How long has tap dancing been around

A Brief Tap Dance History – UMS – University Musical Society



June 21, 2019

Originally published October 5, 2016. Updated June 21, 2019.

Photo: Dorrance Dance in performance. The company returns to Ann Arbor on February 21-22, 2020. Photo by Nicholas Van Young.

Brief History

Tap dance originated in the United States in the early 19th century at the crossroads of African and Irish American dance forms. When slave owners took away traditional African percussion instruments, slaves turned to percussive dancing to express themselves and retain their cultural identities. These styles of dance connected with clog dancing from the British Isles, creating a unique form of movement and rhythm.

Early tap shoes had wooden soles, sometimes with pennies attached to the heel and toe. Tap gained popularity after the Civil War as a part of traveling minstrel shows, where white and black performers wore blackface and belittled black people by portraying them as lazy, dumb, and comical.


20th Century Tap Tap was an important feature of popular Vaudeville variety shows of the early 20th century and a major part of the rich creative output of the Harlem Renaissance.

Tap dancers began collaborating with jazz musicians, incorporating improvisation and complex syncopated rhythms into their movement. The modern tap shoe, featuring metal plates (called “taps”) on the heel and toe, also came into widespread use at this time. Although Vaudeville and Broadway brought performance opportunities to African-American dancers, racism was still pervasive: white and black dancers typically performed separately and for segregated audiences.

Tap’s popularity declined in the second half of the century, but was reinvigorated in the 1980s through Broadway shows like 42nd Street and The Tap Dance Kid.

Tap in Hollywood

From the 1930s to the 1950s, tap dance sequences became a staple of movies and television. Tap stars included Shirley Temple, who made her film tap dance debut at age 6, and Gene Kelly, who introduced a balletic style of tap. Fred Astaire, famous for combining tap with ballroom dance, insisted that his dance scenes be captured with a single take and wide camera angle. This style of cinematography became the norm for tap dancing in movies and television for decades.

The Greats

Master Juba (ca. 1825 – ca. 1852) was one of the only early black tap dancers to tour with a white minstrel group and one of the first to perform for white audiences. Master Juba offered a fast and technically brilliant dance style blending European and African dance forms.

Dancer Jeni LeGon with dancer (and musician) Chester Whitmore in 2009. Joe Mabel/Century Ballroom

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (1878—1949) began dancing in minstrel shows and was one of the first African-American dancers to perform without blackface. He adapted to the changing tastes of the era, moving on to vaudeville, Broadway, Hollywood Radio programs, and television. Robinson’s most popular routine involved dancing up and down a staircase with complex tap rhythms on each step.

Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates (1907-98) continued to dance with after losing a leg in a cotton gin accident as a child. He danced in vaudeville, on film, and was a frequent guest on the Ed Sullivan Show. Bates also frequently performed for others with physical disabilities.

Jeni Le Gon (1916-2012) was one of the first black women to become a tap soloist in the first half of the 20th century. She wore pants rather than skirts when she performed and, as a result, she developed an athletic, acrobatic style, employing mule kicks and flying splits, more in the manner of the male dancers of the time.

The Nicholas Brothers Fayard (1914-2006) and Harold (1921-2000) Nicholas had a film and television tap career spanning more than 70 years. Impressed by their choreography, George Balanchine invited them to appear in his Broadway production of Babes in Arms. Their unique style of suppleness, strength, and fearlessness led many to believe that they were trained ballet dancers.

Gregory Hines (1946-2003) introduced a higher complexity of the improvisation of steps, sounds, rhythms. Hines’s dances were rhythmically involved and often strayed from traditional rhythmic meters. Savion

Glover (b. 1973) is best known for starring in the Broadway hit The Tap Dance Kid. Glover mixes classic moves like those of his teacher Gregory Hines with his own contemporary style. He has won several Tony awards for his Broadway choreography.

The Blues Project – Dorrance Dance Company with Toshi Reagan and BIGLovely


A Brief History Of Tap Dance


Looking to start tap dancing? When you take tap dance classes, you’re participating in an old and very interesting form of dancing.


Tap dance has evolved over the years and had a large impact on other types of dances and cultures.


Here is a brief history of tap dance:


Early Years In the U.S.


Tap dancing originated in the U.S. and brought together elements from a number of other ethnic dances, including West African step dances and Scottish, Irish, and English jigs.


Many elements of modern tap dance, including syncopated rhythms, come from African tribal dances and songs. When enslaved people couldn’t perform with their traditional drums, they found ways to make similar sounds with their feet and bodies to keep their culture alive.



Tap is believed to have first originated in the U.S. from African and Irish slaves observing each other’s dances on Southern plantations in the 19th century.


Dance competitions and minstrel shows were popular forms of entertainment in the post-Civil War era.


Traveling shows would include both Black and White dancers. Early wooden shoes allowed performers to combine fancy footwork with sounds that transfixed audiences. At these events, dancers would showcase their skills and learn techniques from other dancers.


One of the most famous early tap dancers was William Henry Lane, also known as Master Juba, who was one of the only Black dancers to perform with traveling white minstrel groups. His fast dancing blended African and European styles and had a huge impact on the next generation of tap dancers.


During these years, tap dancing was defined more by syncopated rhythms than by the tapping sound itself because most people performed in soft shoes or wooden shoes, similar to clogs. Some performers attached pennies to their shoes for the earliest versions of modern tap shoes.


Many variations of tap dance came out of minstrel shows, including “buck and wing”, which includes shuffle steps and taps to mark tempo. Dancers also started using both their heels and toes to create variations in movement and sound.


The Addition Of Tap Shoes


The type of tap dance we would recognize today was introduced in the 1920s when tap shoes were first created. The first tap shoes were built by nailing or screwing small pieces of metal to the toes and heels of dance shoes.


Performing groups and chorus lines started performing in tap shoes, and the dancing and footwear quickly gained popularity. Metal taps allowed for a louder and more rhythmic sound.


Around the same time, tap dancing became a popular addition to traveling vaudeville shows. Tap dancing had previously been largely an individual performance, but it became a group routine with the help of choreographers and standardized steps.



Groups and families of tap dancers traveled across the country sharing their unique rhythms. As the taps got louder, they also got faster and drew bigger crowds. Because tap dancing was defined by its unique syncopations and rhythms, many solo performers would improvise their dances. It was also at this time that tap battles were introduced.


Tap battles are still popular elements of the dance style today and involve two dancers improvising and battling back and forth with feverish footwork and taps. Tap battles became a hallmark of the style and a great way to bring the audience into the performance.


The unique sounds of tap dancing paired well with the sounds of jazz music. Jazz even soon became the most common accompaniment to tap dance. Many tap dancers began collaborating with jazz musicians to create unique performances.


Tap Goes To Broadway and Film


Tap dancing soon expanded from small traveling stages to the biggest stages of all on Broadway. Popular stars like Fred Astaire and Bill Robinson were known for their elegant and charismatic dancing.


They added a performative element to tap dancing and used it to tell a story and share emotion. Fred Astaire combined ballroom dance with tap to create a new version of the dance that was elegant and refined.


Robinson was one of the first Black tap dancers to perform for major audiences and had a major influence in bringing tap dance to the mainstream. His famous “Stair Dance” from 1918 introduced many people to the light and graceful elements of tap dance as he performed complicated movements up and down a set of stairs.  



Tap dancing soon became a requirement for performers on stage and screen, which pushed dancers to create innovative new steps and styles to gain attention. It was at this time that performers started using props, incorporating acrobatics, tapping even faster, and wearing attention-grabbing costumes.


Tap dance was no longer just a simple performance—it was the main attraction and a full-fledged show. Tap dancers started performing to new types of music and crossing genre lines.


Tap dancing continued to make its way into major stage and film productions. Stars like Gene Kelly and Shirley Temple added their own personal takes to tap and continued to evolve and personalize the style. Kelly was known for adding ballet-inspired moves to tap.


