History

Dancing down memory lane

Kukułeczka was founded in 1991 by Artistic Director Monika Szunejko as ‘Kukułeczka Children’s Dance Group’, under the umbrella of Polish Ethnic School in Maylands, Perth.
In 2005 Kukułeczka was incorporated as the Polish Dance Group Kukułeczka Inc.

Since 1994, Kukułeczka has participated in all of the national PolArt festivals, which are Polish visual and performing arts festivals held around Australia every three years. In 2012-13 Kukułeczka had the pleasure of being the local dance group hosts of PolArt 2012 Perth. The festival saw more than 500 dancers; visual and performance artists as well as musicians from across Australia and New Zealand arrive in Perth to showcase performances, entertainment and art to the Western Australian public.

Over the course of its history Kukułeczka has garnered a reputation for delivering strong, colourful and lively performances for the multicultural community. The group has regularly been invited to perform at many high-profile events such as Refugee Week, Harmony Day and Oz Concerts. The group has also traveled to Taiwan and Malaysia to represent Polish-Australian culture at international multicultural festivals.

Kukułeczka’s Artistic Directors, many having completed four-year choreography studies in Rzeszów, Poland, or similar, have exemplary knowledge of Polish folklore, customs and traditions which they try to reflect through dynamic and theatrical choreographies. Previous Artistic Directors include Monika Szunejko, Monika Dudek, Joasia Wydmanska, Melissa Lejman, Kasia Schmidt and Magdalena Dudek.

Ku·ku·łecz·ka nounpronounced ku – ku (with a short ‘u’ as in ‘put’) – wech – ka

A Polish folkloric song and dance group in Perth which sees young people gather to nurture their heritage, rehearse for performances, sing, dance and just plain have fun!

Origin

Kukułeczka is a form of the Polish name for the common cuckoo bird, which can be often heard singing its characteristic cuckoo call, or spotted in the forests and meadows of Poland. The cuckoo bird is a key part of Polish folklore, with several well known songs dedicated to it.

Today

Kukułeczka is a thriving performance arts group with approximately 50 dancers, ranging from five to 30 years old. It has a large repertoire of dances including all five national dances (Polonez, Mazur, Krakowiak, Kujawiak and Oberek) as well as many regional and character dances such as the Polka.

The junior group’s repertoire includes children’s songs and dances from the Lachy Sądeckie, Lublin and Krakowiak regions. Its present Artistic Directors are Melissa Lejman & Kasia Schmidt. Kukułeczka rehearses weekly at the Cracovia Club in Bennett Springs and always has its doors open to new members.

The group actively organises many events and performances for the Polish and wider Australian community.

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