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Marco Goecke - The Big Crying

Nederlands Dans Theater / NDT2


choreography scenography, costumes

Marco Goecke


assistant to the choreographer

Ralitza Malehounova

sound editing

Jesse Callaert


Nadja Kadel


Udo Haberland


Rorogwela: Death Lullaby; Electricity feat. Fire Eater: Indlela Yababi; Extreme Music From Africa (Susan Lawly, 1997).

Tori Amos: Beauty Queen, Marianne (arranged by John Philip Shenale), Blood Roses, In the springtime of his voodoo, Bells ‘For Her’. Published by Downtown Music Publishing. (P) Atlantic Recording Corporation, A Warner Music Group Company. Losing my Religion. Published by Night Garden Music.


19 dancers


30 minutes


18 March 2021,


La Haye (NL)


links & downloads

> performance sheet (EN)

> dossier de diffusion (FR)

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The Big Crying tells of the ultimate separation. Dressed in black, the grief laid bare by Marco Goecke dislocates the bodies at a dizzying speed while cries resound. Bereft by the death of his father, the choreographer associated with the NDT since 2013 deploys a spectacular energy in the service of an aesthetic of despair.

“Those who know Marco Goecke’s works know that they always have to do with himself and with the time in which they were created. Perhaps The Big Crying is Goecke’s most personal piece, begun in Autumn 2020, shortly after the death of his father. It is a piece about parting and about everything we have to burn, says the choreographer, speaking of bodies that are like broken engines and of costumes that resemble the curtains of a hearse. It is not surprising that his choice of music includes a Death Lullaby; Blood Roses by the American singer Tori Amos whose music - sometimes confusing and not always comprehensible poetry is very close to Goecke’s dance - hits the mark. The fact that this piece nevertheless comes along with the tremendously fiery power of an entire company, nineteen outstanding dancers, is perhaps due to the fact that, despite all transience, the dance and the choreography celebrate the joy of life and the urge to be alive.” — Nadja Kadel


It is incredible how emotions can touch you so deeply through such a small screen. However, Marco Goecke succeeds in this with his most recent work "The big crying". – Leidsch Dagblad


From Goecke's new work ´The big crying´ you can conclude after just one minute that you are looking at something fantastic. This is one of his most beautiful works by the choreographer who manages to baffle time and again with his creations. – Leidsch Dagblad


For clichés about grief (and its stages) you've come to the wrong place at Goecke. Conflicting emotions dart back and forth like pinballs. Just like the dancers' limbs - especially the arms and shoulders - that jerk and stick at hummingbird speed. – Parool

An eclectic soundtrack with engine room noise, an Oceanian lullaby and especially a lot of music by Tori Amos clashes and harmonises with Goecke's characteristic nervous movement language. – Parool

The wringing madness reaches its peak when the entire ensemble turns towards the viewer, laughing, furious and raving hysterically. A viewer who at that moment has completely forgotten that he is watching a live stream on a computer screen that is much too small. - Parool

The condolence is finally resumed, when the same bare-chested dancer (a powerful Jesse Callaert) sees all colleagues approaching again, each with a different quick "hug-atdistance". One hand behind the back, a pat in the direction of the chin. And off they shoot again, their arms trembling nervously like butterfly wings fluttering. – de Volkskrant

It is gorgeous how Goecke captures an unfathomable emotion of fresh mourning versus clumsy compassion here. You don't have to read it. You can also just enjoy this barrage of cramped, angular, rattling, motion explosions. – de Volkskrant

Marco Goecke masterfully maneuvers with the large ensemble in a choreography steeped in farewell and mourning. ´The Big Crying´ shows on the fragility of life and love. – NRC

In the new The Big Crying, the second choreography on the program, Marco Goecke lays his soul more bare than ever, with a choreography that is permeated with feelings of love, farewell and mourning. – NRC

Even with all these emotions, it is striking how masterfully Goecke directs the large ensemble of nineteen dancers in a seamless sequence of larger and smaller formations. And although the required sharpness in the movements seems to have to grow a bit, the talented dancers are a pleasure to watch. – NRC


Marco Goecke (1972, Wuppertal) joined NDT as an associate choreographer in season 20132014. Earlier, he created Nichts (NDT 2, 2008), Garbo Laughs (NDT 1, 2012), Hello Earth (NDT 1, 2014), Thin Skin (NDT 1, 2015; Nominee Dutch dance Zwaan Awards ‘most impressive choreography 2015’), Woke up Blind (NDT 1, 2016) Midnight Raga (NDT 2, 2017; winner Dutch Zwaan Awards ‘most impressive choreography 2017’), and Wir sagen uns Dunkles (NDT 2, 2017). During the sixtieth anniversary season, Goecke created Kunstkamer (2019) together with Paul Lightfoot & Sol León and Crystal Pite. His most recent work is The Big Crying (2021) for NDT 2. As of season 2019-2020 Goecke leads the ballet direction at State Ballet Hannover.

"...chorégraphe allemand Marco Goecke, artiste né à Wuppertal, la ville où résidait Pina Bausch. Lui non plus n’est pas inconnu du public parisien car il vient de présenter, en décembre 2018, sa version du Spectre de la rose (2009) au Théâtre des Champs-Elysées avec les Ballets de Monte-Carlo puis, en février dernier, Dogs sleep sur des musiques de Toru Takemitsu, Maurice Tavel, Claude Debussy et Sarah Vaughan à l’Opéra de Paris. Tout récemment, il vient d’offrir un mémorable pas de deux, L’Oiseau de feu (2010), avec la São Paulo Dance Company dans ce même théâtre de Chaillot, du 18 au 20 avril 2019." Jean-Marie Gourreau, Critiphotodanse



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