SOKOL POLISH DANCE ENSEMBLE
The beginnings of the Sokol Polish Dance Ensemble were first conceived by members of the Polish Gymnastic Association “Sokol” in Winnipeg as a way to promote Polish Culture in Manitoba. A few years after the organization was founded in 1906, members were dancing folk dances to maintain a connection to their homeland. In 1914, a group of 4 couples in national costume from the Sokol Organization performed at a gala concert at the newly opened Fort Garry Hotel for a multicultural handicraft show. At this point the dance group remained unstructured until the arrival of Marja Garczyńska, a ballerina from Lwów (Lviv), who joined to become the groups first known Choreographer in 1926. Under her guidance the Dancers began to flourish, participating in prestigious balls and festivals in Winnipeg and outside the province. In the century following, the group has had only 4 other main Artistic Directors all specially trained in Polish Folk Dance through the Polish Ministry of Culture. Sokol’s dancers have always taken great care to preserve and proudly present Polish culture and folklore through song, dance and colourful, ethnic costumes both in Canada and abroad. While the group has performed as far away as Poland, you can always see the group showcased at the annual Sokol Days Polish Fest held in Winnipeg.