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Editions de l'Oiseau-Lyre (Paris and Monaco)
Lyrebird Press (Australia)

0 'Take me to Spain': Australian imaginings of Spain through Music and Dance

Category: Other books Product Code: AMR018
Manufacturer: Lyrebird Press Dimensions: 170W 250H 12D mm
Stock Level: 28 Weight: 0.6 Kg
$55.00 AUD
Product description:

Australians have been transported to an imaginary Spain from at least the 1830s, when cachuchas were first danced on the Sydney stage. In Take Me to Spain John Whiteoak explores the rich tapestry of Australians’ fascination with all things Spanish, from the voluptuous sensuality of Lola Montez to operas featuring señoritas, toreadors and Gypsies, and from evocative silent and later Spain-themed Hollywood movies to the dazzlingly creative artistry of the flamenco dancers and guitarists who toured Australia in the 1960s and ’70s. Examining the diverse ways that Spanish music and dance have been mediated or hybridised to cater for Australian popular taste, this landmark study of cross-fertilisation and ethnic fusion reveals how Hispanic traditions have become integral to the cultural history of the nation.  





  1. Escuela bolera, “the Spanish woman” and early perceptions of flamenco
  2. Cabaret, classical ballet, recital flamenco and the “dance of the matador”


  1. “Spanish” music in early Australian theatrical entertainment
  2. Spain-themed concert music to the age of radio
  3. Tin Pan Alley-style Spanish music and Italian Australian ethnomediation
  4. The Spanish guitar as “the instrument of romance”


  1. A flamenco fad: The Luisillo era, 1958–76
  2. Bien parado (final pose): Authenticity and creativity

APPENDIX Spain- or Spanish-themed films screened in Australia to 1959



Dr John Whiteoak is an Adjunct Professor in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University. He is the author of Playing Ad Lib: Improvisatory Music in Australia, 1836-1970 (1999) and co-general editor of the Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia (2003).

“A remarkable study of the Antipodean fascination with Hispanic performers and the idea of Spain, set against the evolving international landscape of staged entertainment. Whiteoak’s book is a revelation”.

—Michael Christoforidis, author of Manuel de Falla and Visions of Spanish Music (2018) and co-author of Carmen and the Staging of Spain (2019)


October 2019 | xiii, 258 p., ill., mus ex. | rrp $55 | ISBN: 978 0 7340 3792 3 (paperback) | ISSN: 1325 5266

A pdf e-book, with some images in colour, is now available (ISBN: 978 0 7340 3793 0) for $27.50. For information please contact lyrebirdpress-info@unimelb.edu.au

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