During the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, nearly every theatrical production and movie had some form of tap dance sequence.


At the same time, tap dance performances became a regular occurrence at nightclubs and musical venues. Tap dancers often performed to classical music and with live orchestras at some of the best venues in major cities, especially New York. With the invention of television, tap dancers found new audiences.


Variety shows that were popular in the early days of television, including The Ed Sullivan Show and The Colgate Comedy Hour, often featured tap dancers. The new medium allowed tap dancers to perform for a wider audience.


Many performers also moved off Broadway and started tap dancing in Las Vegas, which was gaining popularity as an entertainment destination.


A Decline In Popularity


As movies moved away from musical classics, tap dance started to lose popularity. Musicals, starting with Oklahoma, moved away from tap dancing routines and more towards ballet.


During the 1950s and 60s, jazz music was replaced by rock and pop music, which was less conducive to tap dance. At the same time, fewer people were going to nightclubs as the baby boomer generation focused on getting an education and joining the workforce.


Although tap was in decline, its impact was still felt. Many aspects of tap led to the growth of jazz dance, which surged in popularity.


Tap Is Back


Despite its lull, tap managed to stay alive during the 1960s and 70s—but barely. Although most dancers found themselves with nowhere to perform, it was in the 70s that tap troupes were created. These groups kept tap alive and eventually led to younger dancers asking to learn how to tap dance.


In the 1980s, Broadway shows like 42nd Street and The Tap Dance Kid introduced new audiences to tap dance, and the style began to regain some of its original popularity. Gregory Hines is largely credited for reviving tap dance and bringing the dance back to movies and stages.


One of the biggest proponents of modern tap dancing is Savion Glover, who was taught by Hines and who starred in The Tap Dance Kid. His style of tapping adds many contemporary elements, which made it a hit with a new generation of dancers.



Modern tap dancers have largely moved away from old-timey music and incorporated more popular music, especially pop and hip hop, into their routines to better connect with audiences.


Modern tap dance has two main categories: rhythm and theatrical. Theatrical tappers bring back elements of classic dancers from the 1930s and 40s and dance with their entire bodies as they move around the stage.


Rhythmic tappers like Glover use their feet to make music. For these dancers, it’s more about the rhythms and precise sounds, and movement is typically contained to the feet. Both types of tap dance are staples of the dance world and growing in popularity as a new generation of tap dancers emerges.


Today, tap dance is popular among dancers of all ages and there are dance studios teaching tap across the country. Many popular movies including Happy Feet have revived the dance style and shown how it can be performed in a variety of situations.


Because tap can be interpreted in a number of ways, dancers can add their unique style and make each performance their own.


Participating in tap dance classes allows you to join the unique history of tap dance and add your own personal spin. Tap dance has evolved over the years and played a major role in shaping the culture of the United States.


Learning how to tap dance puts you right in the middle of the history of this fascinating and beautiful art form.

A tap dancer, who comes from Dyadkovo-Yarreg

- “Professor of tap dancing”, Vladimir Ivanovich, for someone, probably sounds like “professor of sour cabbage soup”.

– Are there really such dark people? Do they even watch movies? After the "Winter Evening in Gagra" is it possible not to respect the tap dance? In the program of our academy, this is a full-fledged academic subject. The world tap has a long history. Irish Gigue, French Cloquet, Spanish Zapateo - that's all it is, tap dancing. There is something to study.

- I was at your master class, you taught it according to the principle “do as I do”. Are there any textbooks on tap in Russian?

- You even saw them on stage these days. The ensemble "Olyalya" of the Palace of Culture "Sudostroitel" showed at the festival, by the way, the first non-capital one in European Russia, their novelty "Step plus Jazz". The head of the ensemble, Lyudmila Lobanova, came up with such a tricky move: two soloists sit on chairs, reading a textbook on tap dance, and then its pages “come to life”.

- Textbook - "from Kirsanov"?

- You guessed it.

– Where does Step come from?

