The fast paced Czardas (chär-däsh) whose correct spelling is Csárdás is the National dance and music style of Hungary. The dance originally derived from the Magya Kor (Hungarians, c.9th century to present) and Pa lotás peoples and later became popular in the early 1800's. Czardas means 'Innkeeper' and is of Gypsy origin which is done in duple time (2/4). The dance starts off slow, easy and sedate then ends up in a fast whirling and turning pace. There are still performing troupes who do this dance today.
The tárogató instrument, (similar in timbre) to that of the clarinet, provides much colour, in parts making everything sound traditionally Russian. The female does steps that are similar to Flamenco but the sounds she makes are not
important while at the same time using their hands around the body in a shimmering type motion. Their outfits (wide skirts) are used to accent the turning and twirling they do
while dancing. The males steps again are similar to the Flamenco but uses his heels to create 'Sharkazni' or a stomping sound. The male will leap, jump, squat and use knee
bends etc. while they dance. The male and female dancers will also clap and snap their fingers to create a mood to the rhythm of the music. Many people in the United States see this dance as a Russian Dance, however it is not.
In America, the Russian dance was usually performed with what they called 'Kazotskys', where the dancer squats down, crosses their arms across their chest and Kicks their legs out alternately. Altho this was an already established Hungarian dance called Czardas and it was not Russian, most Americans would not know the difference and still today see it as Russian dancing. Ida Forsyne was one of the first American woman to do these 'Kazotsky's' at the end of her performance in her Moscow program. These "Kazotsky's where done long before her but after this one performance, and her improvisations of it, she would be hailed (incorrectly) as the greatest Russian dancer of all time as she traveled the world for nine years without a break. For about 15 years this style Ida started would be done by many dancers in American Vaudeville and even on the Broadway stages from 1911 to 1925 and was even portrayed this way in many Hollywood movies and Television shows even today.
Russian / Hungarian dancing was popular in the States especially in American Vaudeville as early as 1900, but Ida Forsyne brought it to the forefront, up until Tap dancers started to control the stages. Ida Forsyne, Greenlee and Drayton, U.S. Thompson, Willie Covan, Dewey Weinglass and others would excel in these quote "Russian Dances," often times calling it Legomania and sometimes a mixture of these and other dances were called Eccentric Dancing after WWI (see below).
The Jewish Czárdás dance version seems to be related, but is more of a couples dance form (touching or Partnerd) rather than the male and / or female not touching but dancing together. Some of the steps used like the Rida, Buzz and Chug steps, leaps and knee bends (dips) play a part.