1 Queen Elizabeth Hall Sunday 23 March 2014
2 MAZURY - representing Polish culture and traditions for 65 years Mazury, the Dance Company of the Polish YMCA in London, was founded in 1949 by Wiesław Gąsiorowski and a small group of Polish ex-servicemen and women who missed the culture of their homeland and wanted to keep Polish folklore and traditions alive in post-war London. The group quickly became established as the mainspring of national and patriotic celebrations, and appeared regularly at London s prestigious Dożynki (Harvest Balls), took part in Polish operas and theatre productions, and presented Polish folklore as part of UK folk festivals. Mazury also represented Poland at international festivals in Western Europe during the Communist era when it was difficult for dance groups from behind the Iron Curtain to travel to the West. In 1992 we took part in the celebrations in Poland marking its return to a free and independent country, and were the only youth group to take part in the great victory parade in Warsaw. More recently, Mazury have appeared several times as guests of the Embassies of the Polish Republic in London and Edinburgh, and we represented Poland at the Foreign Office on the occasion of Poland s entry into the EU in Over 120 dancers, singers and musicians From relatively small beginnings, we have grown to a company consisting of three groups spanning three generations. Mazury s Kapela is made up of professional musicians, many of whom have played regularly with the band since the Company s first tour to Spain in Most of our members remain the children and grandchildren of the Poles who came to London having fought with the Allies or been displaced from their homeland during World War II. There is now also a large contingent of the children of Poles who fled from the military regime during the years of Solidarity, in addition to young people who have come to England as part of the more recent emigration following Poland s entry into the EU. More than 3000 items of costume We pride ourselves in having produced most of our own costumes. Over the years, members of the group have woven materials, sewed and embroidered costumes, made belts, ornamental axes and beautiful brooches. This huge artistic collection, numbering over 3,000 items, is managed by Wisia Saller with assistance from group members past and present, their families and friends. Almost 300 performances Mazury s performances over their 65 year history range from charity fundraising and social events to shows at prestigious UK and European venues to audiences of thousands. We have performed at most of the main London dance venues, taken part in a Ken Russell film, recorded an LP and a CD, and participated regularly in events such as the Festival of the Pyrenees, Arundel Castle, the Cheltenham Spring Festival, Charleston Manor, the UK Festival of Polish Folklore, the Festival of the Beskid Mountains, and the Festival of Kashubian Culture in Poland. The Company has performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and entertained the Prince and Princess of Wales in The latter, like many other events, was part of our proud record of raising money for charity. We are delighted to return to Queen Elizabeth Hall to mark our 65th anniversary year. This year, as part of our celebrations, we are also planning an anniversary ball and a tour to Poland to participate once again in the Festival of the Beskid Highlands. Please visit our new website at where you can see galleries of photos going back over 65 years and order our CD, DVDs and full-colour publication. Mazury Dance Company of the Polish YMCA, 20 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W5 3QL Tel:
3 Mazury timeline First show at Seymour Hall 1000th anniversary of Poland s Christianity - event at White City Stadium Tour to Dublin Junior group girls taking part in one of the 1950s folk dance festivals at the Royal Albert Hall Polish YMCA Dancers established Jan Cieplinski becomes choreographer and artistic director Irena Różycka becomes choreographer and artistic director Dożynki harvest celebrations with General Anders at the Royal Albert Hall Renamed Mazury Dancers and Singers of the Polish YMCA
4 Mazury timeline 1973 to 1992 Włodek Lesiecki takes over as Artistic Director Mazury Kapela established led by Janusz Pietraszewski Junior Group re-formed The Queen s Jubilee celebrations, Royal Albert Hall Mazury introduced to HRH Queen Elizabeth ii Dożynki harvest celebrations at the Hilton Hotel
