.

The Rockettes are a dance company, established in 1925, who have performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York since 1932.

Their style covers many genres of dance, including ballet, tap, modern, and jazz.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a 360-piece singing group made up of volunteers.

It is named after the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Utah, where the group has performed for more than 100 years.

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