This was originally written as part of a bio post about me, but the bio ended up going a little bit more personal than I had originally intended. There was still the bit about capoeira though, and I didn't want it to stay in the vault just because I can't write short, non-personal blurbs about myself. I talk about my introduction to and involvement in capoeira in my series capoeira na roda, capoeira na vida, so with this post I'll just say a little about capoeira itself. Bear in mind, this is as brief as I can manage to get while still giving a solid overview of what goes on in capoeira.
|Mestre Bimba, aka Manoel dos Reis Machado|
|A damn large roda|
|Attack and defense, with the defense even serving as|
The person holding the berimbau controls the flow of each jogo with his rhythm, and also typically leads everyone in song. The atabaque then picks up after the rhythm of the berimbau, and the other instruments after that. Everyone else claps in rhythm to the berimbau and sings the chorus of whatever song the bateria has started. There are meaningful songs and nonsense songs. There are songs for fast games and songs for slow ones. Songs for men, songs for women, songs for birthdays, songs for deaths, songs for newcomers, and songs for farewells. A clever berimbau player will link songs to different rhythms and events in the game. If he's particularly savvy, he might even start off the roda with a ladainha, which is a long solo at the very beginning of a roda which. At its end, the capoeirista gives recognition to God (or a god), his mestre, whoever else he wants to give recognition to, and to capoeira itself. If people get too far apart, he might start singing "jogo de dentro" to get them to play closer together. If the roda is about to end, he might sing "para roda capoeira" as a send off.
And there you have the bulk of it. There will no doubt be more about capoeira on my page as time goes on, but I think that's a pretty good primer to start with. Here's a video that I just love to watch which shows you a bit of it in motion (and actually is choreographed). And before you ask, no, I am not nearly this polished.