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Ballet whose director threw dog poo at critic to perform in Israel

Hanover Ballet will perform Marco Goecke’s ‘The Lover’ at opera house in Tel Aviv, although choreographer himself has been fired following incident

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

From Germany's Hanover Ballet's performance of 'The Lover,' coming to The Israeli Opera on March 2-4, 2023. (Courtesy Ralf Mohr)
From Germany's Hanover Ballet's performance of 'The Lover,' coming to The Israeli Opera on March 2-4, 2023. (Courtesy Ralf Mohr)

When Germany’s Hanover Ballet performs “The Lover” at The Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv on March 2-4, its acclaimed choreographer, Marco Goecke, won’t be joining them for the trip.

Goecke was fired last week after smearing dog feces on the face of a dance critic who had criticized his work.

Five days later, Goecke, 50, lost his job as ballet director, but the Hanover State Ballet is continuing to perform his work, said an Israeli public relations executive handling the troupe’s upcoming performances in Tel Aviv.

Goecke has been called the most important choreographer in Europe, and has also been accused of aggressively emailing critics after receiving reviews that he didn’t feel he deserved.

The full-length ballet, which was his first for Hanover, is inspired by Marguerite Duras’ autobiographical French novel, “The Lover.”

The book tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who falls in love with a man 12 years older than her.

The music in Goecke’s ballet is set to Claude Debussy’s “La Mer” and the piano concerto in G major by Maurice Ravel, accompanied by several traditional Vietnamese chants made in the early 1930s, as well as Étude No. 1 for piano by Unsuk Chin and a waltz by Chopin.

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