Riverdance will visit Israel in September 2011, but the show's designer, Robert Ballagh, will boycott the tour:Riverdance in Israel: Robert Ballagh’s Open Letter
26th April 2011
As the designer of Riverdance I am personally disappointed to learn of the decision to perform the show in Israel at this time.
Many years ago I was honoured to meet Nelson Mandela when he was in Ireland. I took the opportunity to ask his opinion on the cultural and sporting boycott of South Africa. He replied by saying that the boycott was an essential weapon in the struggle against apartheid. His forceful words came back to me last year when I, along with many other Irish creative and performing artists, signed a cultural boycott pledge not to visit Israel (http://www.ipsc.ie/pledge
). This was a positive response to the call by Palestinian film-makers, artists and cultural organisations for a cultural boycott of Israel. I believe that this non-violent cultural boycott will contribute to the struggle for justice for the Palestinian people.
Because I have signed up to support the cultural boycott I will not be travelling to Israel with Riverdance, and also I have decided to donate any royalties due to me for performances in Israel to the fund for the Irish boat which will be taking part in the international flotilla which is hoping to break the illegal and inhuman blockade of the citizens of Gaza.
Artist and Riverdance Set Designer
More about Robert Ballagh's career on Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballagh