FILE – A TV cameraman films the State Opera in Hanover, Germany, Feb. 13, 2023. The Hannover State Opera said Thursday that it is ending its contract with ballet director Marco Goecke after he smeared dog feces on the face of a newspaper critic whose reviews he had taken exception to. (Julian Stratenschulte/dpa via AP, File)

BERLIN (AP) — A German newspaper critic had animal feces smeared on her face in the city of Hannover by a ballet director who apparently took offense at a review she wrote.

The Hannover state opera house apologized for the incident and said Monday that it was suspending ballet director Marco Goecke with immediate effect.

The daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that a furious Goecke approached its dance critic, Wiebke Huester, during the interval of a premiere at Hannover’s opera house on Saturday and asked what she was doing there. It said that the two didn’t know each other personally.

The newspaper said that Goecke, who apparently felt provoked by a recent review she wrote of a production he staged in the Dutch seat of government, The Hague, threatened to ban her from the ballet and accused her of being responsible for people canceling season tickets in Hannover.

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