Initially called Dundee Rep Dance Company (DRDC), Scottish Dance Theatre was created by Royston Maldoom in 1986 as both a community company and a professional company, with the two elements co-existing.
DRDC had three original dancers – Frank McConnell, Craig McKnight and Liz Gardner, along with two trainees – and the company toured widely in Scotland undertaking residencies and performances, winning critical acclaim on a national level. When Tamara McLorg took over the reins at DRDC, she strengthened both strands of the company – the outreach/community programme and the professional performance side – winning the Digital Award for Dance in 1991. Her successor, Neville Campbell, changed the name to Scottish Dance Theatre in 1995.
Janet Smith was appointed Artistic Director in June 1997. One of the most inventive, respected and established dance producers in Britain today, Janet’s work has been described as 'dance about people which speaks straight to the heart of the audience'. Under her direction, Scottish Dance Theatre's size and status considerably grew and the company’s choreography developed a sophistication and maturity, recognized for its originality, clarity and simplicity.In 2004, the company unveiled a new £1m+ state of the art dance studio at home at Dundee Rep Theatre, transforming working conditions for visiting choreographers and Scottish Dance Theatre’s 9 talented dancers. It has also allowed Scottish Dance Theatre to extend links with the local community by offering dance classes to all ages and levels.
Scottish Dance Theatre won the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Company Repertoire (Modern) in 2003 and a Herald Angel Award at the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe. Scottish Dance Theatre were also nominated for a Total Theatre Award for The Life and Times of Girl A at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010.In January 2009 Janet won the 2008 Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Award. This honours an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the artform. After 14 years as Artistic Director, Janet Smith left Scottish Dance Theatre in February 2012 to take up the role of Principal at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Janet's successor, Fleur Darkin, began her role in Autumn 2012.
Scottish Dance Theatre continues to tour extensively in Scotland, throughout the UK and increasingly internationally with recent performances in Greece, Italy, Germany, Cyprus, Portugal, China, Dubai, Denmark, Austria, The USA and India.