Dancing in the daylight
Six years after Janet Smith joined as the new artistic director, Scottish Dance Theatre has recovered its spirit of adventure. And next spring the company is getting a brand new studio to cap its success, writes Kelly Apter for The Sunday Times
No natural light, no fresh air, no temperature control. Buried away in the bowels of Dundee Rep Theatre, the Scottish Dance Theatre studio offers little inspiration. That anything vaguely creative has taken place there is a minor miracle. But it has, in spades. When artistic director, Janet Smith arrived at the contemporary dance company in 1997, the first job on her list was to move studios. Six years later, the builders have finally arrived.
Work on a new £1m state-of-the-art space, designed by Nicoll Russell Studios, began last week with a completion date of next spring. Partly financed by the Eastern Scotland European Partnership and local trusts, the bulk of the cash has come from the Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Fund. click for more
************************** 10 step programme
Until recently, Scotland had never produced a really successful contemporary dance company. But over the past few years, Scottish Dance Theatre finally seem to have pulled it off. As they embark on another extensive tour, stronger and more confident than ever, Ellie Carr for The sunday Herald explores the strategies that have helped them find their feet.
1: Hire a brilliant artistic director
Easier said than done. But Scottish Dance Theatre’s fortunes began to turn the day Janet Smith walked in the door in 1997. Quiet and unassuming, this respected English choreographer/director has transformed SDT from a company of also-rans to a sophisticated team of major players on the international dance scene. The secret of her success? Hard to pinpoint. But exacting technical standards and a feel for work that’s both accessible and innovative go some way to explaining it. click for more