Pas d’espagne (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.


“This song no doubt originated with a dance under the influence of the melody, during a moment when the ‘tantsfirer’ gave his instructions. The singer’s note is interesting: ‘The song was sung among us to a dance, to a padespan or to another type of dance (I have already forgotten the name). I think that shabos day, when we used to converge on a room to dance in addition to singing, my father used to say: when boys dance with girls, demons dance between their feet.’” Cahan 1957, p. 489 (#217)

Lancelot, Kutzatsky, Bulgar, Pas d’Espagne, Vingerka, Waltz, forms of popular Russian, Polish, and Rumanian dances.” EncyJud 1971, p. 1266

“There are also ‘cosmopolitan repertoire’ couple dances of Western and Central European origin’ such as lances, pa de span, padekater, quadrille, polka, waltz, etc...played for both Jews and non-Jews.” Feldman 1994, p. 10

The Quadrille and Lancelot, Kutztski, Bulgar, Pas d’Espagne, Vingerka: derived from the national dances o other countries (Russia, Poland, Roumania, etc.).” Lapson 1943, p. 461

“I still remember well from my childhood dances that were ‘modern’ such as pas d’espagne, pas de quatre... These dances were only popular among the younger generation.” Stutschewsky 1959, p. 169, n. 58