Dutch dance company suspends choreographer who smeared dog feces in critic's face
The Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) in The Hague has decided to suspend its collaboration with disgraced choreographer Marco Goecke. Earlier this month, the German choreographer smeared dog feces in the face of a critic from the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung while in the foyer of the Hanover State Theatre after lashing out about a review of his production, In the Dutch Mountains, which recently premiered in The Hague.
Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) deeply regrets the incident between Marco Goecke and a reviewer from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that took place in Staatstheater Hannover last weekend. Read our statement regarding the incident via: https://t.co/Ta5xXZqdly— NDT (@NDTdance) February 14, 2023
The NDT previously said it would work with Goecke as he had shown remorse for his actions and taken accountability for them during a conversation with their organization. The NDT backpedaled after receiving a letter from dozens of Dutch dance and theater critics. Last week, Goecke was fired from the Hanover State Theatre where he worked as a ballet director.
"NDT announces that we are suspending Marco Goecke's position as associate choreographer," the dance company wrote in a new statement. "This means that he will not be creating any new works in the upcoming season. We will continue to perform Marco Goecke's existing repertoire, created in collaboration with NDT's dancers and team."
In the letter sent to NDT on Thursday, theater critics denounced the apology the 50-year-old Goecke had previously issued. "In your statement, you declared that Goecke had now 'come to terms' with his act. Therefore, the tour of In the Dutch Mountains could go on as usual. What was unfortunately missing in your statement was an essential part of Marco Goecke's 'apology,'" critics said. Even though Goecke had apologized, he was guilty of a "remarkable piece of victim blaming" and made serious accusations against art criticism, the critics explained.
The critics who wrote the letter wanted to know from NDT how the company sees its relationship with journalists in the future. They went on to say that they would no longer review Goecke's work unless he produced a serious apology for his actions.
In response, NDT then said it disapproved of the Goecke's assault and use of excrement in every way. "If we have not made this clear enough, we are sorry. The NDT also sees this incident as an attack on freedom of the press."
Reporting by ANP