The ensemble Kujawy take their name from a region in Poland know as Kujawy. Its’ three main cities are Bydgoszcz, Torun and Wloclawek.
The dance ensemble was formed over 40 years ago. The idea of the dance ensemble was formed by a group of Polish women in Cabramatta, who thought that it would be a wonderful way for the youth of Polish families to get together and learn the traditions of Poland.
Many of the youth that belong to the ensemble today are of 3rd generation. Not many speak Polish fluently, but they all have that little spark that has been placed there by their parents. Currently there are 65 members in the ensemble ranging from 4 years of age onwards.
The ensemble has developed a highly varied and acclaimed repertoire, thanks to the artistic direction of teachers and choreographers Marek and Wieslawa Wojnicz (former members of the Polish State Dance Ensemble ‘Slask’). When the dance ensemble performs the very beautiful Suita Slaska the viewer is mesmerized and taken back to the Slask (Silesian) area of southern Poland. The costumes are very rich and in all there are three main costumes that the ensemble performs in Cieszynski, Gorniczy and Rozbarski.
The ensemble also has many other beautiful dances from many other regions of Poland. Some of these will be seen tonight. Some of these are Goralski, Krakowiak, Kujawiak/Oberek, Polonez, Sieradz, Opolske and many more.
Kujawy have performed at all PolArt festivals since inception. In 1987 they represented Australia in the World Festival of Dances in Spain and Majorca. In 1991 and 2001 some of the members went to Poland to perform at the 11th and then 12th International Folkloric Festival held in Rzeszow, Poland.
Over Christmas 2005 the ensemble went for a holiday to New Zealand for 13 days. While in Wellington they gave a 2 ˝ hour concert at the ‘Te Wha Nee theatre. This was a great success and the concert was a sell out. The ensemble received excellent reviews in the Dominion Post - Wellington.
Over Christmas 2006, Kujawy attended the PolArt Festival held in Hobart Tasmania with great success. Their performance has been written up on the Polish internet site Swiat Polonii.
The group travelled to Poland in July 2008 to perform at the 14th International Folkloric Festival held in Rzeszow, Poland. Not only did the group perform in Rzeszow but also performed in Slupsk, Ustka and Wloclawek Poland.
In 2009 the group has performed at many concerts including Eurofest at Frenches Forrest and will be performing at the Oktoberfest and Polish Christmas at Darling Harbour in December before their departure to the PolArt 2009 festival held in Adelaide.
2012 saw the group travel to Perth for the first PolArt festival to be held in WA. This was a huge success. 2015 the group travelled to Melbourne for the next PolArt Festival held in Victoria. 2016 was the 40th Anniversary of Kujawy-Sydney. In 2017 Kujawy once again travelled to Rzeszow for the 17th International Folkloric Festival in Poland. 2018 once again will see Kujawy go to the next PolArt Festival to be held in Brisbane QLD.
All costumes are funded by functions that the ensemble puts on during the year, and the ensemble is always on the lookout for sponsors to help them.