Choreographer Marco Goecke receives Jiří Kylián Ring

On 3 February, choreographer Marco Goecke received the Jiří Kylián Ring. Previous winner Marian Sarstädt handed the award over, having been allowed to personally choose her successor. Goecke, the eighth to receive the award, accepted the Ring in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses Princess Beatrix, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands at the start of the eighteenth edition of the Holland Dance Festival in The Hague. 

In 1988 Marco Goecke (1972) started his dance training at the ballet academy of the Heinz Bosl-Stiftung in Munich. He continued his studies at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, where Sarstädt was the artistic director and where he graduated in 1995. Both Sarstädt and Goecke considered the choreographer’s years in The Hague in their speeches, with Goecke saying “I was a difficult child”. Sarstädt praised him not only for his fast-paced vocabulary, but especially for his patience in working with his dancers.

After his studies, Goecke worked at the German Staatsoper Berlin, Theater Hagen and the Stuttgarter Ballet. In the Netherlands, he was resident choreographer at Scapino Ballet Rotterdam from 2005 until 2011. Since 2014 he has been associate choreographer at Nederlands Dans Theater and in 2019, Goecke became the artistic director of the StaatsBallet Hannover.

In December 2006 Goecke won the Nijinsky Award for most promising and outstanding choreographer in international dance. In 2007, he was nominated for Der Faust, the German Theatre Prize. In 2017, the Swan for most impressive dance production was awarded to his production Midnight Raga which he created for NDT 2. With The Big Crying (2021) for NDT the associate choreographer was nominated for the Zwaan for ‘best dance production’ by the jury of the VSCD, the Dutch association of theatres and concert halls. 

The Jiři Kylián Ring ceremony is a joint initiative of former director of Nederlandse Dansdagen (Dutch Dance Days) Leontien Wiering and Artistic Director of the Holland Dance Festival Samuel Wuersten. The ring was established in 2006 out of admiration for Kylián’s mastery. Jiři Kylián was asked to pass the ring on in due course to an artist who, like him, is an inspirer and innovator within the world of dance. In 2008 he passed The Ring to dancer Michael Schumacher, and subsequently it went to lighting designer Ellen Knops (2010), the director of the children’s arts festival Twee Turven Hoog Ingrid Wolff (2012), Cinedans founder and cultural entrepreneur Janine Dijkmeijer (2014), directors of Introdans Roel Voorintholt & Ton Wiggers (2016), former ballet dancers Alexandra Radius & Han Ebbelaar (2018) and Marian Sarstädt (2020). Sarstädt received the Ring for her major contribution to the Dutch dance field. 

The Ring was designed by Hans Appenzeller and consists of a set of 14 rings, one for each letter of the prize. The person who receives it may select a ring that fits, to keep it when the prize is passed on. The winner also receives a financial incentive of five thousand euros from the Kylián Foundation.

Info Jiři Kylián Ring

HDF 2022 Opening Holland Dance Festival uitreiking Jiří Kylián Ring © Sjoerd Derine-8146
From left to right: Marco Goecke, Marian Sarstädt, Samuel Wuersten | photo: Sjoerd Derrine

Featured photo Marco Goecke: Regina Brocke