The Tropak (Ukrainian: Трoпак; known in Russian as Трeпак - Trepak) is a traditional Russian and Ukrainian folk dance from the Russian-speaking Slobozhan region of Ukraine (around the city of Kharkiv) settled primarily by descendants of the Zaporozhian Cossacks and of the Moscow region.
The dance is a brisk allegro in 2/4 time in a major key. Accompaniment is usually on two alternating chords; dominant and tonic. The tropak differs from the better known Hopak in chordal use and also in that the tempo gradually speeds up throughout the dance.
The Tropak was one of the traditional instrumental dances played by blind itinerant musicians called kobzars on their banduras and kobzas. It was also one of the dances often included in the repertoire of village violinists in Eastern Ukraine.
The tropak went out of fashion in the 1930s during the major transformations in Ukrainian village society and culture that happened in Soviet Ukraine at that time.
One of its best known representations is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Trepak from The Nutcracker (which is also, confusingly, known as the "Russian Dance"). The dance music was also used in the last movement of his Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35.
The Tropak shares many musical and choreographic characteristics with the Hopak. Both developed as Kozak social dances, performed at celebratory occasions. Traditional Tropak choreography did not survive except a simple walk with a syncopated stamp, often done to a quick duple meter rhythm.
On So You Think You Can Dance (Season 4), Joshua Allen and Stephen "Twitch" Boss performed a Trepak routine, interpreted as a dance duel, in Week 9 (August 6, 2008).
- (Ukrainian) Humeniuk, Andriy (1962). Ukrainian Folk Dances (Українські Hароднi Танцi), Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR.
- (Ukrainian) Humeniuk, Andriy (1963). Folk Choreographic Art of Ukraine (Hароднe Xореографiчнe Mиcтeцтвo України), Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR.