Tschaikovsky wrote The Dance of the Jesters as incidental music for the ballet The Snow Maiden, a ballet based, not on the Hans Christian Andersen story, but on the Russian fantasy-play Snegourochka. The Snow Maiden, daughter of Father Frost, falls in love with a human (Misgir) and plans to marry him. However, Misgir is already betrothed to Coupava. The Snow Maiden follows him southward to interrupt his wedding, but she falls victim to the warmth of the sun and melts. The jesters' dance is an incredibly lively affair that has stood out from the songs, dances, and choruses of the ballet, capturing the color and zest of Russian folk dance.