Hopak

Hopak

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Hopak'
Start a new discussion about 'Hopak'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

Hopak, also referred to as Gopak or Cossack dance, is a Ukrainian dance
Ukrainian dance
Ukrainian dance refers to the traditional folk dances of the peoples of Ukraine.Today, Ukrainian dance is primarily represented by what ethnographers, folklorists and dance historians refer to as "Ukrainian Folk-Stage Dances" , which are stylized representations of traditional dances and their...

. It is performed most often as a solitary concert dance
Concert dance
Concert dance is dance performed for an audience. It is frequently performed in a theatre setting, though this is not a requirement, and it is usually choreographed and performed to set music.By contrast, social dance and participation dance may be performed without an audience and, typically, these...

 by amateur and professional Ukrainian dance ensembles, as well as other performers of folk dance
Folk dance
The term folk dance describes dances that share some or all of the following attributes:*They are dances performed at social functions by people with little or no professional training, often to traditional music or music based on traditional music....

s. It has also been incorporated into larger artistic opuses such as opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

s and ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

s.

The Hopak is often popularly referred to as the "National Dance of Ukraine".

Etymology


The name hopak is derived from the verb hopaty which means "to jump
Jump
Jump may refer to:* Jumping, to propel oneself rapidly upward such that momentum causes the body to become airborne* To get attacked by a group of people e.g...

," as well as the corresponding exclamation hop! which can be uttered during a jump as an expression of surprise or amazement.

History


The Hopak developed initially as a Kozak social dance
Social dance
Social dance is a major category or classification of danceforms or dance styles, where sociability and socializing are the primary focuses of the dancing...

 ' onMouseout='HidePop("9244")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Romanization_of_Ukrainian">translit.
Romanization of Ukrainian
The romanization or Latinization of Ukrainian is the representation of the Ukrainian language using Latin letters. Ukrainian is natively written in its own Ukrainian alphabet, a variation of Cyrillic....

 pobutovi tantsi), and was practiced in the lands of present-day Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 beginning in the 16th century. While the fortified Kozak Sich
Zaporizhian Sich
Zaporizhian Sich was socio-political, grassroot, military organization of Ukrainian cossacks placed beyond Dnieper rapids. Sich existed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the region around the today's Kakhovka Reservoir...

 generally frowned upon amusements and diversions from military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 training, such regulations were overlooked when Kozaks returned victorious after battle. Kobzar
Kobzar
A Kobzar was an itinerant Ukrainian bard who sang to his own accompaniment.-Tradition:Kobzars were often blind, and became predominantly so by the 1800s...

s and other musicians would gather their instruments - violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

s, bagpipes
Bagpipes
Bagpipes are a class of musical instrument, aerophones, using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. Though the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe and Irish uilleann pipes have the greatest international visibility, bagpipes of many different types come from...

, cimbaloms, and fifes
Sopilka
Sopilka is a name applied to a variety of woodwind instruments of the flute family used by Ukrainian folk instrumentalists. Sopilka most commonly refers to a fife made of a variety of materials and has six to ten finger holes...

 - while other participants would dance
Participation dance
Participation dance, also known as group-participation dance or audience participation dance, is a major category or classification of dance forms or dance styles based on purpose. The purpose of this type of dance is to actively encourage dancing in a group...

.


These celebratory hopaky were performed only by male participants, as they took place in an all-male environment. The performers were young, boisterous mercenaries, and not professional dancers; as such, the dance steps performed were predominantly improvisation
Improvisation
Improvisation is the practice of acting, singing, talking and reacting, of making and creating, in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment and inner feelings. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures or symbols, and/or...

al, reflecting the performers' sense of manliness, heroism, speed and strength. The steps exhibited included many acrobatic jumps ' onMouseout='HidePop("66156")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Romanization_of_Ukrainian">translit.
Romanization of Ukrainian
The romanization or Latinization of Ukrainian is the representation of the Ukrainian language using Latin letters. Ukrainian is natively written in its own Ukrainian alphabet, a variation of Cyrillic....

 strybky). Often fights from the battlefield would be re-enacted in pantomime
Pantomime
Pantomime — not to be confused with a mime artist, a theatrical performer of mime—is a musical-comedy theatrical production traditionally found in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Ireland, Gibraltar and Malta, and is mostly performed during the...

, with real swords, lances or other weaponry, as the performer lashed out at invisible enemies. These dances were not tied down to specific rhythms, and the dancers could change tempo
Tempo
In musical terminology, tempo is the speed or pace of a given piece. Tempo is a crucial element of any musical composition, as it can affect the mood and difficulty of a piece.-Measuring tempo:...

 at any point.

