The Company

Vito Dance Theatre was founded & established in 2009 by Artistic Director and choreographer Joan Beattie.  The name of the company is dedicated to St Vito/Vitus who is a patron saint of dancers.

Vito Dance Theatre was a dream of Joan’s for many years; to be able to have her own company in which she could collaborate with other dancers & artists to produce magnificent fresh work which was inspiring, thought provoking, amazing and original!

‘Presence’ was their debut performance which took place at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, 2010.

Vito Dance Theatre is interested in collaborating with dancers, performers, visual artists, musicians, costume designers, composers, artists, film makers, sculptors, animators or photographers in Scotland particularly in Glasgow.  We want to develop new ideas and contribute good quality artistic work.



Feast Day:  15th June
Legend says that Vitus was the son of a pagan Sicilian senator named Hylas. The boy was converted to Christianity at age twelve by his tutor, Saint Modestus, and his nurse Saint Crescentia. His father showed his objection to the conversion by having all three arrested and scourged.

Freed from prison by angels, they fled to Lucania, then Rome. There Vitus freed the son of Emperor Diocletian from an evil spirit. When Vitus would not sacrifice to the pagan gods in celebration, his cure was attributed to sorcery, and he and his household were arrested again. Tortured, and condemned to death, they were thrown to the lions; the lions would not touch them, so they were thrown into boiling oil. At the moment of their deaths, a immense storm destroyed several pagan temples in the region, which led to the tradition of protection against stormy weather. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

For obscure reasons, some 16th centuary Germans believed they could obtain a year’s good health by dancing before a statue of Saint Vitus on his feast day. This dancing developed almost into a mania, and was confused with chorea, the nervous condition later known as Saint Vitus’ Dance, the saint being invoked against it. His connection with such “dancing” led to his patronage of dancers.

When Vitus was thrown into the oil, a rooster was thrown into the oil with him, sacrificed as part of the ritual against sorcery. A rooster became a symbol for Vitus, and its connection with early rising led to Vitus’s patronage and protection against oversleeping.

Died:  boiled in oil c.303 in Lucania, Italy





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