By Raymond Rolak
PLYMOUTH, Michigan – The stage was set, the klieg-lights went on and the resounding applause signified a well deserved Bardza Dobrze, for the PNA Centennial Dancers last Saturday. The group was celebrating its 30th anniversary with two shows at the Cherry Hill Village Theatre in Canton, Michigan.
Director Kristal Greniuk-Wioncek praised all the parents who helped put on the presentations along with Artistic Director, Suzan Marzec. Marzec had advanced folk dance training at the Marie Currie-Slowdowska University in Lublin, Poland.
“After 30 years we are now in our second gereration of performers”, said Greniuk-Wioncek. She continued, “Thru dance we are keeping up the rich traditions. We are choreographed with celebrating the different regions of Poland not just folk dancing (gorale).” Greniuk-Wioncek, who grew up on a farm in northern Michigan started dancing over 25 years ago.
The authentic costumes highlighted the show. Besides the dancing, the wardrobe helped make the visual spectacle. The image of so much color, sent a compliment of praise to the behind the curtain supporters. They are the ones who make such an exhibition possible. It was a team effort.
The Polish National Alliance Lodge #53 helps sponsor the Centennial Dancers, which is part of Council #54 and National District #10. Lodge #53 President Ron Martin said, “By keeping up the art traditions of Poland we honor our parents and grand parents and all those who came before us. This is a celebration.” The group also got sponsorship for the anniversary show from local businesses including, Simply Polish in Garden City, Dental Smiles of Livonia, and Clix Photography in Canton.
The PNA Centennial Dancers started in 1980 and draw performers from most of the west side Detroit suburbs. They are annual headline performers at the Plymouth, Michigan Fourth of July Parade and the Plymouth Fall Festival. They have also become a staple at the Livonia Spree and the Northville Victorian Festival.
This summer, Marzec is planning to take the troupe to southern Poland for a competition and dance tutorial at Rzeszow University.
Besides Polish dance, the groups aim is to teach heritage and customs. At practice sessions each dancer learns about Polish history, language and geography. “We separate in two age groups and maximize are rehearsal time so the dancers are learning even during a rest period. We have a winning model, we have fun, education, dance and culture, all with enthusiasm,” said Marzec.
Between shows there was socializing in the lobby of the Cherry Hill Village Theatre.
The dance assembly got high praises from Plymouth District Library Trustee, Donna Broderick, who said, “I was fortunate to be able to get Polish dance when I was young, now it is such a privilege to offer it to my daughter.” Seven year old Katherine Broderick participated in the youngest group of the PNA Centennial Dancers. The smiling mother added, “Isn’t this theatre so fantastic a place to perform this recital? The dancers are ambassadors and this theater makes their message even stronger.”
Photo: John Vena