Such festive dancing
Ceremonial dance
Ceremonial dance is a major category or classification of dance forms or dance styles, where the purpose is ceremonial or ritualistic.This compares to other major dance categories based on purpose:* Celebration dance** Festival dance...

 differed greatly in character from the older ritual dances ' onMouseout='HidePop("68670")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Romanization_of_Ukrainian">translit.
Romanization of Ukrainian
The romanization or Latinization of Ukrainian is the representation of the Ukrainian language using Latin letters. Ukrainian is natively written in its own Ukrainian alphabet, a variation of Cyrillic....

 obryadovi tantsi), such as the Khorovod
Khorovod
Khorovod is a Slavic art form, a combination of a circle dance and chorus singing, similar to Chorea of ancient Greece.- External links :*...

, which had previously been the dominant choreographic
Choreography
Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself, which is sometimes expressed by means of dance notation. The word choreography literally means "dance-writing" from the Greek words "χορεία" ...

 works in Ruthenian
Ruthenians
The name Ruthenian |Rus']]) is a culturally loaded term and has different meanings according to the context in which it is used. Initially, it was the ethnonym used for the East Slavic peoples who lived in Rus'. Later it was used predominantly for Ukrainians...

 lands. A primary distinction was the gender of the participants - all male - as opposed to the predominantly all-female ritual dances.

With the elevation of Kozak status in the region, hopaky began to appear in the villages within their domain. Unlike the all-male dances found in the Sich, these dances were mixed, with young boys and girls dancing celebratory movements together. While the lead role was retained by male performers, structural elements began to be added in, such as circle forms
Circle dance
"Circle dance" is the most common name for a style of traditional dance usually done in a circle without partners to musical accompaniment.-Description:...

 and pairs moving together in formation; these developments most likely were derived from the choreographic history of ritual dances in the area.

None of the dances performed by Kozaks during this time were ever recorded. Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan recorded the fact that Kozaks danced in such a manner, and other historical accounts verify this. Later, Ivan Kotliarevsky
Ivan Kotlyarevsky
Ivan Petrovych Kotlyarevsky , was a Ukrainian writer, poet and playwright, regarded as the pioneer of modern Ukrainian literature. Kotliarevsky was a veteran of the Russo-Turkish War.- Biography :...

 and Taras Shevchenko
Taras Shevchenko
Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko -Life:Born into a serf family of Hryhoriy Ivanovych Shevchenko and Kateryna Yakymivna Shevchenko in the village of Moryntsi, of Kiev Governorate of the Russian Empire Shevchenko was orphaned at the age of eleven...

 incorporated the Hopak and dancing Kozaks into their works. However, with the destruction of the Sich in the 18th century, the dance survived only in its mixed-gender village format as a celebratory dance.

Concert dance


After Hopak-like dances began to be performed on stage in the 18th century in Serf
SERF
A spin exchange relaxation-free magnetometer is a type of magnetometer developed at Princeton University in the early 2000s. SERF magnetometers measure magnetic fields by using lasers to detect the interaction between alkali metal atoms in a vapor and the magnetic field.The name for the technique...

 and Peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

 theaters, professional dramatic troupes began to incorporate this popular dance into their repertoire. These performances only incorporated the Hopak into a larger opus, such as Kotliarevsky's operetta
Operetta
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre.-Origins:...

 Natalka Poltavka
Natalka Poltavka
Natalka Poltavka is a Ukrainian play written by Ivan Kotlyarevsky.-History:The play was written in 1819 in the Ukrainian language, first performed in 1821 in the city of Kharkiv, though it was not available in print until 1838...

. It was the pioneering work of a performer in a dramatic ensemble, the ethnochoreologist
Ethnochoreology
Ethnochoreology is the study of dance through the application of a number of disciplines such as anthropology, musicology , ethnography, etc. The word, itself, is relatively recent and means, literally, “the study of folk dance”, as opposed to, say, the formalized entertainment of classical...

 Vasyl Verkhovynets
Vasyl Verkhovynets
Vasyl' Mykolayovych Verkhovynets was an actor, conductor, voice teacher, amateur musicologist, balletmaster, choreographer and dance ethnographer He is credited for fundamentally altering the course of Ukrainian dance by devising a method of transcribing dance to paper, recording traditional...

, in the early 20th century, that enable the dance to develop into its current format. Verkhovynets' initial work entailed gathering authentic village steps throughout central Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and constructing dances which more accurately represented the Ukrainian cultural tradition. His break-through, however, was demonstrating that staged Ukrainian dance
Ukrainian dance
Ukrainian dance refers to the traditional folk dances of the peoples of Ukraine.Today, Ukrainian dance is primarily represented by what ethnographers, folklorists and dance historians refer to as "Ukrainian Folk-Stage Dances" , which are stylized representations of traditional dances and their...

 could exist as a distinct performing art, in the form of concert dance
Concert dance
Concert dance is dance performed for an audience. It is frequently performed in a theatre setting, though this is not a requirement, and it is usually choreographed and performed to set music.By contrast, social dance and participation dance may be performed without an audience and, typically, these...

