The Arts

Celebrating arts & culture

Roslyn Watson

Deadly Vibe Issue 102 August 2005

Dancing Queen

The first Australian Aboriginal classical ballet dancer was Roslyn Watson, who was born in 1954 in Brisbane of Biri descent.

Roslyn began dancing when she was only 12 and at 15 she was awarded an Abstudy grant and enrolled in the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne.

After graduating in 1972, Roslyn joined the Dance Theatre of New South Wales, which is now known as the Sydney Dance Company. She then moved to New York and danced with the all-black Dance Theatre of Harlem.

When she returned home to Brisbane in 1975, Roslyn danced with the Queensland Ballet before joining the Australia Dance Theatre (ADT) in 1978. During her time with the ADT Roslyn got the chance to tour internationally, performing in South East Asia and Europe.

In 1981 Roslyn left the ADT to become a dance tutor at the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre in Sydney. A year later she left for Paris and formed her own dance group, Company Brolga, who she performed and choreographed for.

Since returning to Australia again in 1987, Roslyn has performed and choreographed for a number of different dance groups before establishing the Murri Dance Group in Brisbane in 1991.

Roslyn remains one of the most successful Aboriginal dancers to date.

(Story 1/8/2005 end)

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