5 Mazury timeline First tour to Jaca and the Festival of the Pyrenees The junior group celebrating 200 years of Poland s Constitution Mazury release an LP record Festival of the Pyrenees, Oloron Ste Marie First tour to Poland and performance at the Łazienki Palace in Warsaw
6 Mazury timeline 1994 to the present day 45th anniversary show at Queen Elizabeth Hall Tour to Hungary Tour to Poland - Festival of Beskid Mountains 4th UK Polish Folklore Festival, The Lowry, Manchester Last rehearsal at Kensington Gardens Square before Polska YMCA moved to Ealing CD released
7 Mazury timeline Tour to Poland - Kashubia Festival 60th anniversary show at Queen Elizabeth Hall Lord Mayor s Show First full show directed by Zosia and Lucjan, Hampton Zosia Lesiecka and Lucjan Santos-Witkowski take over artistic direction of Mazury 25 pairs dance the Huculskie at the UK Festival of Polish Folklore in Cambridge Junior group performance at 60th anniversary of Ealing Polish School
8 Programme: Part 1 Hej z Góry, z Góry... Mazury welcome you! Mazur z opery Straszny Dwór The splendid mazurka from the opera The Haunted Manor by Moniuszko. The Mazurka is one of Poland s national dances, danced by peasants and nobles alike, and gained great popularity in the salons and courts of Europe. Wiązanka Kaszubska This medley from the Baltic coast of northern Poland, performed by our youngest dancers, ends with the pirates dance which is interrupted by the news that a shoal of herring has been spotted. Jesienne Róże A popular song about autumn roses, from the inter-war years. Oberek The Oberek, also known as the round dance, is popular throughout Poland. This version is danced in characteristic brightly-striped and beautifully hand-embroidered costumes from Łowicz. Walczyk na siedząco The seated waltz. Hymn Beskidski The hymn of the Beskid highlands in south western Poland: the music of the Beskid mountains will never die - may the mountains and the valleys forever be filled with the sound of the girls singing. Zbójnicki The dance of the legendary mountain brigands of the High Tatra mountains, whose leaders enjoyed mythical status akin to that of Robin Hood. Hej Góry Nase Góry Songs from the Podhale region of the Tatra mountains. Hajduk Żywiecki Songs and dances from the Żywiec area of the Beskid highlands. Tańce Huculskie Dances of the Hucul Highlanders from the area around Kołomyja in the South Eastern Carpathian mountains, performed by younger members of Mazury, who are then joined for the Hucułka by senior members of the group. This area (now in Ukraine) was for centuries part of the Polish Commonwealth.
9 Programme: Part 2 Przejdą lata, i wieki przeminą Songs to commemorate the anniversaries in the outbreak of World War 1, the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and the Battle of Monte Cassino in the same year. Tańce Lwowskie A soldier writes to his sweetheart, remembering the happy times before the war... A medley of popular songs and dances take us back to the formerly Polish city of Lwów. Kominiarz The youngest members of Mazury perform the chimney sweeps dance. Choreography: Zosia Lesiecka, Lucjan Santos-Witkowski. Suita Rzeszowska A lively medley from Rzeszów in South Eastern Poland, an area renowned for its high spirited dancing and wide variety of polka steps. Rzeszów s folk bands are known for their skill and individuality. This medley shows off the dexterity of the musicians and reflects the humour of the dancers as they display their complicated steps. Krześlany Finding a suitable husband for your daughter can be a difficult task. In this case the daughter s ideas are quite different from those of her parents! Tańce Cygańskie The gypsy communities in Poland are characterised by their division into lowland and highland Roma. These dances are from the Spisz highlands of Czarna Góra. Choreography: Zosia Lesiecka. Soloist: Magda Hegarty. Wiązanka Lubelska Younger members of the Company perform a medley of dances from Lublin in central Eastern Poland, including the Polka, Waltz, Oberek and Cygan. Choreography: Zosia Lesiecka, Lucjan Santos-Witkowski. Do Krakowa Hej Jadę... The songs, dances and costumes of Kraków, the former capital of kings of Poland and its cultural centre, symbolise the spirit of Poland. Choreography: Irena Różycka, Włodek Lesiecki. Choreography by Włodek Lesiecki (revised by Zosia Lesiecka and Lucjan Santos- Witkowski), unless otherwise stated. Music in all cases traditional, with arrangements by Maryla Kolendo. Programme may be subject to alteration.
10 Mazury: historia zespołu Zespół Mazury powstał w 1949 roku z inicjatywy Wiesława Gąsiorowskiego jako Zespół Taneczny Polskiej YMCA. Jest to najstarszy polski zespół w Wielkiej Brytanii i składa się wyłącznie z entuzjastów, którzy wkładają wiele wysiłku, aby zachować uznaną reputację w dziedzinie polskiego folkloru, narodowego tańca i muzyki. Sukces zespołu opiera się głównie na pragnieniu nowych pokoleń, aby zachować i reprezentować polski folklor, który jest integralną częścią ich kultury i tradycji. Pierwszym instruktorem zespołu była Olga Żeromska, a oryginalny repertuar został stworzony przez Jana Cieplińskiego, polskiego choreografa i mistrza baletu o międzynarodowej sławie. Znamienną rolę w życiu Mazurów odegrała Irena Różycka, która w trakcie trzynastu lat kierowania zespołem wzbogaciła program, zwiększyła ilość oraz poprawiła jakość strojów, a także zachęciła młodsze pokolenie do tańca i śpiewu. Po Irenie Różyckiej kierownictwo grupy przejął Włodek Lesiecki, który znacznie rozbudował repertuar, dzięki czemu Mazury mogą pochwalić się bogatym programem suit i tańców z większości regionów Polski dzisiejszej, jak i dawnej. Wyjazdy zagraniczne stały się nieodzowną częścią życia zespołu. Włodek Lesiecki reaktywował również grupę juniorów i założył średni zespół. W 2010 roku kierownictwo artystyczne zespołu przejęła córka Włodka, Zosia, razem z Lucjanem Santos-Witkowskim, wychowankiem Lesieckiego. Kapela w Mazurach powstała dzięki Januszowi Pietraszewskiemu w 1974 roku. W latach osiemdziesiątych Andrzej Kotowicz dodał wiele utworów muzycznych. Dzisiaj kierownikiem muzycznym jest Maryla Kolendo, która niestrudzenie pracuje nad wzbogaceniem kolekcji muzycznej, trenowaniem wokalu i prowadzeniem kapeli. W trakcie sześćdziesięciu pięciu lat istnienia, zespół miał okazję wielokrotnie ukazać się w telewizji, brał udział w wielu prestiżowych festiwalach w wielkiej Brytanii oraz za granicą - miedzy innymi w Hiszpanii, Francji, na Węgrzech jak również w Polsce. Mazury występowały przed Królową Anglii, a także przed Księciem i Księżną Walii. Zespół pojawiał się na słynnych londyńskich scenach i był kilkakrotnie zapraszany przez Ambasadora do występów w Ambasadzie Polski. Część członków zespołu została uhonorowana przez Rząd Polski. Złotym Krzyżem Zasługi zostali odznaczeni: Maciej Behnke, Maryla Kolendo, Włodek Lesiecki, Irena Różycka, Ryszard Saller. Srebrnym Krzyżem Zasługi: Maciej Behnke, Andrzej Kotowicz, Włodek Lesiecki, Wisia Saller, Nuna Staniaszek, Alusia Zwiefka-Sibley. Włodek Lesiecki został Oficerem Orderu Odrodzenia Polski i Oficerem Orderu Zasługi RP. Zespół wciąż sie rozrasta przyjmując w swe szeregi nowe pokolenia - na dzien dzisiejszy liczy ponad 120 osób w trzech grupach wiekowych. Najważniejszym wydarzeniem dla Mazurów w tym roku jest jubileuszowy występ w Queen Elizabeth Hall z okazji 65-lecia istnienia zespołu. W lecie zespół czeka wyjazd do Polski i udział w Tygodniu Kultury Beskidskiej, a jesienią uroczysty bal. Życzymy naszym gościom miłego wieczoru w towarzystwie zespołu Mazury.