. He and his disciple Vasyl Avramenko
Vasyl Avramenko
Vasyl Kyrylovych Avramenko was a Ukrainian actor, dancer, choreographer, balletmaster, director, and film producer, credited with spreading Ukrainian folk dance across the world...

 began staging performances throughout western Ukraine, forming troupes of dancers in village after village.

In the spring of 1935, the All-Union Organization of Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries agreed to send a delegation to the upcoming First International Festival of the Folk Dance in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Verkhovynets worked with Leonid Zhukov of the T. Shevchenko Kyiv Opera and Ballet
Kiev Opera
The Kiev Opera group was formally established in the summer of 1867, and is the third oldest in Ukraine, after Odessa Opera and Lviv Opera. Today, the Kiev Opera Company performs at the National Opera House of Ukraine named after Taras Shevchenko in Kiev....

, and professional dancers from both the Kyiv and Kharkiv Opera houses, on constructing a suite to represent the Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR was a sovereign Soviet Socialist state and one of the fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union lasting from its inception in 1922 to the breakup in 1991...

. For his part, Verkhovynets choreographed what became known as the "London Hopak" ' onMouseout='HidePop("97575")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Romanization_of_Ukrainian">translit.
Romanization of Ukrainian
The romanization or Latinization of Ukrainian is the representation of the Ukrainian language using Latin letters. Ukrainian is natively written in its own Ukrainian alphabet, a variation of Cyrillic....

 londonskiy hopak): this was a 3-part dance, consisting of a men's dance (much like the original Kozak dance), a second, slower segment danced only by women, and finally a rousing closing with both male and female dancers sharing the stage. This dance, along with Zhukov's addition, won the first prize at the festival that summer. The 3-part Hopak was later reprised in September back in Ukraine as part of the opera, Zaporozhets za Dunayem
Zaporozhets za Dunayem
Zaporozhets za Dunayem Beyond the Danube, also referred to as Cossacks in Exile) is a Ukrainian comic opera with spoken dialogue in three acts with music and libretto by the composer Semen Hulak-Artemovsky . The orchestration has subsequently been rewritten by composers such as Reinhold Glière and...

. The format of the 3-part Hopak was subsequently adopted by many professional folk dance ensembles who have choreographed their own variants of Hopak through the years.

Dance steps


The modern-day Hopak is a choreographed dance made to appear full of improvisation. Much of the seemingly improvised parts involve solo dancers, usually male, performing visually and technically amazing acrobatic feats
Acrobatics
Acrobatics is the performance of extraordinary feats of balance, agility and motor coordination. It can be found in many of the performing arts, as well as many sports...

. These include jumps and spins, and are usually the highlight of the performance.

The rest of the dance includes many movements performed in unison, especially by the female dancers. Male dancers are expected to squat
Squat (exercise)
In strength training, the squat is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quads , hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body...

 repeatedly.

Because of the speed and energy required to perform a successful Hopak, this dance is usually performed at the end of a program. As in many Ukrainian dances, the dancers, especially the women, do not stop moving until the end of the dance.

Hopak music


Music for the Hopak is not standardized by tempo
Tempo
In musical terminology, tempo is the speed or pace of a given piece. Tempo is a crucial element of any musical composition, as it can affect the mood and difficulty of a piece.-Measuring tempo:...

 or melody
Melody
A melody , also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones which is perceived as a single entity...

, although 2/4 time predominates most arrangements. The dance is supposed to evoke a sense of improvisation, so the pace of the music changes from segment to segment, allowing dancers to distinguish themselves. The melodies of the songs Hop, moyi hrechanyky and Vid Kyiva do Lubny can be found in many Hopak arrangements. Hopaks usually end on a fast and furious pace, with some incorporating boisterous Ukrainian marches, such as Zasvystaly kozachen'ky .

A number of composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

s have composed a Hopak as part of an opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 or ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

:

Opera

  • Modest Mussorgsky
    Modest Mussorgsky
    Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky was a Russian composer, one of the group known as 'The Five'. He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period...

    , in The Fair at Sorochyntsi
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский ; often "Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky" in English. His names are also transliterated "Piotr" or "Petr"; "Ilitsch", "Il'ich" or "Illyich"; and "Tschaikowski", "Tschaikowsky", "Chajkovskij"...

