Tune of the Day: Russian Dance
The “Trepak” is certainly one of the most distinguished and celebrated dances in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker. One of several consecutive ethnic dances in the ballet, it is based on the traditional Ukrainian folk dance known in Ukrainian as the Tropak. This is a bravura dance in 2/4 time performed exclusively by men, featuring deep squats and split leaps.
The “Trepak”, which often also goes under the name “Russian Dance”, constitutes an excellent example of Tchaikovsky's work, flush with his common use of Russian and Ukrainian folk melodies.
The tune is used in the celebrated Disney film Fantasia, when flowers take the place of the Cossack dancers, thistles resembling men in fur hats and orchids as women with bonnets. Disney also used the tune in the Care Bears show.