A collection of dances from the early Australian colonial era 1770-1850. This site reveals the history of dance in the first half of the colonial period exploring significant social and historical links.
In the modern age of intense electronic social networking, these dances shine as genuine, warm, social pleasures. Words are unnecessary while dancing, other skills are required – a smile, a glance, a touch. Could it be more different to social media on your smart phone?
In an evening of country dance one may have a dozen partners and dance with every person in the room; a group of individuals synchronised in the pattern of the dance.
Dance rates as one of the most beneficial forms of recreation: it involves so many different aspects in such an enjoyable way. The exercise of moving through the dance, remembering the figures, listening and responding to the music, and above all, the myriad of friendly interactions.
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“…the assemblage was brilliant, the punch superlative, and the dancing extremely active, if not elegant.” Discover the musical legacy of Sir John and Lady Jane Franklin in Tasmania.
Dance dates for 2015
The Farmers’ Hall, Samford, QLD.
22 February, 26 April, 28 June, 23 August, 25 October
Check the events page for more details.
Port Jackson, a dance from 1796.
It is extraordinary that within eight years of the founding of the colony, a fashionable dance was devised in London to celebrate such an obscure place on the other side of the world.
Governor Phillip meets Jane Austen.
Did Arthur Phillip meet Jane Austen?
They both lived in the elegant city of Bath, joined the circulating library and attended balls and concerts. Could they have met? This article explores the possibilties.
Our August dance falls on the 200th anniversary of Governor Phillip’s death. See the events page.
Matthew Flinders and the Glorious First of June.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Matthew Flinders’ death.
A highly significant event in Flinders’ life was the battle known as The Glorious First of June. Three dances were devised to celebrate the great naval battle. Here is one of them, along with the fascinating history of Matthew Flinders’ flute.
Captain Cook’s early life – Boscawen’s Frolick, the first in a series featuring music and dance associated with Captain James Cook.
the French convict who became Australia’s first dancing master.
Lasses of Portsmouth, a dance from 1780.
Heather Clarke. 28 October 2013.
history – dances – music
Colonial Dance Manuals
list of manuals in Australian libraries
The information on this website www.colonialdance.com.au may be copied for personal use only, and must be acknowledged as from this website. It may not be reproduced for publication without prior permission from Heather Clarke.