ARKAN

Ukrainian

 
PRONUNCIATION: ahr-KAHN
 
TRANSLATION: The word "Arkan" refers to a "lariat" and is the step that the men perform while dancing around a fire. It is also known as Arkan Kolomijskij.
 
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Vince Evanchuk. Dick Crum also taught the dance, having learned it from Michael Herman, and Hugh Thurston taught it having learned it from K. Kubilansky.
 
BACKGROUND: This is a men's dance of the Hutsul people of the Carpathian Mountain region of the western Ukraine. There is no fixed sequence to the various figures; the men perform the figures according to the calls of the leader, who has the privilege of calling those figures he wishes, when and as long as he wishes.
 
MUSIC: Star (45 rpm), S-8410-A
Colonial (33 rpm), COL-LP202, side B
Columbia (78 rpm), 27252
Ethnic Folkways Library (33 rpm), FE-4535, Band 2
Harmony (78 rpm), 78 001-A
 
FORMATION: Not less than six men in a line and preferably eight or more but with an even number. Leader is at the right end of the line and often carries a mountaineer's axe in his right hand. Arms are on neighbors' shoulders in "T" position.
 
METER/RHYTHM: 2/4
 
STEPS/STYLE: Feet are kept low to the floor and the toe is turned down and out.

The dance consists of a basic step and of a successjon of fancy steps, each with its call. The call for the basic step is "Pishov!" (Pee-SHOW! - "Let's go!") and when this is called, the basic step is repeated until the leader calls for the next step. He can allow the basic step to continue as many or as few times as he likes before he makes the next call.

The first movement of the first basic step of a sequence is always performed with a stamp (with wt). After each fancy step, there is always a basic step; the dance never goes from one fancy step directly into another except between Bat'ko Spyt and Bat'ko Vstav.

In most versions of Arkan, the music does not control the steps to any great extent. There is, for example, no attempt to start a new step at the beginning of the tune.

It is not necessary to dance all figures notated here in any one dance.


MEASMOVEMENT DESCRIPTION

 
 INTRODUCTION
 
  None.
 
I.  SWAY (No call)
 
1 Sway right (ct 1); hold (ct 2).
2 Sway left (ct 1); hold (ct 2).
 
3-? Repeat action of meas 1-2.
 
  NOTE: As soon as the leader feels the beat of the music he begins to sway to the right and left (one sway per meas). This Fig is danced until the leader sees that all are ready. When they are, he yells out "Raz!" (RAHZ! - "One!") on the first beat of a meas; "Dva!" (DVAH! - "Two!") on the first beat of the following meas; "Tri!" (TREE! - "Three!") on the first beat of the third meas; and "Pishov!" (pee-SHOHV! - "Let's go!") with the "-shov!" coming on the first beat of the last meas.
 
II.  PISHOV! (pee-SHOW!) - "Let's go!" (Basic step after swaying)
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
  NOTE: The first beat of a basic step sequence begins with a stamp of the R (with wt).
1 Step R to R, using a smooth, gliding movement, and straightening up (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2).
2 Step R to R (ct 1); hop R, swinging L up across in front of R, with the lower leg actually doing the swinging (ct 2).
3 Step L to L, almost in place (ct 1); hop L, swinging R up across in front of L in a tight arc (ct 2).
 

NOTE: This Fig is continued until the next call for a fancy step is made.

 
III.  RAZ PRYBYJ! (rahz-PRIBEE) - "One knock (scuff)"
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
  NOTE: The first beat of a basic step sequence begins with a stamp of the R (with wt).
1 Step R to R, using a smooth, gliding movement, and straightening up (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2).
2 Step R to R (ct 1); hop R, swinging L up across in front of R, with the lower leg actually doing the swinging (ct 2).
3 Step L to L, almost in place (ct 1); scuff R heel fwd beside L ft, moving it fwd and to the R in a small outward curve (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: This Fig is continued until the leader calls for another time or "Pishov!" Often the leader will "call" subsequent repeats of this Fig with phrases like "Toj zamij!" (toy za-MEE - "same again") or "Za tuta!" (zah TOO-tah - "for papa"), "Za mamu!" (zah MAH-moo - "for mama"), "Za divchinu krasnu!" (zah deev-CHEE-noo KRAHS-noo - "for a pretty girl"), indicating that each scuff is humorously "dedicated" to the person named. When the caller feels that dancers have done this Fig long enough, he again calls "Pishov!" and dancers resume the basic step.
 
