The André Gingras Award, which rewards innovative and daring choreographers, was given for the first time to the Dutch dance collective iLL Skill Squad on February 8, 2014 at a ceremony during the Holland Dance Festival at the Korzo Theater in The Hague.
iLL Skill Squad was formed in 1999 and has been enjoying fame in the Netherlands since making it to the semifinals of the popular TV show Holland’s Got Talent in 2010. Its performances blend modern dance, hip hop and breakdance with theatre and visual media.
The members were awarded a cash prize of 3000 euros and a sculpture known as “the diamond in the rough.” Designed by artist Ascon de Nijs specifically for the occasion, it will be passed on to the next winner of the award after a year.
Established by the Gingras Foundation, the award was named after and inspired by the late Canadian choreographer André Gingras, himself renowned for his innovative spirit and multidisciplinary approach.
Born in 1966, Gingras studied in Montreal, Toronto and New York before relocating to the Netherlands in 1996. In 2009, he established the non-profit Gingras Foundation to produce his independent work. After his death in 2013, the foundation was repurposed to reward choreographers in the Netherlands and encourage them to innovate and push boundaries.