Music & Songs of Croatia
- Genre EME -- Central-Eastern Europe & Balkan - MUSIC
- URL http://www.velaluka.org
- Biography Ruže Dalmatinke is a Seattle-based professional ensemble specializing in the music of Croatia and Bosnia, from the stringent open throat style of interior Croatia, to lyrical Dalmatian and Bosnian melodies. The group was founded by two sisters, Binki Franulović Spahi and Alma Franulović Plancich, who immigrated with their family to the United States after World War II from their native island of Korčula, Dalmatia in Croatia. The sisters are backed by expert musicians who are soloists in their own right. Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble was created in 1975 by Anacortes Croatians under the leadership of Maria Franulović Petrish, for cultural preservation and presentation. The sisters, Maria, Alma and Binki realized in this country it does not take long to lose one’s ethnic and cultural identity and that work must be done to preserve and educate. Vela Luka and Ruže Dalmatinke have been featured in two national TV documentaries - Hrvati! (PBS, 1981) and Children of Ellis Island (ABC, 1986)-numerous local radio and television programs, as well as books and audio recordings. In 1986, they represented the State of Washington at the Rededication of the Statue of Liberty in New York and at EXPO '86 in Vancouver, B.C. RD, in 1986, travelled to Mazatlan, Mexico, performing in numerous concerts. In 1988 and 1990, both groups toured Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina and in 2000, VL and RD traveled to the homeland once again performing throughout Croatia. They were featured performers at the Washington State Centennial Celebration in 1989; Voices West, Salt Lake City, 1991, 1993, and 1994, and the opening celebration of the Seattle Symphony's Benaroya Hall in 1998. In 1996, the ensemble received the Governor's Heritage Award from the Washington State Art's Commission. Between 1996 and 2000, the ensembles performed in Idaho, Sacramento, San Francisco, and in 1999 were the featured performers at the Redlands Bowl, Redlands, California. The ensembles were featured in the King County Arts Commission Touring Arts Roster for 2002-2003 and 2009-2012. Fall 2002, VL participated in Green Meadows Productions’ Festival of Cultures west coast tour - 48 performances, 7 cities, across 3 states. The 2003 calendar included the opening of McCaw Hall, local theatre and festival performances and a February concert in San Francisco, CA. In 2004, amongst numerous local performances, VL performed at Paramount Theatre, Seattle, as part of the “DANCE this…” and the ensembles together performed for the opening of the McIntyre Hall, Mt. Vernon, WA. The 2005 calendar featured a tour to Oregon and inclusion in the Kirkland Performance Center Season. In 2008 VL performed the 10th Anniversary of DANCE this… at the Paramount Theatre, Seattle. Annual performances continued 2005-2011: Blessing of the Fleet, Gig Harbor; NW Folklife Festival; EHC Cultural Crossroads and EHC Winter Worldfest. VL & RD instructors and members, over the years, have taught at local schools as part of curriculum and as special event speakers/instructors. Ruze Dalmatinke invited to perform at Kennedy Center in 2012!