    , in Mazepa
    Mazeppa (opera)
    Mazeppa, properly Mazepa , is an opera in 3 acts by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto was written by Victor Burenin and is based on Pushkin's poem Poltava....

  • Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, in May Night
    May Night
    May Night is an opera in three acts, four scenes, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov from a libretto by the composer and is based on Nikolai Gogol's story May Night, or the Drowned Maiden, from his collection Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka....

  • Semen Hulak-Artemovsky
    Semen Hulak-Artemovsky
    Semen Stepanovych Hulak-Artemovsky , was a Ukrainian opera composer, singer , actor, and dramatist who lived and worked in Imperial Russia....

    , in Zaporozhets za Dunayem
    Zaporozhets za Dunayem
    Zaporozhets za Dunayem Beyond the Danube, also referred to as Cossacks in Exile) is a Ukrainian comic opera with spoken dialogue in three acts with music and libretto by the composer Semen Hulak-Artemovsky . The orchestration has subsequently been rewritten by composers such as Reinhold Glière and...


Ballet

  • Aram Khachaturian
    Aram Khachaturian
    Aram Ilyich Khachaturian was a prominent Soviet composer. Khachaturian's works were often influenced by classical Russian music and Armenian folk music...

    , in Gayane
  • Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi
    Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi
    Vasily Pavlovich Solovyov-Sedoi was a Russian classical composer who was born and died in Saint Petersburg.Solovyov-Sedoi composed the music for the songs Solovi and Moscow Nights...

    , in Taras Bulba
  • Cesare Pugni
    Cesare Pugni
    Cesare Pugni was an Italian composer of ballet music, a pianist and a violinist. In his early career he composed operas, symphonies, and various other forms of orchestral music. Pugni is most noted for the ballets he composed while serving as Composer of the Ballet Music to Her Majesty's Theatre...

    , in The Little Humpbacked Horse
  • Anatoliy Sviechnikov, in Marusia Bohuslavka

In popular culture


Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 once famously forced his eventual successor Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 (who had been the communist party chief in Ukraine) to dance the Hopak.

Hopak was performed as a part of the choreographic
Choreography
Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself, which is sometimes expressed by means of dance notation. The word choreography literally means "dance-writing" from the Greek words "χορεία" ...

 suite
Suite
In music, a suite is an ordered set of instrumental or orchestral pieces normally performed in a concert setting rather than as accompaniment; they may be extracts from an opera, ballet , or incidental music to a play or film , or they may be entirely original movements .In the...

 Friendship of Peoples by people in Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 folk costumes during the opening ceremony of the 1980 Summer Olympics
1980 Summer Olympics
The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Moscow in the Soviet Union. In addition, the yachting events were held in Tallinn, and some of the preliminary matches and the quarter-finals of the football tournament...

 on the field of the Central Lenin Stadium
Luzhniki
Luzhniki may refer to:*Luzhniki , a village in Moscow Oblast, Russia*Luzhniki Olympic Complex, sport complex in Moscow, Russia.**Luzhniki Palace of Sports, an arena in Luzhniki Olympic Complex...

. With a large sector of the tribune under the Olympic Flame
Olympic Flame
The Olympic Flame or Olympic Torch is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was reintroduced at the 1928...

 Cauldron coloured in Ukrainian folk pattern during the performance.

In 1990, twenty members of the State Folk Dance Ensemble of the Ukrainian SSR
P. Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble
P. Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble is a world-renowned Ukrainian dance company based out of Ukraine, well known for its innovative approach to the art form. The ensemble was created in 1937 by Pavlo Virsky and Mykola Bolotov, and guided by Pavlo Virsky until his death in 1975. During...

, split off and created the Hopak! Ukrainian Dance Company, Ukraine's first independent professional dance company, under the direction of Sergei Makarov.

In the first decade of the 2000s, the music has been extensively used for Anna Bessonova
Anna Bessonova
Anna Bessonova is an Individual Rhythmic Gymnast who was born in Kiev, Ukraine. Her father is the Dynamo Kiev football player Vladimir Bessonov and her mother, Viktoria, was a two time world champion group rhythmic gymnast....

 and Natalia Godunko
Natalia Godunko
Natalia Godunko Ukrainian: Наталія Годунко Natalija Godunko is an Individual Rhythmic Gymnast. She started rhythmic gymnastics in 1990 at age 6. She trains in Kiev under the mother/daughter coaching team of Albina and Irina Deriugina...

 in their routines of rhythmic gymnastics
Rhythmic gymnastics
Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport in which individuals or teams of competitors manipulate one or two pieces of apparatus: rope, clubs, hoop, ball, ribbon and Free . An individual athlete only manipulates 1 apparatus at a time...

; these two famous rhythmic gymnasts are natives of Ukraine.

External links