Maurothalassa (Northern Thrace)
Vasilis Lantzos was born in Karditsa, Thessaly with family roots from the region of Northern Thrace (Anatoliki Romylia), more specifically Kosti and Kavakli. For many years he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Association of Anatoliki Romylia and where he continues to be a member until today. At the dance group of the same organisation, Vasili has taught local dances from the various villages of Anatoliki Romylia as of 1983.
Vasili is currently employed as Assistant Professor at the School of Physical Education and Sport Science of the University of Athens. He has participated in several scientific conferences and has published research papers in scientific journals on Greek traditional dance based upon his first hand research and documentation of locals in their settled communities. Vasili continues to share the findings of his research in various dance conferences where he teaches throughout Greece and abroad, through instruction, lectures and audio-visual presentations of older dancers.
In addition, Vasili was responsible for the compilation and publishing of the double CD with musical repertoire from Northern Thrace, “Traditional Dances and Songs from Anatoliki Romylia (Nothern Thrace) – Ta Mavrothalassitika”.
Maria Michelli was born in 1984 with roots from the island of Patmos where she grew up. She studied and graduated from the School of Physical Education at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with a specialization in traditional Greek dance. Maria subsequently continued her education with a further Masters’ degree from the same school, specifically in Cultural-Anthropological Studies of Dance.
Maria’s particular interest led her to research her native island in the Dodecanese. As a result of her nearly decade’s long work she published two works pertaining to the people and traditions of Patmos: i) The religious factor in the composition of musical-dancing and cultural identity of Patmos (BA) and ii) Construction and reconstruction of identity. Greek traditional dance and cultural tourism on the island of Patmos (MA).
In addition to the publishing of her papers, Maria has presented her research at international conferences and has taught traditional dances from Patmos at several conferences throughout Greece. As of 2017 she has been artistically responsible for the "Festival of Traditional Dance and Music of Patmos" where various cultural associations and dance groups from throughout Greece attend, perform and participate in workshops on the dances of Patmos.
Lemnos & Reïzdere
Nasos was born in 1968 and raised in the village of Portianou in the southwestern part of Limnos. From a young age he came in contact with the cultural and dance traditions of the island. His grandfather, Thanasis Halkas, was a kechagia by trade and a beloved merakli in the village (having also been documented by Simona Karas in 1971). Nasos father, Konstantinos Halkas was a musician and singer for decades at various social functions on the island including, weddings and saint day festivities.
Naso studied traditional Greek dance (T.E.F.A.A) and graduated from the Democritus University of Thrace in 1991. He is employed as a civil servant for the municipality of Limnos. He learned the dance repertoire of Limnos and the migrant population from Reizdere (Asia Minor) in the village of Aghios Dimitrios through his participation in local festivities and through the documentation of the local populations. His love for tradition led to him learning to play laouto, guitar and also sing at various social functions like his father before him. His love of music has allowed him to participate with various dance groups and both the newer and older generation of musicians on the island.
As a dance instructor, Naso has been involved with various associations and dance groups throughout the island including, the Cultural and Dance Association of Aghios Dimitrios, the Lykeio Ellinidon of Limnos, the Cultural Associations of Nea Koutalas, Livodohori, Portianou and others over the last 25 years. He has organized the presentation of two episodes of “O Topos kai to Tragoudi Tou” with Giorgos Melikis pertaining to the kechagiades of Limnos and the migrant populations on the island. Naso has also compiled and published an album with the music from Reizdere of the Erythrea peninsula in Asia Minor (2014). He continues to support various cultural presentations (dance, costume presentations, etc.) on the island with various cultural associations throughout the year.
Nikos Bariamis was born in 1992 and raised in the town and former municipality of Skala, Lakonia. He studied in Biology at the University of Patra. His first encounter with traditional dance was at the age of seven at the Dance Group of Skala as a dancer.
In the years to come, during the period of 2012- 2016 he instructed the youth and adult groups of the Dance Groups of the Cultural Association of the Municipality of Patra. Most recently, with the inauguration of the Cultural Group of Lakonia (Laografiki Omada Lakonias), he assumed responsibility of the organization as well as the direction of the dance groups which provides dance and cultural lessons in Sparti. From 2007, Niko has concurrently occupied himself with the local documentation and preservation of dances and old songs from the last remaining informants of the older generation in Lakonia . As a result of his work in various villages, Niko has been assumed the compilation and publishing of a triple CD with songs from the villages of Zaraka, Lakonia including original content with local villagers singing and playing.
Niko has presented and taught material from his research, particularly pertaining to the south-eastern part of Lakonia at the Center for Research and Promotion of National Music (KEPEM) of Simona and Aggeliki Kara. He continually visits various parts of Greece documenting and experiencing their local customs in person while also attending various dance conferences covering various regions.