- A German ballet director has issued a public apology after smearing dog poo on a critic’s face.
- Marco Goeke said he was caught up in the heat of the moment during Saturday’s incident.
- But Goecke’s apology also attempted to justify his reasons for the bizarre act.
The German ballet director, who made headlines this week for an absurd response to a negative review, issued a stunning statement on Tuesday, publicly apologizing for smearing dog feces on a critic’s face, while also he was trying to justify his motives for stepping up to the excrement-filled encounter.
The Hanover State Opera suspended choreographer Marco Goecke from his position as head ballet on Monday following a confrontation between him and critic Wiebke Hüster in the institution’s lobby on Saturday. The theater asked Goecke to publicly apologize, accusing him of causing “massive damage” to the opera and its ballet program.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone involved, first of all to Ms. Hüster, for my absolutely unacceptable act,” Goecke said in a statement obtained by German media NDR. “In hindsight, I am clearly aware that this was a shameful act in the heat of the moment and an overreaction.”
But in his apparent apology, Goecke quickly moved on to criticize members of the media, asking them to “rethink a certain form of destructive and harmful reporting that harms the entire cultural sector.”
The choreographer said he felt personally attacked by Huster’s repeated criticisms of his work, saying her “often nasty” criticisms had been a staple of his life for 20 years.
“I don’t think anyone who works hard would put up with that for very long and I really support that,” said Goecke.
He also blamed nerves resulting from making two consecutive debuts in a short period of time as a reason why he “finally blew (his) top”.
“I also ask for some understanding, at least as to why this happened,” Goecke wrote.
His Tuesday statement also unraveled one of the more bizarre mysteries of the incident, when Goecke explained why he had dog poop in the first place.
“My old dachshund made a pile and I put it in a bag and wanted to dispose of it outside,” he wrote.
The director said that he met Hüster during the break of a ballet night to confront her. As the conversation rapidly escalated, Goecke pulled out the bag and rubbed it in Huster’s face, he said, acting on the spur of the moment.
Hüster claimed the attack was premeditated, telling NRD that Goecke’s apology was “highly unacceptable” and arguing that “there was no excuse for the physically brutal violence” she said she had suffered.
German media reported that Hüster has filed a criminal complaint and Goecke now faces an investigation into allegations of bodily harm and slander.
The subject of Hüster’s scathing review was Goecke’s new show “In the Dutch Mountains”, which the critic likened to being “crazed and dead with boredom”.
Before throwing feces in her face, Goecke allegedly threatened to ban Hüster from the premises and accused her negative wording of contributing to the cancellation of tickets at the Hanover State Opera.