German choreographer leaves opera Hannover after attack with dog faeces

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The building of the State Opera in Hanover
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The State Opera in the German city of Hanover has said goodbye to choreographer Marco Goecke with immediate effect. The reason is an incident last weekend, when de Goecke smeared a critic of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung with dog feces.

Goecke had been suspended since Monday and his contract has now been terminated by mutual consent, says the artistic director of the State Opera. Goecke’s performances will continue to be seen in Hanover.

The 50-year-old German also works for the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) in The Hague, which is currently touring the Netherlands with its performance In the Dutch Mountains. The company decided this week to continue the collaboration. Now a spokesman for the NDT says that the message from Hanover will first be discussed internally.

Plastic bag

The victim of the incident with the excrement was reviewer Wiebke Hüster. According to her, Goecke suddenly took out a plastic bag with dog excrement in the foyer of the theater in Hanover on Saturday and rubbed it in her face with the open side. Hüster later said she felt “like an animal being attacked by a lion”. She has filed a report.

The immediate reason for the attack was a critical review of In the Dutch Mountains. Boring and incoherent, was the verdict of Hüster in the Frankfurter Allgemeine. Goecke found that difficult to digest and he had already been disturbed by criticisms from Hüster.

Disapproving reactions

In recent days, Goecke publicly apologized. He stated that he had a lot of stress because he had two premieres in quick succession. At the same time, he again lashed out at Hüster’s reviews.

The incident with excrements also led to disapproving reactions in politics. The Prime Minister of Lower Saxony spoke of a disgusting incident and the Mayor of Hanover stressed that attacks on press freedom and integrity have no place in his city.

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