11 Mazury s key figures Jan Ciepliński Creator of the original repertoire of the Polish YMCA Dancers, as Mazury were originally known. Jan Ciepliński had danced both in Pavlova s ballet and with Diaghilev. He went on to become ballet-master at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm, the Royal Ballet in Budapest and Director of ballet at the Warsaw Opera. He was an authority on the folklore of the Carpathian mountains. Włodek Lesiecki Artistic director and choreographer of Mazury from 1973 to 2010, Włodek was a pupil of both Jan Cieplinski and Irena Różycka. He took every opportunity to learn from those who were still performing dances handed down through the generations, so he could enhance the existing repertoire. Włodek re-established a junior group in 1979 and set up a kapela (folk band) which became an integral part of Mazury. Włodek was widely recognised for his work with young people and his passionate promotion of Polish culture and traditions. He received several awards and honours including the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, the Gold and Silver Cross of Merit and the Dziennik Polski (Polish Daily) Man of the Year Award in Mazury s Kapela (Folk Band) Established in 1974 by Janusz Pietraszewski, the Kapela was subsequently led by Stefan Cichoński who rearranged most of the musical scores and expanded the repertoire. Taking over from Stefan in 1979, Andrzej Kotowicz worked tirelessly arranging music and songs for a full choir. He recorded Mazury s first LP and led the band on Mazury s first tour to the Festival of the Pyrenees in Jaca, Spain, in Janusz Pietraszewski (left) and Andrzej Kotowicz in Jaca, 1983 Obituary It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death in January this year of Irena Różycka, who was Artistic Director of Mazury from 1959 to Irena was a former student of Jan Ciepliński s (Mazury s original choreographer) and a trained dancer from the Legat Ballet. Over 13 years she built up the group s repertoire, extended and improved the costumes, and encouraged the younger generation to sing and dance. Under her initiative the group became Mazury, alluding to the largest former Duchy of Poland and the generic term by which the Catholic Poles were known to their Eastern neighbours. Irena Różycka Tancerz zawodowy może mieć zamiłowanie do swojej pracy, ale wykonuje ją za pieniądze. Tancerza zespołu amatorskiego cechuje beztroska spontaniczność i umiłowanie tańca, bo tańczy dla własnej przyjemności i z dobrej woli. Ja przykładałam wagę do osobistego zadowolenia każdego tancerza i tancerki, zarówno na próbach jak i podczas występów. Starałam się krzewić życie towarzyskie, dowodem czego są 52 małżeństwa skojarzone w okresie mojego kierownictwa. Irena Różycka
12 It was not without trepidation that I accepted the role of Artistic Director of Mazury in Włodek Lesiecki s tragic death left a huge hole in Mazury s heart and following in my father s footsteps was a daunting prospect. His charisma, the lifetime of ethnological knowledge he had built, his very being, was such an integral part of Mazury for so many years and could not be replaced. But it was at this time, that it became clear that Włodek s legacy continued to inspire and would not be forgotten. Mazury members came together in support, with a revived sense of determination and passion. Although we bring different strengths and skills to the role, Lucjan and I endeavour never to forget the core values that Włodek ingrained in us: