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 refer 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.


“In the [Yiddish folksong] Hatskele, a poor aunt asks the musicians to play her a kazatskele (a wedding dance of Russian origin), even though she is poor and cannot pay for it. The first part of the melody is of Jewish origin, the latter part is Russian and in keeping with the character of the dance.” Binder 1952, p. 179

“Let the badkhn recite something, otherwise we shall not dance,” several of the guests turned to the band leader. Khaykl danced a kazatske like a clown and turned to the guests...” [Poltava, 1870s].] Bogrov 1874, p. 246

“‘Play a semele for the bride’s aunt!... she is poor, but lively... play a kazattske!’... Sung to a semele-tants.” [Podbroz, near Vilna, Lithuania, c. 1920s-30s]. Cahan 1938, pp. 40 (#69), 305 (#69)

“‘A kozatske’... Beautiful girl, come dance, as long as the circle [‘redl’] whirls around!” [Tshudnov, near Volin]. Cahan 1957, p. 235 (#246)

“Khatskele, Khatskele, play me a kazatskele, even a simple one, as long as it’s a lively one.” [Rovne, near Volin]. Cahan 1957, p. 244 (# 261)

Reb Abe, Reb Abele,/ play me a kazatske!/ though I am poor,/ I am lively.” [Minsk, R]. Cahan 1957, p. 244 (#262)

“‘A kozatske.’” [Tshudnov, near Volin]. Cahan 1957, p. 491 (#246)

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

“Another lively dance, the kazatska was originally performed by the Russian Cossacks, where the Lubavitcher Chasidim may have picked it up... In the center of a circle of men, clapping and stomping out the rhythm of a particular tune, a few dancers bounced vigorously up and down, almost sitting on one heel while the other leg extended in front of them...” Gellerman 1975, pp. 19-20

Kazatzke. Cossack dance.” Harkavi 1928, p. 437

“Yokhim really played well, and not only on the fiddle... Sunday in Kretshme no one played a kozatsshke or a merry Polish ‘krakoviak’ better than him.” [Volhynian village, Ukraine, 1860s]. Korolenko 1901, p. 26

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

“Kozatske.” [New York, 1960s-1990s]. Pasternak 1987, p. 21

Kazatske -- A Yiddishized Russian folk-dance.” Reyzen 1945, p. 6

“Some dances were dedicated to the older people, such as ‘The Dance of the Kazatskies.” In this dance, the oldest male relative dances in order to express his elation and to show his still present strength. A female dancer, waving a handkerchief, danced in a circle around the old man, probably to prevent him from becoming too crowded.” [New York, 1970s]. Seid 1975, p. 15

“We dance all kinds of dances: ... kazatske...” Slobin 1982, p. 28

‘Kozatz’keh:This dance was popular both among Jewish Ukraine and Jewish Poland. There is nothing to distinguish it from the Ukrainian dance. But even here the klezmorim gave it their own musical imprint. (In Yiddish literature the ‘kozatz’keh’ is mentioned much more frequently than the ‘sher.’) Stutschewsky 1959, p. 214

Kazatske (-s) lively Jewish dance of Cossack origin.” Weinreich 1977, p. 356

“All the girlfriends and acquaintances came and we were happy and danced a lot, and the young women performed for us the Kavaliere... the men watched and enjoyed the beautiful spirit of the solo dance, the Russian ‘Kasatzke,’ which was very rich in dance steps.” Wengeroff 1913, I, p. 182

“Kuzatzke.” Zim 1986, p. 74

See also Kozak and Kozatshok.