Dance songs

Dance songs. A genre of Ukrainian folk culture. Dance songs either accompany folk dances or are themselves accompanied by dances. The interrelation of song and dance in works of this genre is manifested in three principal forms. (1) The Khorovod (a dance game), in which lyrics, dance, and melody are organically united and dramatized. Khorovody echo ancient syncretic ritual elements in folk culture. (2) Dance songs proper, compositions sung to dance melodies during the performance of the dances. These include songs to accompany the metelytsia, hopak, kozachok, etc. Their themes include relations between young men and women, jokes, flirtation, rendezvous, thoughts of marriage, courtship, family life, weddings, infidelity, grandparents, godparents, etc. This group also includes genre dances: flax, buckwheat, smiths', reapers', shoemakers', and coopers' dances, as well as the vasylykha and uvyvanets. Kolomyiky constitute a separate group. (3) Songs with dance accompaniment, such as the tryndychky, usually performed without musical accompaniment at family gatherings. There is a separate group of folk songs to accompany polkas, mazurkas, krakowiaks, csárdáses, and waltzes.

Hnatiuk, V. ‘Kolomyiky,’ EZ, 17-19 (Lviv 1905–7)
Zhinkin, N. ‘Krakoviaky i kolomyiky,’ Materiialy do etnolohiï i antropolohiï, 21–2 (Lviv 1929)
Ihry ta pisni (Kyiv 1963)
Tantsiuval'ni pisni (Kyiv 1970)

Petro Odarchenko

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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