After allegedly smearing dog faeces onto the face of a critic after a poor review, a choreographer was suspended.
Wiebke Hauer, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s dance critic, criticized Marco Goecke’s new show In The Dutch Mountains.
She said that the ballet she was seeing, which opened in The Hague recently, was like “alternately driving mad and dying from boredom”.
The review was published on the weekend. Goecke had seen Huster at another show – Hanover State Opera’s production Glaube – Liebe – Hoffnung.
FAZ reports that he approached her during the interval and threatened to ban her ballet performance. He also accused her of being responsible in cancelling season tickets.
Then he took out a bag containing dog excrement, and applied it to her face before he left.
Goecke, the chief choreographer for the state ballet, was suspended and expelled from the theatre.
“A duty of care”
Hanover State Opera stated that it was not just about Marco Goecke’s future, but also the future for the more than 30-member ballet ensemble.
“The theatre management is responsible for the care of every member of the ensemble.”
Huster was also reprimanded by the organization, saying that Goecke’s “impulsive response” had led to her “unspeakable” violation of her personal integrity.
They gave the choreographer a few days to apologize “comprehensively” to the management of the theatre and explain his actions to them “before further steps were initiated”.
FAZ stated that police were investigating the incident and added: “This humiliating event is not only an attack on bodily integrity but also an attempt intimidate our free and critical view of art.”
Goecke, 50 years old, is the director of Hanover’s ballet company since 2019.
German media reported that Gustav, his pet dachshund was responsible for the faeces in the alleged attack.