PRONUNCIATION: ZAI-koh koh-koh-RAI-koh
TRANSLATION: "Rabbit dance," from the Macedonian word Zajak, meaning rabbit.
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Rubi Vučeta, a prominent Balkan dance leader and teacher in the 1950s and 1960s in the Los Angeles, California, area. Both Yves Moreau and Dick Crum also learned the dance from Rubi. Yves subsequently taught the dance at a workshop in May of 1969 as "Skopska Zaramo" and Dick taught it as "Zajko Kokorajko" on his teaching tours in the 1970s.
BACKGROUND: Zajko Kokorajko is a humorous song about a young rabbit who dresses up in the finery of a young bachelor and goes off to Thessalonika to find a bride. In Macedonia, a dance game is performed to "Zajko Kokorajko" in which a bumbling "hunter" with a toy gun tries with comic antics to bag a couple of "rabbits."
MUSIC:Festival (45rpm) F-4001
Jugoton (10" LP) EPY 3009
Jugoton (LP) LPY-64
Mediterranean (45rpm) M-4001
FORMATION:Lines of mixed M and W either with joined hands held down at sides ("V" pos), or grasping neighbors' belts in "X" pos with R arm under and end dancers' thumbs tucked into own belts.
METER/RHYTHM: 2/4. The rhythm is in 3 accented dancer's beats of SLOW (cts 1&), quick (ct 2), quick (ct &).
STEPS/STYLE: LIFT: A low hop in which the heel does not leave the floor.


1-16INTRODUCTION - (Instrumental) - No action. Begin dance with vocal.
1Facing ctr, step R swd (ct 1); rise on R (ct 2); step L across in front of R (ct &);
2Step R slightly swd (ct 1); step L next to R (ct 2); step R next to L (ct &);
3Step L slightly swd, bending L knee slightly and quickly bringing R heel to L ankle (ct 1); rise on L, bringing R in back of L ankle (ct 2); step R across in back of L (ct &);
4Step L swd (ct 1); low leap R across in front of L, bending slightly at hips (ct 2); pause (ct &).
 Repeat action of the basic motif (except that dancers hold pos on ct 1 of meas 1 that was assumed at end of meas 4) until leader signals for a change.
 Variation I -- (SIDE-SIDE)
1-3Repeat action of meas 1-3 of the basic motif (with the slightly bent pos hold only on the first time through);
4Low leap L swd, bringing R twd L (ct 1); low leap R swd, bringing L twd R (ct 2);
5Countering the basic rhythm, step L swd (ct 1); step R across in back of L (ct &); step L swd (ct 2).
 Repeat action of Var I until leader signals for a change.
 NOTE: Some dancers like to add a quick low pickup hop on L after ct & of the previous meas and before ct 1 of meas 1 on repetitions of this var.
 Variation II: -- (SIDE-SIDE/HEEL-TOE)
1-5Repeat action of Var I, meas 1-5;
6Rise on L, touching R heel fwd in front of L (ct 1); rise on L, touching R toe next to outside of L instep (ct 2).
 Repeat action of Var II until leader signals for a change.
 NOTE: Other variations are probable.


Storil niet zajko, zajko kokorajko
Zajko da se ženi, zajko serbezlija
Si natresl gaki, uperčil mustaki
Nagrnal džamadan, kapa piskulija.
More! Sjelska visitarka!
Mi posvršil zajko, lina udovica
Kitka na kitena, maza razmalžena
Posnata džimrika, svetska izposlica.
More! Sjelska visitarke!
Mi pokanil zajko, kiteni svatovi
Mečka mesarija, vučica kumica
Žaba zurladžika, ežo tupandžija
Oven espadžija, murdžo aberdžija.
Zajko kokorajko
si Natresl gaki, uperčil mustaki
Nagrnal džamadan, kapa piskulija
More! Tokmo mladožena!
Pa mi trgnal zajko, niz Solunsko pole,
Da si vidi zajko lisa udovica
Tam si najde zajko, mesto lindralija
Kvačko so pilinja, teška miradžika
Lički za nevesta!
Koga vide zajko, toa čudno čudo
Pa mi letna zajko nazad na tragovi
Tam si sretna zajko, do dva-tri lovdžiji
Em oni si nosat puški sačmaliji
More! 'Rti em zagari!
Pa mi presna zajko, zajko da mi bega
Si iskinal gaki, razmrsil mustaki
Iskinal džamadan, vikna se provikna
More! Nesum mladožena!
  Rabbit made a plan, popeyed Rabbit,
That he would get married, hot-shot Rabbit.
He pulled on his trousers, twirled his moustache,
Got into his jacket and his fez.
Hey, just like a bridegroom!
Rabbit got engaged to Widow Fox,
A flowery bouquet, a spoiled pet,
A well-known fussy eater, an avoider of work,
The village fussbudget!
Rabbit invited his wedding party:
A she-bear butcher, a she-wolf godmother,
A frog to play zurla, a hedgehog for drummer
A ram for bookkeeper, a watchdog wedding-crier.
Pop-eyed Rabbit
Pulled on his trousers, twirled his mustache,
Got into his jacket and his fez.
Hey, just like a bridegroom!
Then Rabbit set off through the region of Salonika
To see Widow Fox.
There Rabbit found, instead of a sleek fox,
A hen with chicks, a heavy dowry,
It looks like the bride!
When Rabbit saw this wondrous wonder,
Rabbit flew back on his tracks.
Then Rabbit met with two or three hunters,
And they had guns,
And hunting dogs!
Rabbit shot off running,
Lost his trousers, messed up his mustache,
Threw off his jacket, cried out,
"Hey, I’m not a bridegroom!"

Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes