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Sifodaskalakis´ dance

One of those who took part in Daskalogiannis´ revolution in 1770-1, was the great chief-fighter Iosif Daskalakis or Sifodaskalakis, who was the leader in the area called Ampadia the present name of the mountainous area of Amari in Rethymno, in the southwest of the mountain Idi.

Sifodaskalakis was one of those who survived from the revolution but he was lame in his left leg. According to tradition, it was around 1800, some years after the revolution when, during a celebration after a battle in Lochria in Ampadia, captain Sifis wanted to dance "pentozali". The musicians and the dancers honoured him by adapting the rhythm of the music and the steps of the dance to the zala of a limp man. He, although he was lame, danced a variation of the "pentozali" which remained in the history of the Amari area as "koutsampadianos" or "katsimpardianos", so that everyone can remember the dance of Sifodaskalakis, the lame man from Ampadia, ("koutsampadianos" koutsos"=lame + ampadianos= from Ampadia.

The dance which has 11 steps starts and finishes like the "pentozali" does, but in the middle there are the (limping) steps of the captain as he danced them, mainly standing on his right leg. It is danced only by men in a circle while the dancers are holding each other´s hands at the height of the shoulders and their arms bended. The accompanying music of the dance in 2/4 time is played by a lyra or violin with lute or mandolin or ascombadoura. In "koutsampadianos", the first dancer should avoid improvisations. The popular art honoured, passed down and maintained the simple and modest dance of this brave man.