From humble beginnings we are proud to say our group now boasts well over 100 dance members ranging from two and half years old to 80 years old. Our dedicated committee, three treasured dance directors, choir director and music director work across 6 dance groups on a weekly basis to cultivate Polish folklore and traditions to our members and the Western Australian community.
As a thriving performing arts group, Kukułeczka has a large repertoire of national and regional Polish songs and 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.
The group actively organises many events and performances for the Polish and wider Australian community.
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 formally separated from the Polish Ethnic School im. Adama Mickiewicza and became incorporated as ‘Polish Dance Group Kukułeczka Inc’, a not-for-profit independent organisation.
Since 1994, Kukułeczka has participated in all of the national PolArt festivals, which are Polish visual and performing arts festivals held around Australia every 3 years. In 2012-13 Kukułeczka had the pleasure of being the dance group hosts of PolArt 2012 Perth which 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.
Through the years Kukułeczka has continued to grow in number and age range of dancers, captivating a variety of audience’s by delivering strong, colourful and lively performances for the multicultural community. Kukułeczka 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 internationally to Taiwan, Malaysia and Poland to represent Polish-Australian culture at international multicultural festivals.
In 2015 the group revamped the Kukułeczka logo to include its namesake the cuckoo bird (kukułka in Polish)!
Pronounced ku – ku (with a short ‘u’ as in ‘put’) – wech – ka
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.
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, Joanna Wydmanska, Melissa Lejman, Kasia Schmidt and Magdalena Dudek.
Kukułeczka prides itself on being an ambassador of Polish culture and multicultural diversity in WA and aims to continue this for many, many years to come. One of our aims is to connect Polish youth to their heritage through dance, music, language and culture whilst creating a cohesive and positive social network in the WA community.