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May 19, 2024

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Poland’s “Jedliniok” Tours the Eastern U.S.

BALTIMORE, MD – Poland’s Youthful Cultural Diplomats. The throngs attending the Holy Rosary Church Polish Fall Festival here on September 26-27, 2015 were delighted with the elegant and energetic performances by “Jedliniok” – a student folk dance ensemble from Wroclaw University in Poland. The group of 15 was led by Director Henryk Brzezicki, which included 4 musicians. Their name – “Jedliniok” – is derived from the Lower Silesian dance Jedlinioka originating in Jedlina Zdroj. Although specializing in the folk dances of Upper and Lower Silesia, they also expertly perform Poland’s national dances such as the Polonaise, Mazur, Kujawiak and Krakowiak. The cultural dances of the Nowy Sacz and Opoczno regions are also included in their repertoire.

In photo: Polish University Students Can Dance and Sing Too. Pictured above is the student body folk dance ensemble “Jedliniok” from Wroclaw University in Poland while performing and singing in Baltimore, MD for the local Polonia and greater appreciative community at a Polish fall festival.

The local Polish communities – churches, clubs, societies, fraternal organizations, etc., – supported Jedliniok during this particular tour that stretched from Upper New York State to Miami, FL which visited a score of cities on their September 4th to November 1st itinerary The mentioned Polonia provided housing, meals and varied support for the performers, often in local homes. Expenses were paid for by the selling of performance tickets, raffles and monetary donations. Their interstate travel was by Greyhound bus on which they carted their personal luggage and various costumes — no small feat that. The transatlantic airfare was paid for personally by each participant.

DSC03848forwebAfter Jedliniok’s 4 weekend performances in Baltimore, the group expressed a dream of visiting relatively nearby Washington, DC on their concluding free-day. Consequently, a convoy of 3 vehicles set off for a full day’s demarche of all the major monuments and de rigueur sights in our nation’s capital – all to the group’s ultimate delight. After that evening’s reception and dinner back in Baltimore, the tired students again boarded the ubiquitous Greyhound just after midnight, glory bound to Spartanburg, SC. There was a brush with Hurricane Joaquin that caused their Greenville, SC performance to be cancelled due to dangerous flooding caused by the generated torrential rain. Luckily, their show in Georgia and the 6 in Florida were not affected by Senor Joaquin.

In photo on right: Jedliniok Quartet

Academic Song and Dance Jedliniok was founded in 1975, with the University of Agriculture (now University of Life Sciences) taking full operational control and responsibility for it in 1980. The mission statement was the promotion of Polish culture in the country and abroad. It is the only dance troupe in Poland that includes in its repertoire the folk dances and songs of the sub-regions of Silesia. More than 3,000 students have participated in Jedliniok since its inception.

Today’s Jedliniok is formed by approximately 50 or more dancers, soloists, singers and musicians who are students or graduates from all of the universities in Wroclaw. They naturally become kindred colleagues – koledzy – in the greater Jedlinioka establishment, and some later launch and operate their own folk music and dancing teams, thus initiating many interesting endeavors for Poland’s cultural posterity.

DSC03839%20(1)Jedliniok has an international and global reach: It has performed in Europe, Scandinavia, Central and Far East Asia, North Africa, all across the United States and Canada, Central and South America, Mexico, down-under Australia and New Zealand, etc., etc., … and really on every continent except Antarctica.

In photo: Director Henryk Brzezicki

Over the past 40 years of its existence, Jedliniok has been awarded numerous medals, awards, certificates, diplomas, etc., for its artistic accomplishments and excellence in the folklore genre. But the greatest honor bestowed upon them is the gratitude and endearment of the Polish people, being very proud of these youthful student diplomats – dyplomaci studenckie – who promote Poland’s culture, good will and friendship to many diverse peoples around the world.

Text and Photo by
Richard P. Poremski – Polish American Journal
Washington, DC Bureau – October 8, 2015