friendship, pride in our rich, cultural roots and a celebration of Polish dance that is inclusive of everyone. To date, though not without its challenges, it has been a most rewarding four years. Mazury continues to thrive. Members will often speak of Mazury as being like an extended family and it should come as no surprise to find three generations of one family dancing in three groups! It is perhaps this that brings a priceless sense of belonging, adding fun to the good times and solidarity in times of adversity. The Juniors are an absolute joy to teach; they are full of energy, keen to learn and bring enthusiasm in abundance to lessons! I am immensely proud of the Middle group, whose members are truly inspiring. The next generation: their commitment, talent and positive attitude are heartening. Teach but never stop learning is a maxim close to my heart and I will continue to embrace this in taking the group forward as we celebrate our 65th year. In 2015, we will welcome several regional dance experts from Poland to share their expertise with us. Although an amateur Company, we strive always to learn, to improve and to be our best. Whoever may be at Mazury s helm, five years on, I echo Włodek s sentiments: I sincerely believe that there is a great future for the group as long as it has such committed and determined members as it has had in the past and as it has today. Zosia Lesiecka Artistic Director & CHOREOGRAPHER Zosia Lesiecka Zosia became Mazury s Artistic Director in She has taken on the role with an enthusiasm and energy that could only have been equalled by her predecessor. Zosia s passion for dance started at the age of three when she first began ballet lessons. Officially joining Mazury aged eight, Zosia danced under the watchful eye of her father for over 20 years. After finishing her degree in Drama and History of Theatre Arts, Zosia returned to London to assist in teaching the Junior and Middle groups, also running her own ballet and yoga classes. INSTRUCTOR & CHOREOGRAPHER Lucjan Santos-Witkowski Lucjan (known as Lulu ) has been a member of Mazury for 20 years, originally joining on the recommendation of one of his Polish School teachers. Immediately recognising his natural ability as a dancer, Włodek took advantage of Lulu s interest in gymnastics by inventing increasingly difficult solos for him. A skilled Capoeira dancer, Lucjan embraces both his Brazilian and Polish heritage and both countries rich dance histories and cultures. He currently teaches secondary school science and extra-curricular dance classes. He works closely with Zosia in the instruction of all three groups. Musical Director Maryla Kolendo Musical Director of Mazury since 1988, Maryla Kolendo is a full time music teacher specialising in choir and ensemble work. She has expanded the musical repertoire of Mazury and reorchestrated most of the dances. Mazury s 18-track CD was recorded under her direction in November Maryla has also run a chamber choir, taught at her local Polish school and is resident organist at her local church.