- Utyosov assured that he, like jazz, was from Odessa, from Malaya Arnautskaya. Let's pay tribute to the humor of the great Odessa citizen. But with the same success it can be said that the tap dance was born in the ancient suburb of Yaroslavl Dyadkovo, where, in fact, we are now.

- You're joking, professor, even cooler than Utyosov.

– No, I'm serious. According to one of the legends, the tap dance was beaten off, standing on the big drums, even the ancient Egyptian priests. Apparently, they believed that, entering into ecstasy, it is easier to achieve the favor of the sun god Ra. But after all, the cult of the Sun existed among our distant ancestors. The Magi, whose uprising in Yaroslavl in a lean year is mentioned in the annals, also conjured the god Yarilo with a ritual dance. That's where the fractions, "drolets" come from in folk dances. So at weddings and parties from time immemorial, Yaroslavl residents also took their souls away. It is possible that in the world history of tap dancing, Dyadkovo old-timers were also noted.

- I read on your Internet site that when Russian dancers, "Cossacks", came to America at the beginning of the last century, they really impressed the Negroes with their dashing knees. And they “borrowed” something from the guests. Is that Russian trace in the American steppe visible to this day?

- And where can the blacks get away from this? Their step, or tap, is from the ritual dances of African slaves. Later, black and white mixed in it. But the squatting, squatting, spinning tops, crackers they have are definitely from our “Cossacks”. We also saw something from this set in the numbers of the winners of the Yaroslavl festival.

– In which ones, for example?

- Well, at least in the sailor dance of a couple from the Rybinsk show ballet Yuri Kalashnikov "Moby Wild", in the square dance of the St. Petersburg step group "Ridikul" - in the days of our grandmothers, this was the name of a handbag. I will also mention the no less cheerful premiere number of the soloist of the ensemble “O Lala” Natalia Smirnova “Cowboy”. He was awarded the Audience Choice Award. And a professional dancer from Kazan, Tagir Latifullin, showed what a tap dance in soft boots is.

- You weren't a "wedding general" at the festival. At the end of the program they got the hall great with their solo. You will listen to your "music of shoes". Was your solo number, where you fluttered over the stage like a butterfly, "from a sheet"?

– Of course, every step dancer has a piggy bank of blanks, and we use it. And thanks for the butterfly. I have always strived for lightness. And if "Kirsanov's style" is not someone's beautiful fiction, then onato, lightness, is my feature.

- I've heard that poor tap dancers "drive" precious health into the floor. What do you say in your defense?

- We drive in, but what can we do. And I thought more than once: Lord, you work hard like a port loader, what is all this for? But the secret here is simple, as in any art: there is no loss of energy, there is its exchange with the viewer. I felt a wave of warmth from the audience here too.

– A movie clip from “Winter Evening in Gagra” was shown at the festival. There, in the episode where the hero of Evstigneev, in his far distant youth, at a rehearsal, breaks off a number with drums, in one of the jazz players we recognized you, professor, still very young and not famous. Someone remembered you from another Shakhnazarov's painting "We are from Jazz". But that was still under Soviet rule. Haven't filmed in a while?

- The most important of the arts did not save the tap dancer from disgrace, but saved her from complete death in earnest. One dance of Lyubov Orlova on a cannon in the movie "Circus" is worth something. In Carnival Night, Sailor from the Comet, we saw the incomparable Gusakov brothers. We owe a lot to them that the tap dance turned out to be so tenacious with us. They skillfully disguised it - under the "Apple", under the "Mexican dance". There was even a number "Multi-station", where a cheerful dancer, beating off the tap dance, "turned on" and "turned off" the switches. Somehow the director Govorukhin approached me with an unexpected question: is it possible to tap dance on one leg? I answered: why not, especially if with crutches? That's what I'm talking about, Govorukhin agreed and offered to star in an episode of the new film "Bless the Woman." There, who remembers, a wounded Red Army soldier dances on one leg in the hospital. In this role, you might also recognize me.

- But let's get back to the Poyaroslavsky tap dance. You held a master class here, in the parquet hall of the palace there was nowhere for an apple to fall.

