Special Dance Award 2015 - Claude Ratzé/ADC Genf

Claude Ratzé ©BAK/Gregory Batardon

Claude Ratzé/ADC Genf

Special Dance Award 2015

Claude Ratzé was born in 1960 and studied at the IES (Institut d’Ėtudes sociales Genève), and has been head of ADC (Association pour la danse contemporaine) in Geneva since 1992. ADC was founded in 1986 by a group centred around the choreographer Noemi Lapzeson. Established as an audience organisation, ADC has helped to promote contemporary dance in Geneva since its inception. Until 1997, it was based in the Salle Patiño; since 1998, the 15 or so presentations each season – including four to five Geneva premieres – are performed around 90 times a year in various theatres such as the Théâtre Grütli, Alhambra, Théâtre du Loup and BFM (Bâtiment des Forces Motrices). In addition to these, ADC organises three studios for creations in the Maison des Arts du Grütli, publishes the “Journal de l’ADC” three times a year, runs its own documentation centre, and arranges thematic encounters, workshops, the dance festival in Geneva as well as excursions to dance events at other venues. 

Since 2004, the office and documentation centre with its staff of six as well as a theatre have been temporarily housed in the Salle communale des Eaux-Vives, and ADC receives a fixed annual subsidy from the City and Canton of Geneva. ADC has been campaigning for the establishment of a dance centre in Geneva since as far back as 1997. An initial project was rejected in a popular vote in 2006, but plans for a “Pavillon de la Danse” have been taking shape since 2013, when the City of Geneva invited tenders for an architectural competition. In autumn 2015, Geneva’s municipal council will be voting on the winning project, “Bombatwist” by the Lausanne-based architectural firm ON, for the Place Sturm in the city centre. Starting in 2018, the dance pavilion could finally give ADC a home from which to enhance the visibility of contemporary dance: for some years now, Geneva has enjoyed the most vibrant dance scene in Switzerland, with a reach extending far beyond city and national boundaries.

Bertram Müller, jury member:

“Claude Ratzé has for decades played an exemplary role – artistically, conceptually and structurally – in shaping contemporary dance in Switzerland. With his profound knowledge, coupled with authenticity, a refreshing directness and unstinting, visionary commitment, he has gained the trust of artists and the profound respect of his colleagues, both nationally and internationally. That recognition extends to the entire ADC team. Despite limited space and financial resources, ADC does an exemplary job of curating, presenting and networking, making a particular contribution to the understanding of contemporary dance art – thanks in part to its journal, published three times a year and edited by Anne Davier. In so doing, ADC raises the profile of ‘Danse contemporaine Genève’ far beyond Switzerland’s borders.”