Born in Australia, Ray Cook was a school teacher before joining The Borovansky Ballet, now the Australian Ballet, and later danced in the first overseas production of West Side Story. He arrived in New York in 1961 and completed his studies in Labanotation becoming the first full time professional notator of works by Doris Humphrey, Martha Graham, Jeff Duncan, Anna Sokolow, Paul Taylor, George Balanchine, Michael Fokine, Dan Wagner, José Limón, Gerald Arpino, Lester Horton, Norman Walker and Lin Hwai-Min artistic director of Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Company.
His restagings include sixteen Humphrey works and works by Sokolow, Balanchine, Horton, Massine, Hoving, Wagner, Limón, Balanchine and Hwai Min. He researched, notated and set several Humphrey works previously considered lost; Dawn in New York, Ruins and Visions, Fantasy and Fugue and with Ann Vachon, Limón's Dances in Honor of Poznan, Wroeclaw and Warszawa retitled Mazurkas. His restagings have been presented in America, Italy, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Wales, and Israel.
He has authored and/or published ten desktop publications and served as Associate Editor for Ann Hutchinson Guest's Language of Dance series published by Gordon and Breach including Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun, Tudor's Soiree Musicale, Saint–Léon’s Pas de Six from La Vivandière, and Taglioni's The Ballet of the Nuns, and, as notator and editor, Sokolow's Ballade. Two articles have been published in Australia's Dance Journal, Brolga.
He danced for Limón, Sokolow, Bettis, Posin, Duncan (Jeff) and Gossler. During the sixties he danced in all major dance festivals and was in the first modern dance company to perform at The New York State Theater and the Avery Fisher Hall. He has choreographed twenty small dances seen in America, Australia and New Zealand. He was on the Vassar Faculty 1981-1996. As Associate Professor, he retired in 1996. He returned in 2009-2010 to set "The Shakers" for our student company.