Giakoumakis Nikos - Vaggela Katerina
I was born in 1968 in Kastelli Kissamou and lived my childhood there until 1975, when I moved to Chania. I started dancing in 1978 –took lessons by Giannis Mountakis from Elos Kissamou– with the Pancretan Group Vrakoforoi, under K. Venianakis. In 1981 I continued to dance for the dance school “O CHANTAMPIS” getting to know and listening to important singers of Chania, like Athousomanolis (Louloudas) by Kerameia Kydonias, Giannis Chatzakis from Kampos Kissamou, Manolis Konstadoulakis from Karanou Mousouron, Giannis Tzigkounakis (Grivoyiannis) from Tzitzife Apokoronou and others. As a high-school student, I visited almost every day the café of the Musicians’ Association of the Prefecture of Chania “O Charchalis” and the café “Lyrakia” at the old port of Chania, daily frequented by violinists, lyrists and lute-players of the time, where people used to dance freely. In 1985 I returned to the Pancretan Group Vrakoforoi and traveled with them to events around Greece and abroad. Since 1987, when musicians and dances from Kissamos and Chania began to reclaim part in folk celebrations, I got more involved with dance styles and the ways dance is performed. During my student years in Thessaloniki, I spoke and danced with many dancers from all over Greece, participating (as a dancer and a learner) in the groups Pancretan Brotherhood of Macedonia, the Association of Cretans Students in Thessaloniki, the Union of Student Houses of Thessaloniki and Ambelokipi Thessalonikis. From 1998 to 2002, I worked again with the dance team Pancretan Group Vrakoforoi of Chania, and from 2002 to 2105 with the cultural association “TO RODO”, participating in many cultural events. As the son of two teachers (both from Kissamos), I received from my parents and the extended family many influences on the value of popular culture, several books and texts on Greek history, folklore, music, civilization and literature in general. Since 2014 I “teach” Cretan dancing to my colleagues at the Chania Lawyers’ Association, and I recently participated in the plays “Twelve Jurors” and “Ten Little Negroes” by the theatrical group of the Chania Lawyers’ Association. I am currently the president of the mutual fund of the lawyers of Chania.
Katerina Vaggela was born in 1982 in Ierapetra, Crete. She got involved with traditional dances since her childhood and, since 2002, teaches them beside N. Metaxakis. A member of the dance group of the Town of Ierapetra (1999-2004), she is one of the founding members of the “Dance Group of Ierapetra” (2005-2014), a group dedicated to the local dances of Lassithi and mainly of Ierapetra. She works exclusively with the violin player V. Vardakis and has participated in many events-festivals and TV shows, where she presented the musical and dancing tradition of Ierapetra. She is a dance teacher at the Cooperative Association “Music and dance lab PYRRICHOS” as well as in cultural associations and schools. In November 2015, while in charge of the “Dance Group of Ierapetra”, she pioneered a teenagers’-children’s dance group and organized the first dance-seminar in her town, named “Chorevontas tin Ellada” (“Dancing Greece”). In March 2016 she presented the first dance performance wholly written and directed by herself, “O Polemos Kai O Erotas” (“War and Love”). In May 2016, in collaboration with KOINO.POLITI.A of the Municipality of Ierapetra, she created the "Municipal Dance Group".