- This is reassuring. "Sudostroitel" was one of the first in the Russian provinces to tap dance. From here, the "infection" spread throughout the city and beyond. The master class was held in the professional training mode, and everyone understood me perfectly. My partners in Yaroslavl acted far-sightedly without pursuing commercial goals. Pay, student, fifty for a ticket to a concert and a master class at once, and come for the whole weekend. There were girls from a theater university, from a school of culture, senior schoolchildren of both sexes, we later saw some on stage in a concert. Some of the Yaroslavl step dancers are aware of the latest trends. I got to know one of them better, Alexander Ershov, the diploma winner of the festival. He is a graduate of a pedagogical university, teaches dance art in a children's center beyond the Volga. I can imagine how interesting it is for the guys with him - Alexander regularly travels to international seminars of tap dancers in Sweden. At the festival, he was a little older than the others, but the fact that the festival is for youth is great. This means that tap dancing in Yaroslavl has a future.

The art of tap dancing

This is not the first day in the Ukrainian-Russian blogosphere, thousands of people, former allies and friends, clutching each other's throats, pouring shit on each other and collectively hammer the last nail into the coffin of "fraternal friendship", a phrase that is abusive -obscene rapidly turns into a taboo. Tens of thousands of Facebook users mercilessly unfriend each other or even subject them to the highest measure of network punishment - a ban.

What kind of fraternal in FIG? What the hell is friendship? As the popular Ukrainian song goes: "We will never be brothers - neither in our homeland, nor in our mother." The last words that former network associates, as a rule, shout after each other before mutual destruction, come down mainly to a couple of unprintable expressions like "Go to hell with your help, damned Muscovites!" - and, not having time to finally press the "ban" button, they catch in response "Ungrateful Khokhlyat Bandera, you yourself should go there!"

This whole network mega-srach, or verbal battle for life and death, was launched into circulation, oddly enough, not by some Kremlin propagandists, rashatudeytsy, lifenewsists or Olga's bots, but by the best friends of Ukraine, Maidan fans and lovers of dumplings with cherries , namely the recent Russian named "brothers and sisters" of Ukrainians.

In other words, liberal Russian bloggers and activists, shrinking like the shagreen skin of the Russian opposition with their condescendingly hysterical, and sometimes arrogantly imperial howls, seem to have finally sent two neighboring globes - Ukrainian and Russian - along different trajectories of historical movement, so that already never meet in this galaxy or any other. Neither at home, nor by mother.

"During that... period... only a few thousand Russians, risking their freedom and lives, accomplished a small feat in our thoroughly gangster-Cop country: they stood up for you." The popular Russian blogger Yevgeny Levkovich, having come to his senses a couple of days after the megadestruction he personally launched, began to scream. "I'm not talking about myself and not about those who participated in Moscow marches, rallies and pickets in support of you, wrote, rang the bells or rang the bells." It’s not entirely clear who he was talking about, but standing for a couple of hours in pickets with white ribbons is strong, but with yellow-black ones and ringing bells in addition is generally mega-cool.

Apparently, all these excessive risks "to life and freedom in a bandit-Cop country" gave Levkovich the feeling that the Ukrainians, who paid with their blood and lives, and not by beating the bells, to have the power that they they have, and the justice that they have today can be lectured on the violation of the rights of one single person, namely his close friend, a violent blogger, a Russian citizen of an indeterminate occupation, a certain Nastya Leonova, who has been languishing in a Kiev pre-trial detention center for a month suspected of being associated with a terrorist group.

"Some kind of phantasmagoric story happened in Kyiv with our Nastya Leonova," Levkovich shouted on his page. "Nastya stood with us on Manezhnaya Square, participated in all anti-Putin protest rallies in Moscow, including in support of Ukraine and Maidan. Then, for obvious reasons, she left Russia." “Her mother writes that there is and cannot be any evidence of involvement in such organizations,” the blogger appealed to the Facebook community, citing the words of her mother as evidence of Leonova’s innocence. "Most likely, she just fell under the purge of the 'radicals', in this case, she just fell under the distribution."

