Dolce Vita is almost like a holiday to us, a cherry on top of the dancing season, an intro into the summer.
It’s kind of special to us because it was the first festival of this kind that we have visited after catching the „swing fever“. The first year we came to Rovinj just like that, like outsiders, and actually figured out this „sweet life“. The impression was complete because everything was in the same place – music, fashion, hairdressing, old-timers, dancing, vintage accessories, and all that packed into a three-day festival.
To cut the story short: hedonism at its best!
This year we went there in a slightly different arrangement; not just as leisurely tourists, but as a part of the Back To Swing crew (the „official“ dancers of the festival). This year it wasn’t me who drove to Rovinj so we didn’t have a picturesque ride through the country side of Plitvice and Senj on our way to Rovinj – an anecdote which Vedran adores to tell to anyone who sits in a car with us and which everyone finds funny… but, okay.
So, this year the whole festival was set around the Amarin complex, with the exception of concerts on the main town square. We find Amarin brilliant because of the sea-pool-music-company concept. I would have added the concrete terrace (dance floor) into that formula if we hadn’t hurt our feet and got blisters because we loved the idea of dancing barefoot there. Ah well…
This is the picture of us dressed nicely for a dancing workshop:
In case someone uninformed landed at Dolce Vita, there was a whole bunch of booths with vintage accessories, LPs, clothing, etc., for them to get a feel for what this festival was about. Of course, there was the inevitable Gangster with his Retro House booth arranged as a living room, which was always crowded. And equipped with a fridge and cooled liqueur for guests. You could get a haircut or a shave from one of the barbers, have your make-up done at Moni Le Fleur’s, relax in the hands of Maja from Ukrasni Kutak while she does your hair… The thing that has been missing for the last few years was a bigger emphasis on the fashion; but not that second hand vintage clothing was missing, but rather hand-made clothing designed by our fashion designers like Blanche Of Arts. Buquele Matea was a great this year’s entry – she designed a whole collection, which is really beautiful, sewn with care and pretty unique.
She got her hands on original designs from the 50’s and original or similar materials, which she ordered from abroad. The whole fashion story has a local background since those kinds of designs were pretty popular in this part of the Mediterranean at the time. Her Dolce Mare collection wore pin-up girls and a few of us dancers turned models – I would never agree to take part in a fashion show but I since it was Andrea, the boss’s idea, I accepted it because I knew the resistance was futile. I survived modeling and bought myself the set that I wore as a trophy. There you go.
Besides the Back To Swing’s workshops, there was a hoola-hoola workshop led by Nina from No Sweat, our adopted Slovenian. Nina did it very nicely, funny, and semi-spontaneously. The choreography itself was in fact a traditional Hawaiian dance that describes fishing in the hukilau way (fishing with nets connected by leaves and everyone who helps with the fishing shares the fish – I looked this information up on the Internet). Actually that was a presentation about sustainable economy packed in flowers. Of course, Vedran had to show that he could wear a straw hoola-hoola skirt better then the girls.
Bands were great this year, but I will mention the ladies from Ladyvette first, who were a real treat for the eyes and ears. The Italian girls sound and look fantastic, every song is slightly choreographed and that all together has a hypnotic effect – enough to stimulate the audience and for all the boys to put their hands up in the air at their command and yell something in Italian.
The thing that we came to see in the first place were Sugar Daddy & The Cereal Killers – a band that had blown our minds at the last Dolce Vita. The guys are playing some kind of a rythm’n’blues-jive-boogie-rock’n’roll mix, have a crazy energy and an imaginative performance. Also, they have a drummer with a great beard:
Vedran and I have an agreement – as soon as we finish Capri, we’ll go to Italy to their gig. We had to share this information with the band, of course. We approached them in a rather unpresentable edition, in bathing suits while eating ice-creams, but one cannot always be ready to meet Sugar Daddy on the beach, and a chance doesn’t ask!
This year’s official memorabilia was Sanchez‘s album. We were surprised by the tireless, energetic Brit who was tearing his piano into pieces while we were doing the same with our soles. Manic gig in the style of Little Richard and we were done – additionally, he is quite an appearance – a giant man with a huge charisma.
There were also Swingers, Johnny And His Rockin’ Tunes and great The Juke Joint Royals from Vienna, DJs Gogo and Bronco…
All in all, it was great, although really exhausting for us dancers because the tempo was like in action movies. Usually the last day of Dolce Vita would be reserved for a touristic stroll around Rovinj and we would stay there as the last fossil specimens in Hawaiian shirts and enjoy the sunny day, see an exhibition, gossip, eat lunch and slowly go home. This time we had planned lounging around on the beach, but the weather didn’t serve us, so only the bravest among us jumped into the sea, and for strolling around the town we didn’t have the energy. We left that for the next year!
The pics were taken by our dear Boštjan, but there are also few of our own, click!