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Polish folk dance in time for a circle of couples, characterized by stamping feet and clicking heels, traditionally danced to the music of bagpipes. Originating in Masuria (northeastern Poland) in the 16th century, it became popular at the Polish court and spread to Russia and Germany, reaching England and France by the 1830s. The 50 piano mazurkas by Frédéric Chopin reflected and extended the dance's popularity. It had no set figures and allowed improvisation among its more than 50 different steps.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on mazurka, visit Britannica.com.