Russian? Oppositionist? Got "under distribution" in Ukraine, which is indebted to us for the grave of life for marches, pickets, ribbons and bells? This cannot be. This is chaos. All hands on deck. And he whistled.

At first, few Ukrainians paid attention to the iron evidence of the innocence of poor Nastya, presented by someone about whom they had no idea until recently, but then the most popular in Ukraine responded to their own and our now misfortune, to the nightingale whistle of Levkovich Russian blogger, journalist, writer and my good friend Arkady Babchenko. Arkady, never being hysterical, even with a hangover, just joked or kind of flirted in a friendly way with his target Ukrainian audience. “I understand correctly that now we, national traitors, will also be imprisoned in Ukraine?” he wrote. “I don’t even know what to choose – the FSB or the SBU…

Hundreds of Ukrainian users answered him that it is not necessary to meddle in our affairs. One of the most restrained, but at the same time the most frank response comments appeared on the page of the popular Ukrainian blogger Anna Amargo. Short and sweet: don't come back. “Please do not come as oppositionists, fighters against the authorities, mentors, teachers, volunteers, defenders, assistants, guides, instigators and builders of new Rus',” Anna wrote in a blog that collected five and a half thousand likes. kind of tourists, like France or Egypt."

“In general, it’s cool, of course,” summing up his crushing image losses in Ukraine, the puzzled Arkady remarked gloomily the next day. . Cool, not the right word! This was just the beginning. Such liberal friends of Ukraine as Olga Romanova, Oleksandr Sotnyk, Tatyana Tolstaya and others soon fell under the handout. Romanova in general for the fact that, without thinking, she blurted out: "We are one people."

None of them, none of the Russian democrats found the strength to apologize to the Ukrainians for, to put it mildly, phraseological "inaccuracies and roughness. " The white bone of the opposition chivalry, the last vanguard of the liberal forces of Russia remaining in the ranks, having achieved practically nothing in its own country, mired in internecine squabbles, having lost almost all supporters, and essentially laid down its arms in front of the Dragon, "which still cannot be defeated", suddenly perked up and loudly declared that they would defend the civil rights of a muddy party girl in Ukraine not for life, but for death.

I don't want to go into the details of the adventures of the nurse-volunteer-sommelier Leonova on the front line or somewhere deep in the rear. This is known to everyone today. Or not all? I’ll just tell you how Zoya Svetova immediately joined the battle for individual freedom in Ukraine, immediately plunging into the investigation of the atrocities of the fascist junta, which she, an experienced journalist and well-known fighter for human rights, started and finished in one day! Interrogating her mother and lawyer Leonova by phone, Svetova found out that poor Nastya was a victim of arbitrariness, and burst into a damning article on the Open Russia website. And here is her main argument in favor of Nastya's innocence: "Knowing the practice of fabricating criminal cases about terrorism in Russia, it is quite possible to assume that similar cases are being "sewn" in Ukraine: when you need to quickly" bungle" a high-profile political case, people are taken away in a hurry "to the heap". We need a "group" - that means there will be a group. " According to Svetova, it turns out that if in Russia there is only one form of justice - "Basmannaya", then in Ukraine the innocent all too often suffer from the same lawlessness.

Logically, as two and two make four. Well, five, well, six at the most. That is, the Ukrainians shed blood on the Maidan in order to overthrow the thieves' power, then they died in the war in heavenly hundreds, and their justice, then, remained the same, Soviet, right? Well, maybe there is some truth in this, maybe not everything has been put in order yet, but, probably, today it’s still worth choking on your imperial moralizing and letting the Ukrainians who have earned this right sort it out themselves. Why, with the intrusive persistence of Uncle Podger, climb into the neighboring house to hang a lampshade there, when it had long since collapsed into its ceiling?

