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Ballet director smears dog excrement in face of critic who wrote him a bad review
Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo / @whuester / Twitter

Ballet director smears dog excrement in face of critic who wrote him a bad review

A newspaper critic from Germany had dog excrement smeared on her face after a review she wrote didn’t sit well

A newspaper critic from Germany had dog excrement smeared on her face after a review she wrote didn’t sit well with a ballet director.

Marco Goecke, ballet director of the Hannover State Opera took offence after dance critic, Wiebke Huester, was spotted at the premiere performance on Saturday (11 February).

During the interval, Goecke approached Huester and asked what she was doing there, daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports.

The paper, which is where Huester works, said Goecke felt provoked by a recent review she wrote of a production he staged in the Dutch seat of government, The Hague.

Marco Goecke is now under investigation.
dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

Huester’s review for the show In the Dutch Mountains, where she said watching it was like being 'alternately driven mad and killed by boredom' was published in the FAZ on Saturday apparently angered Goecke to the point of no return.

He threatened to ban her from the ballet her and accused her of being the reason behind people cancelling their season tickets in Hannover.

The situation escalated to fecal matters after he pulled out a paper bag filled with animal poo and smeared Huester’s face with it, before making an exit through a packed theatre foyer, the newspaper reports.

Huester identified the faeces as dog poo and said she has filed a criminal complaint and a police investigation has now been opened, German news agency dpa reports.

A statement released by the Hannover State Opera where Goecke works apologised to Huester immediately after the incident and said the critic’s ‘personal integrity’ was violated ‘in an unspeakable way’.

Hannover State Opera House.
Diego Grandi / Alamy Stock Photo

It called Goecke’s actions ‘impulsive’ and said he violated the theatre’s ground rules, adding that ‘he caused massive damage to the Hannover State Opera and State Ballet.’

Goecke, who served as ballet director at the Hannover State Opera since 2019, has now been suspended and is banned from entering until further notice.

He has been given time to explain his actions to theatre management and apologise 'comprehensively' before 'further steps are initiated'.

Dance critic Wiebke Huester.
@whuester / Twitter

The statement added: "This is not only about the future of Marco Goecke, but also about the future of the over 30-strong ballet ensemble.

“The theatre management has a duty of care towards every member of the ensemble.”

FAZ, the German newspaper, commented: "This humiliating incident is not only an act of bodily harm but also an attempt to intimidate our free, critical view of art.”

Topics: News