Dance troupe "deeply regrets" choreographer smearing dog excrement in critic's face
The Nederlands Dans Theater in The Hague said it "deeply regrets" that its regular choreographer, Marco Goecke, smeared dog excrement in the face of a reviewer last weekend. Goecke went after the critic, Wiebke Hüster, in the foyer of the Hannover Opera House. Goecke has been the chief choreographer and ballet director for the Hannover State Ballet, which resides at the Opera House. The German choreographer was angered by a piece Hüster wrote for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The incident took place on Saturday evening, at the premiere evening showing of the ballet, "Glaube - Liebe - Hoffnung," which translates to "Faith - Love - Hope." Goecke, who owns a dachshund and apparently had a bag of feces with him, became angry about Hüster's review about his production, "In the Dutch Mountains," which recently premiered in The Hague.
"We deeply regret that this incident took place, in which Marco Goecke violated the personal integrity of the person concerned. This action is contrary to our values that we use as a guideline in all our collaborations," wrote the management of the Dutch company. Goecke regularly conceives new ballets for the Nederlands Dans Theater. "Marco Goecke is a valued associate choreographer at NDT with whom we have enjoyed working together for many years, with beautiful dance creations as a result," the statement continued.
Goecke has been suspended from his role at the Hannover State Ballet, according to German media. His employer believes he seriously overstepped boundaries by attacking Hüster with feces. The organization reportedly thinks he damaged the reputation of the ballet, and the opera house
The dance performance "In the Dutch Mountains" was inspired by Cees Nooteboom's novel In de Bergen van Nederland. Goecke also drew inspiration from the song "In the Dutch Mountains" by the Dutch band Nits.
Just last year, the accomplished choreographer was given the Jiří Kylián Ring. The award is a recognition for contribution to dance in the Netherlands, and is passed on from recipient to successor every two years. Marian Sarstaedt handed the award to Goecke in February 2022.
In 2013 he joined the Nederlands Dans Theater as an associate choreographer, where he creates a ballet for the company at least every year. It is not yet known whether "In the Dutch Mountains" will remain in the company's repertoire, and whether the company will maintain ties to Goecke. The dance company said it has not yet spoken with him as of Monday afternoon.
Reporting by ANP