Marco Goecke receives the prestigious Jiří Kylián Ring

4 February 2022

Holland Dance Festival has officially begun

In the presence of Their Royal Highnesses Princess Beatrix, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, the Jiří Kylián Ring was awarded for the eighth time at the opening of the eighteenth edition of the Holland Dance Festival.

German choreographer Marco Goecke received the prestigious Jiří Kylián Ring from the 2020 winner: Marian Sarstädt. She received the ring for her important work for the Dutch dance world.

Photo: Sjoerd Derine

Marco Goecke

Marco Goecke (1972) started at the ballet academy at the Heinz Bosl Foundation in Munich in 1988 and continued his studies at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, where he graduated in 1995. He then worked at the German State Opera Berlin, the Theater Hagen and the Stuttgarter Ballet. In 2008 he became resident choreographer at the Scapino Ballet in Rotterdam. The choreographer also created many works for Nederlands Dans Theater for both NDT 1 and NDT 2 as associate choreographer since 2014. The international press in the authoritative dance magazine Ballett/Tanz proclaimed him the new great choreographic talent. In December 2006 he 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 that he created for NDT 2. Since 2019, Goecke has been the artistic director of StaatsBallet Hannover.

Marco Goecke in rehearsals with the NDT 1 dancers. Photo: Rahi Rezvani.

Jiři Kylián Ring

The Jiři Kylián Ring ceremony is a joint initiative of former director of Nederlandse Dansdagen 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.

The design of the Ring is by Hans Appenzeller and consists of a set of 14 rings, one ring for each letter of the price. The rings are on a ring size stick and are increasing in size. The person who receives it may select a matching ring and also keep it when he or she passes on the prize. The winner will also receive a financial incentive of five thousand euros from the Kylián Foundation.


2020 Marian Sarstädt | 2018 Alexandra Radius & Han Ebbelaar | 2016 Roel Voorintholt & Ton Wiggers | 2014 Janine Dijkmeijer | 2012 Ingrid Wolff | 2010 Ellen Knops | 2008 Michael Schumacher | 2006 Jiři Kylián

Nederlandse Dansdagen

De Nederlandse Dansdagen (Dutch Dance Days) is an organization dedicated to Dutch dance. Its highlight is an annual festival that takes place in and from Maastricht. In the first week of October, a range of dance performances and the best of Dutch dance is shown: from ‘classical’ to ‘urban’ from ‘avant garde’ to ‘modern dance’. The Nederlandse Dansdagen programme thus represents the diversity of the Dutch dance scene and shows significant developments in Dutch dance: from striking work by young choreographers to impressive performances by established dance companies.

Marco Goecke during Holland Dance Festival

The NDT 1 performance Traces left within marked the opening night of the Holland Dance Festival, which also saw the world premiere of Goecke’s new work I love you, ghosts (2022). Goecke is known for his unique, complex and intense dance language, and this piece was no exception. With his razor-sharp, lightning-fast and nervously fluttering movements, the German choreographer stimulated the nervous system of both his dancers and his audience.

Later in the festival, Swan Lakes will be on view, in which Goecke and three other contemporary choreographers each present their own vision of the “ballet of ballets”. Goecke explores with a group of male dancers what the ballet dream of the ultimate classical ballet might look like today.

'I love you, ghosts' by Marco Goecke. Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Holland Dance Festival

For more than 30 years, Holland Dance Festival has brought dance from around the world to the Netherlands. The festival presents companies and dance artists who would not otherwise be seen in our country.

From February 3 to 19, 2022, Holland Dance Festival showcases the universality and enormous richness of dance. In an ever-changing program, audiences will have the opportunity to admire the top of international dance up close.

Holland Dance Festival is a festival to feel at home at: there is something new for everyone to discover or recognize. The program is enriched with (hotel) arrangements and a DanceAble symposium. This makes a visit to the dance capital of the Netherlands, The Hague, in the winter months unforgettable.

HOLLAND DANCE FESTIVAL 2022 – 3 to 19 February | View the offer: