Gopak


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Gopak

 

(Ukrainian hopak; from hop, an exclamation uttered while dancing; from it come the verbs hopati [to stamp] and hopkati [to jump]), a Ukrainian folk dance, mainly for men. It includes jumps, prisiadkas (steps executed by extending the legs alternately forward from a squatting position), and turns and often is of a grand, heroic character.

The vocal and instrumental melodies of the gopak are also often performed as independent musical pieces among the people. Folk melodies of the gopak and the genre itself have been used in many works by Russian and Ukrainian composers—in Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera May Night, Mussorgsky’s opera The Sorochintsy Fair, Tchaikovsky’s opera Mazeppa, Gulak-Artemovskii’s opera The Zaporozhian Cossack Beyond the Danube, Lysenko’s opera The Aeneid, Pu-gni’s ballet The Little Humpbacked Horse, Solov’ev-Sedoi’s ballet Taras Bul’ba, Khachaturian’s ballet Gayane, and Svechnikov’s ballet Marusia Boguslavka. One movement of Shtogarenko’s symphonic suite In Memoriam of Lesia Ukrainka bears the name gopak.

A. I. GUMENIUK

References in periodicals archive ?
These, of course, included such classic Moiseyeviana, all present in that first 1958 outing, as The Partisans, with its startling images of horsemen and wartime combat, the amusing pomposity of Old City Quadrille, the delightfully surprising Two Boys in a Fight, and finally, the ceaselessly amazing powerhouse virtuosity of the Gopak.
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The concluding Gopak, the best known of all Russian folk dances, with its deep knee bends, powerful kicks, and high jumps, lacked the fire I remember from the last time I saw the Moiseyev.