Interview by Susan Cunningham

During the dawn of time when Scottish Dance Theatre was known as Dundee Rep Dance Theatre they were a company struggling with with the obscurity of contemporary dance, lack of money and little recognition for their work.

10 Years later, several of which have been with Janet Smith their current director, the newly titled company is up there with the best and brightest the UK has to offer.

"It's the third piece of work that he's made for SDT his work is challenging on all sorts of levels to the dancers and to the audience one of the dancers said, this will make the audience sweat.

He's influenced by visual art, always, and in this piece it's the work of Patrick Caulfield who take domestic objects, parts of a room, the wallpaper the coffee pot, window frame, curtains and he just shifts them around and makes us look at the work anew so he poses questions about the familiar

Another of his influences is very much to do with seeing the world in the male and female roles, where power lies, who dominates and who subjugates. He's working out gender roles, who rules the world. "

So begins the interview with Janet Smith describing the influences of Jan De Schykel.

With 10 dancers and a semi-reasonable amount of money from The Scottish Arts Council the company tackles a wide range of work created by Janet Smith and a host of commissioned dance makers that bring an eclectic mix of work to the company.

The company says of itslef;

"sdt creates new dance theatre by both leading and emerging international choreographers, as well as work by our own Artistic Director Janet Smith, one of the most respected and established Artistic Directors in Britain today. With 10 highly-skilled, committed dancers and a highly acclaimed repertoire that pushes boundaries and expectations, we want to move, challenge, entertain and delight you!"

Several years ago, when the company was first re-named, we feared, here in The Lab, that some less than well informed folks may well have thought that SDT was all about performing at Ceilidhs, dancing around swords in kilts and hopping from one foot to another!

Such assumptions would be a mistake however because SDT is as hard core contemporary dance as they come.

Susan Cunningham spoke with Janet Smith prior to the company's performance of 'No Stronger than a Flower' by Jan De Schykel on Wednesday 16th August 2006 at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh.

The interview touches on the work SDT performed during the Festival Fringe, future plans for SDT and just how the company manages to maintain it's creative energy when they are located in the relatively isolated city of Dundee in Scotland among many other things.

We'll follow up with a video of this interview in the next few weeks along with a lot more footage from the work itself.

[ Scottish Dance Theatre ]