IV.  STROPACHKOM! (stroh-pah-KOHM) - "With a double stamp" (At beginning of basic step)
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Step R to R, using a smooth, gliding movement, and straightening up (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2).
2 Step R to R (ct 1); hop R, swinging L up across in front of R, with the lower leg actually doing the swinging (ct 2).
& Moving R ft to R, stamp R lightly on the way twd stepping with R on ct & of the previous meas.
1 Stamp R to R, taking wt (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2).
2 Step R to R (ct 1); hop R, swinging L up across in front of R (ct 2).
3 Step L to L, almost in place (ct 1); hop L swinging R up across in front of L (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: The caller signals "Pishov!" after a number of repeats of this Fig and dancers resume the basic step.
 
V.  RAZ PIDKIVKA! (RAHZ pid-KEEV-kah) - "Kick Under One horseshoe" (One heel click)
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Step R to R, using a smooth, gliding movement, and straightening up (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2).
2 Step R to R (ct 1); hop R, swinging L up across in front of R, with the lower leg actually doing the swinging (ct 2).
3 Step L in place (ct 1); hop L, moving R and clicking R heel against L heel (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: Dancers resume the basic step.
 
VI.  DVA PIDKIVKA! (DVAH pid-KEEV-kah) - "Kick Under Two horseshoes" (Two heel clicks)
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Step R to R, using a smooth, gliding movement, and straightening up (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2).
2 Step R to R (ct 1); hop R, swinging L up across in front of R, with the lower leg actually doing the swinging (ct 2).
3 Step L in place (ct 1); hop L, moving R and clicking R heel against L heel (ct 2).
4 Step L in place (ct 1); hop L, moving R and clicking R heel against L heel (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: This is the same step as Raz Pidkivka with an additional hop-click added for a total of two, after which dancers resume the basic step.
 
VII.  TRI PIDKIVKA! (TREE pid-KEEV-kah) - "Kick Under Three horseshoes" (Three heel clicks)
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Step R to R, using a smooth, gliding movement, and straightening up (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2).
2 Step R to R (ct 1); hop R, swinging L up across in front of R, with the lower leg actually doing the swinging (ct 2).
3 Step L in place (ct 1); hop L, moving R and clicking R heel against L heel (ct 2).
4 Step L in place (ct 1); hop L, moving R and clicking R heel against L heel (ct 2).
5 Step L in place (ct 1); hop L, moving R and clicking R heel against L heel (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: This is the same step as "Dva Pidkivka" with yet an additional hop-click added for a total of three, after which dancers resume the basic step.
 
VIII.  PIDKIVKA BEZKONECHNO! (pid-KEEV-kah behz-koh-NECH-noh) - "Kick Under Endless Horseshoes" (Heel clicks until next call)
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Step R to R, using a smooth, gliding movement, and straightening up (ct 1); step L behind R (ct 2).
2 Step R to R (ct 1); hop R, swinging L up across in front of R, with the lower leg actually doing the swinging (ct 2).
3-? Step L in place (ct 1); hop L, moving R and clicking R heel against L heel (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: This is the same step as Tri Pidkivka with additional hop-clicks added (usually seven or more) until the end of a convenient musical phrase, depending on the caller, who calls "Pishov!" and dancers resume the basic step.
 
IV.  PRESCHID S PERESKOKOM! (PREH-sheed peh-rehs-koh-KOHM) - "Sit Toward and Kick Over" (Squat-kick-cross-kicks)
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); stand upright with wt on L and R extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
2 Step across L with R bending knees slightly (ct 1); stand upright with wt on R and L extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
3 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); stand upright with wt on R and L extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
4 Step across R with L bending knees slightly (ct 1); stand upright with wt on L and R extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: This Fig is continued until the leader calls "Pishov!" and dancers resume the basic step.
 
