Riverdance sets off on Israel tour

By Jennifer Lipman, September 13, 2011


The Irish musical sensation Riverdance arrived in Israel earlier this month despite calls for them to boycott performances for political reasons.

Pro-Palestinian activists targeted the troupe urging after the shows were announced, but their demands were resisted.

However Robert Ballagh, the Riverdance set designer, refused to join the tour. A member of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, he was one of the artists who launched a cultural boycott of Israel last August.

In a statement on their website, Riverdance said they had been invited by an independent concert promoter.

"This tour will allow all Israeli citizens experience a show that has been seen live by over 22 million people across 35 countries for the past 16 years," they said.

"Riverdance supports the policy of the Irish Government and indeed the policy of every other EU state that cultural interaction is preferable to isolation."

On Sunday audiences flocked to see the show in Jerusalem. In total, the tour includes 16 performances in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.

Last updated: 3:27pm, September 13 2011