Professional journalist Svetova did not even try to get a comment from the Ukrainian authorities, let alone go to Kyiv. When she was reproached for this, Svetova retorted with the following post: "I have been writing about the judicial and prison system for quite a long time and I know very well that all these journalistic receivers - to call the SBU, the FSB and write that they did not receive comments - a waste of time" . And then Svetova did something that could not be done under any circumstances. She acted like the unfortunate shell-shocked Captain Milyaga in Vladimir Voinovich's novel "The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Soldier Ivan Chonkin": he, desperately trying to prove to the Red Army scouts who accidentally arrested him, that he was his own, Soviet NKVD officer, exclaimed: "Long live comrade ... Hitler!" The word is not a sparrow, Milyaga was shot. Well, forgive him, he had a contusion of the head. Now the Light Path to Ukraine is definitely ordered. So, she compared poor Nastya with Nadia Savchenko. Well, who pulled her by the tongue? “It seems to me that the story of Nastya Leonova is in some ways much more tragic than the story of Nadezhda Savchenko,” Svetova wrote.

Anyone today has the moral right to reprimand Ukraine for neglecting human rights, if there are such cases - both a Chinese and an Eskimo, but not a Russian

huge on both sides. “And you wouldn’t go to Hell, with your helpers and sympathizers,” one Ukrainian user wrote in the comments. "Here the whole country of Mordor - together with the living, the dead and the unborn - will burn in Hell." “Consider such behavior a temporary defensive reaction of the average Ukrainian,” one compassionate Ukrainian wrote, trying to calm the situation. “A painful defensive reaction. ".

“I didn’t like that the Russians didn’t comply with the Budapest Memorandum. Now I don’t like that some Russian citizens decided to comply with it and came to help the Ukrainians on their own behalf in private?” One Russian user tried to defuse the explosive situation with a joke of humor. "Forgotten that you took an obligation from them to help in the event of an invasion? Nastya acted strictly within the framework of your agreements with her. Behind signatures and seals."

Humor, even such a stupid one, only added a couple of flare-ups to a furious skirmish that flared up with renewed vigor. The flywheel of the Facebook holivar began to resemble an uncontrolled nuclear reaction. “As for me, ten innocent katsaps in the basement of the SBU are better than even one of our dead soldiers,” another Ukrainian user intervened. “Let me remind you, Russia is waging a war against Ukraine. The Russians are killing Ukrainians on their land. "Everyone without exception. It's called collective responsibility."

And it's also hard to object, except about the katsaps. Whatever one may say, Russia is the aggressor. Thousands of people died. Two areas are almost completely destroyed. The peninsula sank. Over a million refugees. Of course, human rights must be protected everywhere and always. And anyone (well, almost anyone) today has the moral right to reprimand Ukraine for its disdain for human rights, if there are such cases - both a Chinese and an Eskimo, but not a Russian. After what happened in the last year in our relationship. How can one not remember "the times are distant, now almost epic". Imagine some German human rights activist criticizing, say, the conditions of detention of prisoners of war in the Soviet Gulag or, for example, the fact of the expulsion of Volga Germans in the year 1943–1944? What would be the reaction of the Russians, including representatives of the working intelligentsia, to this righteous act of defending human rights? Let's remember the mood in the Soviet society of those years. What is worth one newspaper editorial of the most intelligent Ilya Ehrenburg with the heading "Kill the German!"

Or these lines from Konstantin Simonov's poem "If your home is dear to you":

And the mother who gave birth to him [German],
Not yours, but his family
Let him wait in vain.
So kill at least one!
So kill him quickly!
How many times will you see him,
How many times will you kill him!

And for some reason it seems to me that simple Russian women would simply beat with buckets and shovels a German anti-fascist who, having arrived in their village during the war, foaming at the mouth, would begin to prove that Pavlik Matrosov did not push his father to an embrasure…

Unfortunately, there are such moods now. And their number is growing. They are clearly audible in the general chorus of mutual irritation bordering on hatred. But this war is still different. The war is vile and hybrid, but even in it - in my experience - there were cases of fraternization. One Ukrainian airborne brigade fought a protracted rifle battle with the Russians, who, as it soon turned out, were also regular paratroopers. Intelligence Ukrainians ran into an ambush. One three hundredth, one two hundredth. The Russians picked up their bodies. And then the commander of the Russian paratroopers calls the commander of the Ukrainian paratroopers on the mobile.

