The Irish dancer is set to come out of retirement at tomorrow evening's celebratory Liberty Ball
After a number of cancellations for his inaugural ball by celebrity performers, Donald Trump’s staffers have reportedly signed Riverdance star Michael Flatley to come out of retirement for the Liberty Ball tomorrow evening. The 57-year-old Irish-American now joins a who-are-they line-up including Jackie Evancho, The Piano Guys, DJ RaviDrum and The Frontmen of Country.
Celebrity gossip site TMZ broke the story, reporting that Flatley and his dance troupe will participate in the controversial ceremony, that has been boycotted by many high-profile acts.
The Chicago-born dancer officially retired from performing in March 2015, admitting that two decades of professional jigging had seen his body take a “severe beating.” Flatley’s final performance took place in Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, on St Patrick’s Day.
It is, as yet, unclear whether Flatley, whose Lord of the Dance show President-elect Trump attended several times in New York, will come out of retirement for this one-off event or whether he will merely produce an Irish dancing set on the night.
Flatley rose to international fame after he appeared at the iconic interval act Riverdance at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. He would ultimately leave the touring company to start his own successful dance troupe, touring the world with Lord of the Dance.
His name is arguably the most famous performer to be linked to the Liberty Ball after Jennifer Holliday, the Tony Award-winning Broadway star, pulled out of singing at the show, despite having previously performed at Republican presidents’ inaugurations.
The Dream Girls star wrote an open letter, apologising to her longstanding LGBT fan base, for being “uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.”
Aside from struggling to fill the stage, reports also suggest that the new US leader is also having a difficult time guaranteeing that the seats at his inauguration ceremony will be filled. Mr Trump took to Facebook and Instagram to offload tickets to the events, with ticket touts also revealing that they are struggling to sell on their tickets to interested parties.