Jay Watson


Jay Watson 1999

Tasmanian born Jay Watson has wanted to dance with Tasdance since he first experienced the company in primary school. Jay studied an Associate Diploma in Drama at the University of Tasmania, Launceston before completing a Bachelor of Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1996. Jason was a founding member of Jerril Rechter's Stompin Youth Dance Company and danced with them in Launceston's Princes Square in 1991.

While studying in Melbourne he created a number of public works, including Bare Facts in 1994 and Sentences and also had the opportunity to work with choreographers Gideon Obarzanek, Chrissie Koltai, Sue Healey, Sandra Parker, Jonathan Taylor, Brian Lucas, Anna Smith, Maggie Lorraine and Natalie Weir. In 1996, Jason was deeply involved in Foster the Arts, a collection of Melbourne-based Tasmanians presenting Launceston with a production called In The Travelling presented at The Earl Arts Centre.

In 1997 Jay commenced working for the Cornwall Arts Council in collaboration with performers with disabilities and produced a number of works performed state-wide. One of the works, titled Glow, was created for the opening of the Sixth Special Olympics. He also created Individually Beautiful which was presented at St. Michael's School, Festivale and Launceston General Hospital. With funding from Disability Services and Cornwall Arts Council, Jay developed another performance piece with eight women, called Portrait, which was performed in the Civic Square for International Women's Day and at the Tasmanian Regional Arts Council State Conference.

Jay began working with Tasdance as a dancer, teacher and choreographer in 1997 and still works for the company in various roles. Jay danced with Tasdance in the 1997 and 1999 seasons of Passion fruit, Tease in 1997, Vital Expression in 1998, Obsession in 1999, Story Lines in 1999 and Illuminations 3 in 2006. He has choreographed or co-choreographed four education projects for Tasdance including Fish Fingers in 1988, Down PAT in 1999, White Light in 2007, Planet Earth in 2008 as well as several community events such as Dance ETC in 2007. He also co-choreographed A-Peeling with Michael O'Donoghue and Wendy McPhee in 1997 for the Passion fruit season. Jay has also taught extensively for many years for the Tasdance School of Performing Arts teaching all contemporary classes from 4 years to adult.

He has created several contemporary dance works for various festivals: Awakening Festival (Horsham Vic), Opening Ceremony (2000 Special Olympics), Amalgamations Festival, Hobart Fringe, Festivale, International Women's Festival and with the assistance of Access Arts Link, a commissioned dance film: Body Space launched as part of Junction Arts Festival 2010 and Streets Alive Festival.

2004 saw Jay venture into the Department of Education where he had positions teaching at several schools including Scotch Oakburn Primary School, Launceston Church Grammar Primary School, Tasman District School, Flinders Island District School, Mathinna Primary School, Meander Primary School, Deloraine Primary School, Kings Meadows High School, West Launceston Primary School, Scotch Oakburn College Middle School. In 2000 Jay was a tutor in Human Movement at the University of Tasmania.