Marco Goecke completed his ballet training in 1988 at the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung ballet academy in Munich as well as at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague, where he received his diploma in 1995. Engagements followed at the Berlin State Opera and Theater Hagen. It was in the year 2000 at this theatre that Goecke created his first choreography, entitled Loch. There followed several choreographies for the Noverre-Society with dancers from the Stuttgart Ballet, and an invitation to the New York Choreographic Institute. In July 2003 Goecke won the Prix Dom Pérignon in Hamburg with the piece Blushing, danced by the Stuttgart Ballet. In the years that followed, he received numerous commissions for international companies such as Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, the Norwegian National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle and the Berlin State Ballet.
In the 2005/2006 season Marco Goecke was appointed Choreographer in Residence at the Stuttgart Ballet, and it was there in December 2006 that he created his first narrative ballet The Nutcracker, which was later also filmed for the ZDF theatre channel. From 2006 to 2012 Goecke also held the post of Choreographer in Residence at the Scapino Ballet in Rotterdam. Since the 2013/2014 season he has been Associate Choreographer at the renowned Nederlands Dans Theater.
Of the over sixty works Goecke has created in just a few years, many are also performed by companies for whom they were not originally created, for example in Tel Aviv, in Sao Paulo, by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, by the Canadian National Ballet, by the Ballett-Theater in Munich, by the Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki, by the Stanislavsky Theater in Moscow, by the Zurich Ballet, by the German Opera on the Rhine in Düsseldorf, and by the Vienna State Opera.
Goecke has received several international awards, including the Culture Prize of the State of Baden-Württemberg in 2005, the Nijinsky Award in Monte Carlo in 2006, the Choreographer of the Year in the critics’ survey by the magazine Tanz in 2015, and the Dutch dance prize Zwaan as well as the Italian prize Danzadanza for the best choreography of the year in 2017. This award was for the full-length work Nijinski, which he created in 2016 for Gauthier Dance in Stuttgart; since then it has been performed on worldwide tours to great success. The book Dark Matter (Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg), published in 2016, offers a concise overview of his oeuvre.
Since January 2019 he is Artist in Residence with Gauthier Dance Stuttgart, in February 2019 Goecke created his first piece for the Ballet of the Paris Opera.
Since the season 2019/20 Marco Goecke is Artistic Director of the State Ballet Hannover.
His most recent successful works include a Gershwin evening created for Gauthier Dance, the full-length piece The Lover based on the novel of the same name by Marguerite Duras for the Staatsballett Hannover and The Big Crying for the Nederlands Dans Theater.