GERMANY: A leading German ballet company’s director has been removed from his position, and the authorities are looking into allegations that he rubbed dog faeces on a critic’s face during the opening of his latest production after she called one of his productions “boring” and “disjointed.”
A spokesperson confirmed on Monday afternoon that after confronting Wiebke Hüster, the ballet critic for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), during the intermission of his most recent performance on Sunday night, Marco Goecke, the director of Hanover State Opera’s ballet company, has also been banned from the opera house.
The FAZ and the critic claimed that after verbally attacking her, he pulled out a bag of dog faeces from his pocket and rubbed its contents on her face.
Since 2019, Goecke, 50, has served as the ballet company’s director. He received his training at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He frequently dines with Prince Caroline of Monaco, who is rumoured to be an admirer of the breed, and his pet dachshund, Gustav, who is famous in his own right.
According to German media, Gustav had just a few minutes earlier produced the faeces found in the bag used in the claimed attack.
After the fact, Goecke “suddenly pulled the bag from his pocket,” according to Hüster’s account of the occurrence. He smeared dog faeces on my face with the open edge of the bag. I shrieked as I realized what he had done.
A press assistant from the opera theatre assisted a distraught Hüster in cleaning her face in a nearby restroom. She then took a car to a police station in the middle of Hanover to report the incident.
Laura Berman, the creative director of the opera house, apologised to Hüster and stated on Sunday that the opera house would look into the situation before deciding what to do.
During the Sunday intermission, Goecke threatened to forbid the critic from entering the opera house and charged that she was to blame for patrons cancelling their membership subscriptions.
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