13 PERFORMERS Sarah Baboli Basia Behnke Maciek Behnke Robert Carr Konrad Chodźko- Zajko Tatiana de Berg Agnieszka Dolata Alicja Donimirska Arkadiusz Dulak Patryk Dulak Olivia Dulko Gabriela Evans Joasia Evans Amelia Findlater Helena Findlater Julia Giannini Mariusz Góra Kasia Gutaj Magda Hegarty Natalia Howard Ewa Iczkiewicz Marek Iczkiewicz Izabela Jones Adrianna Juraszek Aleksandra Kalbarczyk Staś Kaleta Izabela Kaliniecka-Williamson Giga Karakulko Zosia Kay Helena Kuraś Adrian Kosikowski Krzyś Kot Jakub Kowalski Katarzyna Kozłowska Ola Kozłowska Julia Krol Nicholas Krol Susannah Krzyżanowska Karolina Książek Hania Kurzawska Julia Kuziora Maciej Kuziora Stefi Ławrynowicz Zuzanna Leman Zosia Lesiecka Ella Lesiecka-Ennis Ema Lesiecka-Ennis Emily Lesiecka-Ennis Adam Lewalski Lydia Loughran Matti Loughran Andrzej Lupa Halinka Maćków Marcin Maryniak Roland Maryniak Grześ Minor Jakub Misiewicz Bella Moorhouse Stefania Moorhouse Krzyś Muraszko Jeremiasz Nasiadka Julia Nasiadka Chris Nedwecki Aleks Niemiec Victoria Niemiec Sebastian Obracaj Marek Otrębski Michał Paszkiewicz Mateusz Pawlik Teresa Pawlik Alicia Peacock Emily Peacock Aluś Pietraszewski Ania Poza Kasia Poza Łukasz Poza Iwona Przyborska Dominik Rumun Małgosia Rumun Mariusz Rumun Elena Rybka Janek Saller Rysiek Saller Wisia Saller Lucjan Santos-Witkowski Romek Santos-Witkowski Claudia Sawicka Laura Sawicka Marcin Sciciński Dominika Shostak Max Shostak Staś Shostak Zofia Siudmak Michał Skręta Jadwiga Słomka Emilia Staniaszek Nuna Staniaszek Zosia Staniaszek Robert Starba Claudia Stefańczyk Agnieszka Stefanek Katherine Stockton Stefan Suchcitz Zosia Suchcitz Helena Szpytman Rysiek Szydło Elena Tybulewicz James Tybulewicz Witek Tybulewicz Antoś Tytko Krzyś Tytko Natasza Tytko Zosia Walęcka Stefan Walęcki Jakub Wątrobski Tobiasz Wątrobski Aaron Wierzbicki Robert Wilczyński Olivia Zakrocka-Dos Santos. MusIcians Felicity Sadler (violin 1); Jan Matthews (violin 1); Julia Milne (violin 2); Dave Larkin (violin 2); Nicole Willis (flute); Barbara McGregor (clarinet); Karl Charity (trumpet); Rysio Kolendo (bass); Maryla Kolendo (accordion); Janusz Kolendo (percussion). Chairman Rysiek Saller Wardrobe mistress Wisia Saller Costumes Members, families and friends of Mazury JUNIOR GROUP ACCOMPANIST Stefan Sciciński STAGE MANAGEMENT Andrzej Kotowicz BACKSTAGE Co- ORDINATOR Hania Whitty BACKSTAGE ASSISTANT Piotr Chodźko-Zajko PROGRAMME & PUBLICITY Nuna Staniaszek MAZURY COMMITTEe Ewa Iczkiewicz, Marek Iczkiewicz, Ema Lesiecka-Ennis, Małgosia Rumun, Nuna Staniaszek, Natalie Stockton. Mazury WOULD like TO thank the FOLLOWING: Sewing and embroidery Basia Cudyk, Anna Dobosz, Giga Karakulko, Anusia and Hania Kotowicz, Basia Lesiecka, Ema Lesiecka-Ennis, Giga Medwicz-Starba, Danusia Muraszko, Anna Przyłęcka, Joasia Robertson, Wisia Saller, Katherine Stockton, Małgosia Thornton, Alusia Zwiefka-Sibley and members of the group. Uniforms Krzysztof de Berg, Marek Iczkiewicz, Marek Mrożek and Sikorski Institute. Slide show Krzysztof de Berg. Programme photos Monika Magiera, Nuna Staniaszek, Rysiek Szydło, Krysia Whitty and others. Special thanks to Andrzej Łowczynowski, Director of the Polish YMCA, London Association, for his continuous support. Welcome to Southbank Centre and we hope you enjoy your visit. We have a Duty Manager available at all times. If you have any queries please ask any member of staff for assistance. Eating, drinking and shopping? Southbank Centre shops and restaurants include Foyles, EAT, Giraffe, Strada, YO! Sushi, wagamama, Le Pain Quotidien, Las Iguanas, ping pong, Canteen, Caffè Vergnano 1882, Skylon, Concrete, Feng Sushi and Topolski, as well as cafes, restaurants and shops inside Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery. If you wish to get in touch with us following your visit please contact the Visitor Experience Team at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX, phone , or We look forward to seeing you again soon.
