Lace up your dancing shoes, and don’t forget your sweet tooth. The Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble presents the 2012 Spring Festa, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24 at the Croatian Cultural Center.
The ensemble’s artistic director, Maria Plancich Kesovija, said she expects the cultural center to be filled with supporters and patrons of Croatian culture.
“It’s a beautiful place and very intimate,” she said. “Inside there are breathtaking chandeliers and the floors are great for dancing.”
Kesovija said to expect lots of participatory dancing, plus Croatian pastries and drinks. The bands will play traditional Croatian songs, and the dancers, in Croatian folk garb, will perform for their guests.
Perennial festa musicians Ruze Dalmatinke and Bonaca will be joined by Seattle’s Dave & the Dalmations.
Kesovija’s husband is the leader of Bonaca, and their 2-year-old daughter is a member of the children’s ensemble. Kesovija said the ensemble has always been a family affair.
“The elders now weren’t the elders when they started it in 1975,” she said. “I was a kid when it started, and now I’m one of the leaders.”
Throughout the years, Kesovija has not lost the joy of presenting the Croatian culture. She said the annual dinner and celebration carries special meaning this year after the passing of ensemble patriarch Nick Petrish in December.
Reservations are required, and they sell out early every year.
The evening will feature a dinner of baked salmon, Dalmatian-style pasta and fresh garden salad.
Tickets are $50 for adults, $10 for children under 13. Call 299-2525 for reservations, or visit the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce.
The Croatian Cultural Center is housed in a renovated 1891 church. Proceeds from the Festa go toward the music and dance ensemble’s expenses, which include travel, costumes and upkeep on the center.
The Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble has performed across the nation and internationally. Last month, the ensemble was invited to perform in the national Home Grown cultural program later this year at the Library of Congress and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
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