Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Dancing in Fetters, exhibition at The Rocks Discovery Museum, 1st February to 28th April 2023

Click images for larger size.

Dr Heather Blasdale Clarke 

Social dance and early Australian settlement: An historical examination of the role of social dance for convicts and the 'lower orders' in the period between 1788 and 1840. Professional Doctorate by Creative Works, Queensland University of Technology.    

This is the first comprehensive survey of social dance in the Australian colonies in the period between 1788 and 1840. The thesis investigated the convict and 'lower order' dance culture through extensive historical research combined with a series of workshops. It indicated that dance was a significant factor in the lives of the 'lower orders' and convicts in the early colony. Dance was a pastime that brought people together, gave hope and good cheer in the harshest of situations, allowed a temporary escape from troubles and encouraged people to put aside grievances. This practice-led research revealed important insights into the relevance of dance in the past, present and future.

Photos © Sandra Nixon

1. Cadman's Cottage - Heather (in hat) with dancers

2.  Dancers

3. dancers

4. audience - Margaret Winnett (parasol) next to Ros Young

5.  Heather & musicians

6.  Heather 

7.  Heather & daughter dancing

8. Heather & daughter

9.   Heather & daughter

10. Heather & daughter & musicians

11. dancers practicing

12. dancers practicing 

13.  Musicians - Short Dented Potts & visitors

14.  onlookers

15. Old stairs outside the cottage

16.  Dancers & audience

17.  Dancers & audience

18.  Dancers & audience

19.  Dancers & audience

20.  Dancers & audience

21.  Dancers & band

22.  Drains 

23.  Wall detail 

24.  Rocks Discovery Museum - reproduction fetters

25. Reproduction fetters

26. Julie & Alex Bishop 

27.  Margaret Winnett
28.  Cabinet 

29.  Reproduction fetters & footwear

30.  Reproduction fetters 

31. Reproduction costumes, the dress is mounted backwards on the support!

32.  Reproduction dress before fixing

33.  Heather & Margaret begin rectification

34.  rectification ... 

35. Music for rectification ... 

36. rectification ... 

37.  reproduction instruments of the period

38.  Copy of Alexander Laing manuscript, 1863

38.  Colin Fong 

39.  Explanatory information

40.  Colin  &

41. Our musicians played the music from the manuscript

42.  Dancing outside public house 

43. 

44.  music 

45. dancing to collected music

46. dancing 

47. dancing 

48. musicians & dancer

49. two dancers

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59 & 60. Brian McDonald, retired Bushranger, MC at 1988 Heritage Ball (see pic 57)


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