V.  SHIST' ZMINI! (sheest zmih-NEE) - "Six changes" (Cross overs)
 
  Using the last measure of a basic step, wheel around on L ft while swinging R knee up and around to face L in RLOD:
1 Step on ball of R, straightening knee and straightening body to full height and move to L (ct 1); with marked accent, close L to a pos practically underneath raised R heel, putting full wt on L with a relaxed knee (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: The action during ct 2 is almost a short, low, accented leap. L knee flexes during this movement and R knee is raised sharply quite high with R pointing downward. This entire movement is in sharp contrast to the very erect position on ct 1.
 
2-5 Repeat Fig V, meas 1, four more times.
6 Step R (ct 1); wheel around on R ft while swinging L knee up and around to face R in LOD (ct 2).
7 Step on ball of L, straightening knee and straightening body to full height and move to R (ct 1); with marked accent, close R to a pos practically underneath raised L heel, putting full wt on R with a relaxed knee (ct 2).
8-12 Repeat action of meas 7 five more times.
 
  NOTE: Dancers resume the basic step.
 
VI.  HAJDUK RAZ! (hai-dook RAHZ) - "One brigand step" (Squat and stamps)
 
  Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); straighten up, rising on both ft (ct 2).
2 Stamp R in place shouting Raz! (ct 1); stamp in place shouting Dva! (ct 2).
3 Stamp R in place shouting "I teper!" (ee teh-PEHR! - And then!) (ct 1); stamp R in place shouting "Pi-" (ct 1); stamp R in place shouting ("-shov!") (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: Dancers resume the basic step.
 
VII.  HAJDUK DVA! (hai-dook DVAH) - Two brigand steps. (Two squats)
 
  Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); straighten up, rising on both ft (ct 2).
2 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); straighten up, rising on both ft (ct 2).
3 Stamp R in place shouting Raz! (ct 1); stamp in place shouting Dva! (ct 2).
4 Stamp R in place shouting "I teper!" (ee teh-PEHR! - And then!) (ct 1); stamp R in place shouting "Pi-" (ct 1); stamp R in place shouting ("-shov!") (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: Dancers resume the basic step.
 
VIII.  HAJDUK TRI! (hai-dook TREE) - Three brigand steps. (Three squats)
 
  Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); straighten up, rising on both ft (ct 2).
2 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); straighten up, rising on both ft (ct 2).
3 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); straighten up, rising on both ft (ct 2).
4 Stamp R in place shouting Raz! (ct 1); stamp in place shouting Dva! (ct 2).
5 Stamp R in place shouting "I teper!" (ee teh-PEHR! - And then!) (ct 1); stamp R in place shouting "Pi-" (ct 1); stamp R in place shouting ("-shov!") (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: Dancers resume the basic step.
 
IX.  BAT'KO SPYT! (baht-koh SPIT) - "Papa's sleeping" (Heads down)
 
  Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Place R next to left and lower head to look at the ground while holding still (cts 1-2).
3-? Remain still with head down until the leader calls Bat'ko Vstav.
 
X.  BAT'KO VSTAV! (baht-koh 'STAHV) - "Papa's awake" (Heads up)
 
1-? Remaining still, all bring heads up to face fwd until leader calls "Pishov!"
 
  NOTE: Dancers resume the basic step.
 
XI.  GVISDA! (GVEES-dah) - "Star" (Alternate M ft to ctr)
 
1-? Dancers join hands in "V" pos and walk CCW in LOD.

When the leader signals with two stamps, alternate M, not releasing hands, move feet twd ctr until they are practically prone with only their heels touching the floor together in the ctr.

Outside M, supporting them, continue moving CCW and those forming the "star" drum their heels in the ctr as the Fig revolves.

The leader again stamps twice and the prone M back up, straghtening to walk with the other M. At the leader's two stamps, the other M make the star (leader's signal when he is in the ctr is "Raz! Dva!"

Exceptionally good native dancers come out of the star with a back flip.

At the end of the star, the leader signals "Pishov!" and dancers replace arms on shldrs dance the basic step.