14 Polska YMCA - Polish YMCA The first General Director of the Polish YMCA, Paul Super, in reply to the question What makes life worthwhile? answered: Life is made worthwhile by interesting activity, directed towards a worthy end, and calling for the use of one s best abilities. That of course is not the whole story, for our tasks do not exhaust all of life s fine possibilities in the areas of art, knowledge, religion, love, friendship, service and other aspects of beauty, goodness and truth. But to hold a worthy goal before us always, to which our souls must cleave, that is the chief thing. The Polish YMCA was born on 30th March 1922 when it received a charter from the Polish Government, but the Poles have always considered 8th December 1923 as its birthday, as on that day the American YMCA handed over all its property and powers in Poland. The American YMCA, serving the American and French armies in France during World War I, had at that time been called upon to conduct similar work for the Polish and Polish-American troops of General Joseph Haller, organised as a unit within the French army. On leaving France, General Haller had asked the American YMCA set-up to accompany his army to Poland. They did so and the partnership blossomed as they worked alongside the Poles. One of the success stories was the Warsaw YMCA building project which proceeded only as funds were actually in hand or guaranteed. In January 1936, a swimming pool was opened; the attractive restaurant was ready for use in 1937; in the summer of 1938 the auditorium was completed and the exterior of the building was given its permanent finish. The largest and most modern YMCA building in Europe was a finished article, having cost $900,000 and carrying not one cent of debt. The building, with two gyms and providing accommodation for 177 young men, also boasted an educational department with 1010 enrolled persons and 4800 taking an active part in the sports programme. At this time, apart from Warsaw there were local associations in Lódź, Poznań, Kraków and Gdynia. The Polish YMCA had a base of almost 20,000 persons with a normal daily average attendance of around 5,000. There were over 1,000 listed volunteer workers and 40 YMCA secretaries spread over 5 associations. Sadly between , YMCAs were closed in all of the Iron Curtain countries as totalitarian tyranny gained dominance. In Poland, this delegalisation took place in 1949, the very same year as the Polish YMCA in London saw the birth of Mazury Dance Company whose 65th anniversary is being celebrated this year. Andrzej Łowczynowski, Director, Polska YMCA 65 th Anniversary Ball will take place on Saturday 27 September 2014 at the Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington 7:00pm to 12:30am Black tie Cost: 75 (inclusive of meal and wine) Open to all, not only Mazury members and friends. Ticket purchase arrangements will be announced soon on
15 A year of anniversaries a year of anniversaries The year 2014 marks three significant anniversaries in Polish history. It is 100 years since the start of World War One, during which 2 million Poles fought for the opposing armies. At that time Poland did not exist as a country, but the end of the Great War led to the formation of an independent Polish republic after 123 years of partition. 18th May will mark the 70th anniversary of the allied victory at Monte Cassino in Italy, with soldiers of the Polish II Corps capturing the strategic heights after a series of long and bloody battles with heavy losses. Czerwone maki na Monte Cassino (The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino), one of the best-known Polish military songs of World War II, was composed on the eve of the Polish Army s capture of the German stronghold. 1st August will commemorate 70 years since the start of the Warsaw Uprising, where the Polish Resistance Home Army fought against superior German forces to try to liberate the capital from Nazi occupation. After 63 days of vicious fighting, the Poles surrendered. Around 200,000 civilians and 16,000 fighters died, with large parts of Warsaw being razed to the ground. These anniversaries are commemorated in Mazury s opening number of the second half of this evening s performance. POLSKA YMCA SUMMER CAMP 2014 Wieżyca August Polish sports camp for children aged yrs Polish YMCA s annual summer camps are an integral part of the organisation and have been hosted across Europe: in Poland, Austria, Italy, Spain and Portugal. A sports-based camp, activities range from assault courses and water-sports (kayaking and windsurfing) to classic field games ( Dwa Ognie and volleyball). Hikes offer the chance to explore the local environment and scavenger hunts are a firm favourite! A sense of belonging, team spirit and achievement are at the fore of our day-to-day activities, and underpin all tournaments, competitions and the prestigious Olympiada event. Campfire sing-songs and comedy skits fill the evenings. Aside from sport, our Polish heritage and traditions are the backbone of Polska YMCA camps. We invite you to join us for a fortnight of fun, adventure and the making of life-long friendships. Tel: Mazury are grateful to Kall Kwik for sponsorship of this programme Friendly, efficient local service for all your personal and business printing needs: Business stationery Brochures Leaflets Banners Displays Posters Orders of service Invitations Reports Kall Kwik (Ealing), 12 Springbridge Road, London W5 2AA. Tel: (020)