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Folk dance Kozachok.jpg
Genrefolk dance
Time signature2/4

Kozachok (Ukrainian: кoзачо́к; Belarusian: казачо́к; Russian: казачо́к) is a traditional Ukrainian folk dance[1][2][3][4] originating with the Cossacks in the 16th century.[5] In the 17th and 18th centuries it was performed throughout contemporary Ukraine and also in the noble courts of Europe.[6] It is a fast, linear, couple-dance in 2
, typically in a constantly increasing tempo and of an improvisatory character, typically in a minor key in Ukraine, and in a major key in Russia. The woman leads and the man follows, imitating her figures – she signals movement changes by hand clapping. In the 17th century, kozachok became fashionable in court music in Europe.[5]

The term "kozachok" can be traced back to the Vertep, the 16th to 19th century Ukrainian itinerant puppet theatre. Vertep plays consisted of two parts, the first dramatizing the birth of Christ, and the second with a secular plot, often a morality tale. In Russia there exist different versions of the kozachok dance the Kuban Kazachok (Krasnodar region of southern Russia), and Ter Kazachok (northern Caucasus region).[7] Historically these regions had a predominantly Ukrainian population but were dramatically and intentionally reduced in the Soviet era.[8]

In Ukraine it was often a joyful celebration centered on the Cossacks from the Zaporizhian region, who sang, played the bandura, and danced. This dance became known as the "Vertepny Kozachok", literally meaning "A Cossack from Vertep" and displayed all the characteristics of the fiery Kozak temperament. Russias west-central regions like the Belgorod Oblast played an important role in East Slavic dances. In Russia, many cultural treasures can still be traced to their roots, such as to the Kozachok region in Belgorod.[9] that historically had a large Ukrainian population.[10]

The Ukrainian choreographer and dancer Vasyl Avramenko, known for his standardization of Ukrainian dance and his work across the globe, was famous for his "Kozachok Podilsyi", a Cossack courtship dance native to the Podillia region, for one to four couples. He most likely learned the "Kozachok Podilskyi" from the theatre work he did between 1917-1921 sources from the repertoire of dances performed in plays generations before including plays by Ukrainian dramaturge and writer Marko Kropyvnytskyi.[11]

The first known musical arrangement of the kоzachok for lute is attributed to the Polish nobleman and composer Kazimierz Stanisław Rudomina-Dusiacki in the 17th century.[12][13] There are manuscript collections of kozachok melodies from the second half of the 18th century, and printed collections begin to appear toward the end of that century. Dusiacki's score was preserved in the Berlin State Library under the name "Dusiacki-Buch".

Kozachok melodies were used in Polish music in the 18th century.[5][14][15]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Nahachewsky, Andriy (2011-11-16). Ukrainian Dance: A Cross-Cultural Approach. McFarland. pp. pg 102. ISBN 978-0-7864-8706-6. |page(s)= has extra text (help)
  2. ^ Major, Alice; Gordey, Gordon (1991). Ukrainian Shumka Dancers: tradition in motion. Reidmore Books. ISBN 9781895073010.
  3. ^ Feldman, Walter Zev (2016-10-03). Klezmer: Music, History, and Memory. Oxford University Press. pp. pg 208/388. ISBN 978-0-19-024452-1. |page(s)= has extra text (help)
  4. ^ "Traditional Ukrainian Dance | Folk Dance from Ukraine". RusMoose.com. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  5. ^ a b c "Kozachok". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. 1989.
  6. ^ "Kozachok". www.encyclopediaofukraine.com. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  7. ^ "Traditional Ukrainian Dance | Folk Dance from Ukraine". RusMoose.com. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  8. ^ "Kuban". According to the 1897 census, 49.1 percent of the population considered their native language to be Ukrainian, and 41.8 percent considered it to be Russian (not including Black Sea gubernia). Over one-third of the inhabitants were born outside Kuban. Of these, 24.2 percent were born in the ethnically mixed Voronezh and Kursk gubernias and 40.1 percent were born in the Ukrainian Kharkiv gubernia, Poltava gubernia, Katerynoslav gubernia, and Chernihiv gubernia; the number of immigrants from Kyiv gubernia and Kherson gubernia was also significant. By 1926, the total population of Kuban was 3,557,000 (including Black Sea gubernia). Of these, 47.1 percent (1,674,000) were Ukrainians, 41 percent (1,460,000) Russians, 4.9 percent (172,000) various Caucasian mountain peoples, 2.2 percent (79,000)
  9. ^ "Kozachok Destination Guide (Belgorod, Russia) – Trip-Suggest". trip-suggest.com. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  10. ^ "Belgorod Oblast". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. According to the Soviet census of 1979, Russians constituted 94 percent of the population, and Ukrainians accounted for 4.8 percent. These statistics were doctored, however, for the purpose of demonstrating that the political border between Ukraine and Russia coincides with the ethnic border. According to the generally reliable census of 1926, the territory of present-day Belgorod oblast was then inhabited by 642,000 Ukrainians (40.2 percent) and 948,000 Russians (59.4 percent) out of a total population of 1,596,000. Ukrainians were in the majority in 7 out of the 18 raions, Russians in 6, and the numbers were about equal in 5. The southwest and the southeast parts of Belgorod oblast are in Ukrainian ethnic territory. In the past these two parts belonged to the Slobidska Ukraine regiments, while the central part of the oblast, including Belgorod, was colonized mostly by Russians. The Ukrainian part of Belgorod oblast covers 14,500 sq km and in 1926 had a population of 770,000, of which 460,000 (59.7 percent) was Ukrainian and 307,000 (39.9 percent) was Russian. In 1926, 182,000 Ukrainians lived in the rest of the oblast. According to the Russian census of 2010 (which followed the trend set by the earlier Soviet census), Russians constitute 94.4 percent of the population, and Ukrainians account for 2.8 percent.
  11. ^ Nahachewsky, Andriy (2011-11-16). Ukrainian Dance: A Cross-Cultural Approach. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-8706-6.
  12. ^ Soroker, Yakov (1995). Ukrainian Musical Elements in Classical Music. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press. p. 64. ISBN 1-895571-06-5.
  13. ^ Deasy, Aidan (2010). The Seventeenth-Century Battaglie for Lute in Italy. Edith Cowan University: Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. p. 19.
  14. ^ Findeizen, N.; Velimirovic, M.; Jensen, C.; Brown, M.; Waugh, D. C. (2008). History of Music in Russia from Antiquity to 1800. Indiana University Press. p. 388. ISBN 978-0-253-02352-0.
  15. ^ Mischakoff, A.; Heiles, A. M. (1983). Khandoshkin and the beginning of Russian string music. Russian music studies. UMI Research Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-8357-1428-0.


  • Bobri, Vladimir – Notes on the Ukrainian Folk Dances //Guitar review - #33, Summer, 1970 p. 27
  • Ukrayins'ke kozatstvo – (Entsyklopedia) Kiev, 2006