 
XII.  A NA MISCE TROPACHOK! (ah nah MEE-sheh troh-pah-CHOHK) - "Double stamps in place" (Syncopated stamps)
 
& Stamp R in place without wt (ct &).
1 Stamp R in place taking wt (ct &); Stamp L in place without wt (ct &).
2 Stamp L in place taking wt (ct 1); hop L, raising R knee (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: These movements continue until the leader calls "Pishov!"
 
  NOTE: Dancers resume the basic step.
 
XIII.  TRI ZMINI HAJDUK TRI (tree zmee-NEE hai-dook TRI) - "Three changes, three brigand steps" (Crosses, squats, double stamps)
 
  Using the last measure of a basic step, wheel around on L ft while swinging R knee up and around to face L in RLOD:
1 Step on ball of R, straightening knee and straightening body to full height and move to L (ct 1); with marked accent, close L to a pos practically underneath raised R heel, putting full wt on L with a relaxed knee (ct 2).
  NOTE: The action during ct 2 is almost a short, low, accented leap. L knee flexes during this movement and R knee is raised sharply quite high with R pointing downward. This entire movement is in sharp contrast to the very erect position on ct 1.
2 Repeat Fig V, meas 1, one more time.
3 Step R (ct 1); wheel around on R ft while swinging L knee up and around to face R in LOD (ct 2).
4 Step on ball of L, straightening knee and straightening body to full height and move to R (ct 1); with marked accent, close R to a pos practically underneath raised L heel, putting full wt on R with a relaxed knee (ct 2).
5 Repeat action of meas 4 one more time.
6 Step R (ct 1); wheel around on L ft while swinging R knee up and around to face ctr (ct 2).
7 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); straighten up, rising on both ft (ct 2).
8 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); straighten up, rising on both ft (ct 2).
9 Stamp R in place shouting Raz! (ct 1); stamp in place shouting Dva! (ct 2).
10 Stamp R in place shouting "I teper!" (ee teh-PEHR! - And then!) (ct 1); stamp R in place shouting "Pi-" (ct 1); stamp R in place shouting ("-shov!") (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: Dancers resume the basic step.
 
XIV.  HAJDUK KRUT! (hai-dook KROOT) - "Brigand twist" - (Usually 16 but may be more or less)
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); jump halfway up from knee bend onto balls of both ft, both knees and both toes pointing to L (ct 2).
2-15 Repeat action of meas 1 fourteen more times.
16 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); jump to complete standing pos (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: The leader calls "Pishov!" and dancers resume the basic step.
 
XV.  PRESCHIDS VEKID (PREH-sheeds VEH-keed) - "Sit toward and exit" -
 
& Swing R ft up sharply across in front of L leg in an arc (ct & of prev meas).
1 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); stand upright with wt on R and L extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
2-3 Repeat action of meas 1 two more times.
4 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); stand upright with wt on L and R extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
5 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); stand upright with wt on R and L extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
6-7 Repeat action of meas 1 one more time.
8 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); stand upright with wt on L and R extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
9 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); stand upright with wt on R and L extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
10 Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); stand upright with wt on L and R extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
11-? Squat on balls of both ft with back straight and upright and knees down forward and open outward (ct 1); stand upright with wt on L and R extended down and outward with toe pointed (ct 2).
 
  NOTE: As this is the last step in a performance, the dancers break the cir at the leader who leads them off the floor continuing to dance meas 11, called "Preschids Vbeek" (PREH-sheeds VBEEK) or "Sit toward the side."
 
  OTHER STEPS
 
  There are many other steps available to the native dancer such as:

Kolesenyam (Rocking or sissor-kicks),
Kosache Mareshka (Cossak's pas-de-bas with high knees),
Kosache Vehenenya (Cossack's bending),
Kosache Vepad (Cossack's fall),
Mareshka (Pas-de-bas with high knees),
Nono Krut (Leg turns),
Preschid Khrest (Squats and crosses),
Preschids Kolesenyam (Sit toward with rocking),
Preschids Potalke (Sit toward),
Podveny Krut (Double turns),
Shist Zmini Hyduk Dva (Crosses, squats, stamps),
and
Vyhynanya (Raise the foot to the knee and kick it forward).

Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes