Shtoktants (LKT)

This entry is part of the Lexicon of Klezmer Terminology (LKT). The LKT compiles a wide array of source materials that shed light on the historical and contemporary state of knowledge about klezmer music. Each entry includes a number of citations from primary and secondary sources that include or refers to the term in question. It also indicates whether musical notation or sound recordings are included in the source. By clicking on the bibliographic hyperlink at the end of each citation, you get the full reference.


Shtok.” Beregovski/Goldin 1987, # 217-18. (Musical notation included). 

“...This old man is the expert in the ‘shtoktants,’ the ‘stick dance’... he turns to Avrem’l the klezmer, calling for ‘a doyne,’ requesting that they play the Romanian-Gypsy ‘doyne’ melody for him...” . Fridhaber 1978a, p. 7

“... a Jew with a long gray beard... carrying a cane in his hand, he pushes his way to the center of the circle. The old man is an expert in the ‘Shtocktants’ (‘Dance of the Stick’). Immediately, a circle of young scholars forms around the old man. The circle remains just wide enough for the old man to freely swing the stick as he dances. The old man commandingly turns to Abramele the Klezmer and asks for a doyna, a Rumanian gypsy melody. The old man bends to the earth and moves his cane to mark the space he needs so that he does not hit anyone while he dances. Then the dance itself begins. The old man falls on his knees, his whole body bent forward. He begins to swing the cane with great speed in front of him, and then he makes a figure eight with it by his sides and above his head. This takes quite a long time, causing his whole body to shake. Gradually, he raises himself from the ground while swinging the cane in time to the msuic and accelerating the tempo. When he is on his feet in upright position, he begins to leap. Occasionally a young scholar, also holding a cane, joins him and they both dance together. They face each other and dance with quick movments, their bodies twisting and their canes swinging without stop.

There is a second type of ‘Shtocktants’ which is even more acrobatic. The dancer puts a pencil in his mouth and on the end of this balances a cane. He dances like this for a long time (sometimes ten or fifteen minutes)....” Friedhaber 1975, pp. 27-28