- Hello, Sasha!
- Who is this?
- Horse in a coat. Don't you recognize Kolyan already? I forgot how we were in Ryazan, and then lit in Chechnya!
- Kolka, damn it! Can't be! Where are you, you son of a bitch? Haven't heard from you in years.
- I'm here, Sasha. Opposite you. There is a destroyed water tower on neutral. Let's meet in it at 18:00, we'll grind it. I'm waiting for you brother! End of connection.

Sasha smoked five cigarettes in a row and drank a glass of vodka. I took another, unopened bottle with me. I called, said that he was coming, and gave the mortarmen the coordinates, if anything.

And Kolya did almost the same thing. Here they meet in the pump room, near the pumping station. Embrace. Almost tears. As a family, as a wife, you don’t recognize you, damn it already. And so on in the same vein. Persuaded the bottle and "rubbed".

– I have one of yours two hundredth, one three hundredth. Let's change.
- Kohl, I don't have yours today.
- Okay, borrow. Then you give up.

Half an hour later Sasha returned to his location. Behind him, the fighters called for this purpose (without weapons) carried a stretcher with the dead and wounded. A couple of days later, Sasha returned one killed and two wounded Russian paratroopers to Kolya.

– I gave you one wounded man.
- I return with a percentage.
“F***ing war,” Sasha said as he parted.
- Fucking war, - answered Kolya. - I hate it!

The next day, Kolya ordered artillery to fire all night in the nearby deserted forest.

I don't know how they fought there, but I heard this story firsthand, only changed the names. But this case is probably an exception to the rules of hybrid war without rules.

Whatever the war, our Levkovichi with the Lights, despite the mass aggressive rejection of their position in Ukraine, continue to hysteria about human rights violations there, without taking their asses off the sofa and turning off laptops (“I am in delirium watched the broadcasts, everyone stood up for Angela Davis"), while in the Kremlin they calmly watch the showdown in the enemy camp and rub their hands with pleasure.

Light’s comrade-in-arms in the fight against the regime, or now with two regimes, a fiery revolutionary and network air shaker Yevhen Levkovich, who by this moment had already become a “pleasant discovery” for many Ukrainians, instead of finally shutting up and stepping aside, as Annushka, having spilled oil, stubbornly continued to preach moralizing. He began (I'm not kidding, but he has no sense of humor at all) to look for nothing less than "Putinism" in the minds of Ukrainians. “This post is about you,” Levkovich wrote as hundreds of comments from Ukrainian newcomers “Putinists” began to beat on his brain. “Unfortunately, judging by the comments, about many of you. About how you don’t notice how you stop being people and turn into zombies. Vicious and driven zombies."

Well, of course, in a country where 89% support the life-long Emperor of All Rus', who, if not Levkovich, should be a great specialist in zombies! They say Russia Today , LifeNews and their aunt, Komsomolskaya Pravda, have been sent on leave due to changes on the western front. "Like Bandera, like the Russian" fifth column "- we do not understand the varieties of shit, and if they want to devour each other, then let them go," one Moscow "quilted jacket" figuratively summed up in this regard.

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In Kurt Vonnegut's novel, an alien who came to earth from another galaxy saw smoke coming from a chimney in a country house near which he landed, and wanted to warn the owner that the house was on fire. He knocked on the door and animatedly told the middle-aged man who opened it about the imminent danger. The problem, however, was that the alien's language consisted of tap-dancing and farting. It ended up that the owner of the house took a golf club and knocked out the brains of an uninvited guest.

By this I just wanted to say that our liberals should not be tap dancing in Ukraine now. For their own good. Our house is on fire, not theirs. Long ago. We lit it ourselves with our own hands. And the fire is already spreading to the rest of the world.

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