The performer has come from Croatia with her dance group to perform at Summerfest. She has been a part of the Folk Dance Ensemble Sesvetska Sela since she was a child. She will also be serving as the group’s artistic director when it takes the stage Aug. 9-11 at Bountiful City Park, sharing all the customs of the place she calls home.
“Croatia is divided into 22 smaller regions, and each region has customs of its own,” said Ocercic. “They have dances of their own, and a different way of singing. It’s a very rich culture.”
The 160-member ensemble, which started as a youth dance group in 1994, knows the dances of all the different regions. They can also play several of the instruments unique to the different regions, including the lijerica, samica, diple, dangubica and more.
This is the first major overseas trip for the performing company.
“We’ve all seen TV movies, but there were still some things we didn’t know about America,” she said. “We like it.”
They also like being able to share their culture with new audiences.
“It’s a very special feeling when you’re abroad and representing your own country,” she said. “We’re very proud to be here.”
Learn more about Summerfest in the July 2 and July 9 editions of the Clipper.