Captain Cook’s Country Dances – Book and CD

2020 was the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s arrival in Australia.  His exploration led to the establishment of British settlement at Sydney Cove in 1788.  This collection of dances and their tunes commemorates voyages into the Pacific and early years of settlement of the colony.

We are pleased to announce that our book and accompanying CD are now available!

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About the book
About the CD
Dances included


About the book

19 dances with music, dance instructions and historical notes.

The book contains instructions for each of the 19 dances set to these tunes as well as sheet music and a brief history of each. All have some association with James Cook and other explorers in the Pacific or with the history of the Australian Colony. The material is based upon original research carried out by dance historian Dr. Heather Blasdale Clarke.

A  delight to peruse… the highest quality… fantastic music … a valuable addition for any collection… the result is excellent.  (Pat, Sydney)

Congratulations on a terrific accomplishment! (Roger, Canberra)

Wonderful to have resources that link history to Music and Dance. Older students are really interested in learning about how Music and Dance links to the history they are learning in their own classrooms. (Veronica, WA)

ISBN 978-0-909497-07-1
Libraries Australia ID 66490493

About the CD

Captain Cook’s Country Dances : Dances associated with voyages to the Pacific in the 18th Century and with life in the early years of the Australian colony. Dr Heather Blasdale Clarke, Cedar Creek, Samford, QLD, 2020.

The CD is recorded by collaboration between Phillip’s Dog (Isabel Clarke, Roland Clarke; QLD) and The Whoots (Shira Kammen, Jim Oakden, Charlie Hancock; California). Shira and Jim toured Australia as part of Roguery in 2019 and appeared at the National Folk Festival.

All tracks are suitable for use at any social dance event, though many people will want to buy the CD simply for the pleasure of listening to these delightful tunes.

Dances included:

he information on this website 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 Dr Heather Blasdale Clarke.


Acknowledgement of Country.

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the Country on which we live and work, and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge the impact colonialism has had on Aboriginal Country and Aboriginal peoples and that this impact continues to be felt today.