On 6 July 2018, Jamie Watton, CEO and Artistic Director of South East Dance, passed away peacefully after a short illness.
Jamie was astute and discerning, as well as generous and gentle, always with a glint of mischief in his eye.
Jamie first worked with Candoco Dance Company in 2002 on a commission by Celeste Dandeker-Arnold to create a work for a new triple bill programme. He was such a wonderful soul to work with, bringing his usual intelligence and good-humour to the process, and Phasing was produced - an uplifting, fleet-footed, light and joyous work for three dancers (Stine Nilsen, Jurg Koch and David Locke).
Jamie remained a supporter and ally, especially to Stine and Pedro, then Artistic Co-Directors, eventually joining Candoco's board in May 2013. Over the next 5 years, he was unstinting with his time, reflective and perceptive, always adding value to a discussion, often with a quietly delivered killer question to get directly to the heart of the matter. Accomplished in the art of effective diplomacy, he had the gift of asking challenging questions without causing offence.
His encouragement and perspicacity, his kindness and charm, will be sorely missed by us all here at Candoco and the wider dance community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We will remember him with love and respect.
To continue Jamie's legacy, South East Dance has recently established the Jamie Watton Fund, which is directed towards creating a space for dance in the south east.