More than 20 acts have boycotted this year’s Sydney Festival because of the board’s decision to accept a $20,000 donation from the Israeli embassy to stage a dance performance. Key points: Comedians Tom Ballard and Nazeem Hussain are among the acts to have cancelled shows The Israeli embassy supported a Sydney Dance Company performance by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin The festival’s board said it would review its practices in relation to funding from foreign governments. The three-week event, which begins today, is considered one of Australia’s major arts and cultural occasions. It is scheduled to bring a range of music, cabaret, dance, theatre and visual art performances to the city. While 30 per cent of the festival’s funding comes from the NSW government and the City of Sydney, the remainder comes from donations and partnerships — one of which this year has led to wave of cancellations. Twenty-three acts have officially confirmed their decision to boycott the festival in response to the Israeli embassy’s financial support of a Sydney Dance Company performance by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. Israel is also listed as a “star partner” on the festival’s website. The withdrawals include comedians Tom Ballard and Nazeem Hussain, Indigenous intercultural dance theatre company Marrugeku, the Bankstown… Read full this story
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