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Hungarian Kortan Dance History Page
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Streetswings Dance History Archives: Kortan Dance
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Hungarian 'Kortan'

               The PECHENEGS had local tribes or septs that were comprised of a semi-nomadic peoples of Turkic stock emerging out of Central Asia from the 7th century CE which included the TOLMACH Clan with the Kortans around 900 CE. The Pechenegs gained control of a large amount of the land between the Don and the lower Danube by the 10th century. They were slowly driven southward by the Russians and by 1092, were almost wiped out by the combined Byzantine-Cuman army and by 1200 was almost completely gone.

      The Kortan dance came from Hungary in the middle 1850's and was brought to the U.S and redesigned to a ballroom or Quadrille version by Allen Dodsworth around 1857, it was also known as the Vienna Court Quadrille.

     There is not much in the way of written material for ancient Hungarian dances before the seventeenth Century with most dances being described as just a 'Hungarian Dance was performed' and very little description if none given. The old Hungarian dances were religious in origin and mainly Ancestor worship with their priests being called Táltosok and the Dance dance of Death (funeral dance) was widely done.

      The Hungarians like dancing so much over time they kept musicians, pipers, at their courts, who provided the music for their dances and feasts. The Dances of Court and some others were introduced to the Hungarians from the French, English, Spanish, German and Italians which combined with the Magyar songs and dance music to create many Hungarian dances known today during the 1700s.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

Hungary 1850's n/a Ballroom

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

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Night Clubs



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Films / Movies


Ballets / Stage

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Other Related Dances of the time...

Bottle Dance Gyöngyös hoers Hora Pa lotás Vienna Court Quadrille
Czardas (Csárdás) Hungarian Toborzó Hungarian Dance Quadrille War Dances
Dance of Death Kallo Double Dance Hungarian Round Dance Russian Dance  
Branles Kuruc dances Hungarian Solo Slavonic Dance  
Contredanses Lancers Lassú Magyar (Hungarian slowstep) Társalgós  

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Allen Dodsworth (Ballroom/Quadrille Version) n/a Árpád Dynasty
    Emperor K. Porphirogenesos
    King, László IV (c.1278)
    King Mátyás the Just
    Prince Imre Thököly
    Stephen Széchényi (c.1830s)

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


'Ungarischer Simplicissimus' Unknown 1683 n/a
'The History of the Hungarian Dance' Edith Weber Elekes 1936




Poets / Writers

n/a n/a n/a Monk Eckehard (980-1060)

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

Áldomás (Feasts) Koboz (Musical Instrument) Slovak  
Bulgarians Magyars Turkish  
Gypsy / Nomads Russians    
Kazaars Tárogató (Musical Instruement)