Image of Russian Dance Company, Ensemble Barynya
Ensemble Barynya in a lively Cossack dance.
Photo courtesy of Barynya Dance Ensemble

The Cossack Dance featured in the Nutcracker is often referred to as the “Russian Dance,” but actually more closely resembles Ukrainian dance traditions. This memorable divertissement includes a key step called the “prisiadka” (the knee-bending and kicking) that is very exciting to watch. When combined with the other tricks, turns, and jumps that the three dancers do in unison, the Cossack dance makes for an impressive spectacle.