Kozachok (Little Cossack). A folk dance for male-female pairs, which emerged among the Cossacks in the 16th century; hence its name. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was performed throughout Ukraine and also in the noble courts of Poland, Hungary, Russia, France, and other countries. The dance has a rapid to very rapid tempo and is at times accompanied by a contrasting slow, lyrical, musical introduction. The basic moves are bihunok, dorizhka, vykhyliasnyk, virovochka, prystup, prypadannia, and (for males only) prysiadka. Their dynamic interplay in various formations produces a sophisticated and complex choreographic image. The main weight falls on the women's parts, and competitions between groups of dancers and individuals frequently occur in the dance. The accompanying music is rhythmic and is played at 2/4 time. kozachok melodies were used in Polish operas and ballets of the 18th century and by Mykola Arkas, Lev Revutsky, Roman Simovych, Anatolii Kolomyiets, Stanyslav Liudkevych, Vitalii Kyreiko, and other Ukrainian composers.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]