Encyclopedia of dance: Kolomiyka


Cheerful, cheerful kolomiyka reflects all the musical, dance and song richness of the Carpathian region of Ukraine

Kolomiyka (kolomyika) is a Ukrainian folk dance of the Carpathian region or short songs-refrains that accompany the dance or exist independently. Like all types of folk art, kolomiykas have been actively developing throughout history, absorbing new content characteristic of this historical period. Thus, kolomyikas are always relevant.

History of occurrence

The exact time of the appearance of the kolomiyka is not known, it is only known that it was quite a long time ago. But the name itself accurately indicates the place where this amazing genre of Ukrainian song and dance art was born. This is the city of Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk region. Kolomyia is an amazingly beautiful place: the Carpathians create an unusually spectacular panorama. This city is called the «Gate of the Carpathians»: almost all tourist routes pass here. The very air, it would seem, inspires creativity, and the picturesque nature encourages everyone to go outside to get together in a cheerful kolomiyka.

At first, the dance was distributed only in Kolomyia itself, and in the middle of the 19th century it spread throughout the Carpathian, Carpathian and Transcarpathian regions. Now kolomiyka is a dance popular throughout Ukraine. Cheerful, comic songs are replenished with new relevant content and are performed with pleasure both on the professional stage and at household holidays. Ukrainians cherish their song and dance art. At the end of August, annually, the International Hutsul festival «Kolomiyka» takes place in the city of Kolomyia.

What is a kolomiyka?

Kolomiyka is a dance accompanied by singing. Short verses are combined together, but do not have a constant content, but can change depending on the circumstances or the desire of the performer. In Russian folklore, ditties are an analogue. The word size of the kolomiyka consists of two rows, in which the words are placed in 14 syllables each. The exact size led to laconicism, the search for accurate poetic images. Over time, kolomiykas were polished, honed, and now we have examples of folk art, tested and improved by time. Here is an example of a stanza from the Boiko kolomiyka:

«Oh cheerful Kolomyia, cheerful and lively,

And the earth trembled from that lump.»

After the verse, there is usually a chorus or a break.


Types of kolomiyka

Kolomiyka is most common in the west of Ukraine. Distinguish:

  • Hutsul kolomyyki
  • Boikovsky kolomiyka

Ivano-Frankivsk region is a Hutsul region of Ukraine. Accordingly, the Hutsul kolomiyka is built on the Hutsul dance movements. The dance uses a springy step, haiduk, chesanka, sboyka, Hutsul squats, cabbage rolls, twists and others.

Boykovskaya kolomiyka is common in the Carpathian region, Lviv region. It is distinguished from the Hutsul one by other melodies, a different musical and dance specificity.

In general, these dances are similar and have much in common. The word «kolomiyka» comes from the word «kolo», which means «circle». Therefore, all varieties of this dance are characterized by the creation of one large circle, breaking it into several small ones, transitions from circle to circle.


This dance has a fast pace. Sometimes the dance is divided into two parts — slow and fast. The dances of Kolomiyka, Hutsulka, Verkhovyna are distinguished by a variety of dance movements, colorful dance patterns, and colorful musical accompaniment. The instruments of the Ukrainian orchestra sound original and peculiar: cymbals, trembita, goat, horn, harp, flute, floeri, ocarina, lyre and others. Like Russian ditties, kolomiykas are cheerful, playful in nature. The richness and color of the Hutsul culture make kolomiykas in demand in modern song and dance art.

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