. . .and what is this thing anyway, this. .
Capoeira is easiest pronounced Kapo-way
with soft vowels and a rolled 'r'. It is an art form born in Brazil
among Africans once enslaved in brutal conditions. For many it is a
celebration of the fight against slavery and a reminder of the ongoing
struggle against discrimination and oppression. For others it is a
place and time for physical and mental expression that is free of the
restraints they feel in day to day life. Capoeira means so much and so
many different things to different people.
Practiced in an atmosphere charged with
percussion and song two players out-move each other, they flow over and
around each other weaving kicks and other attacks in constant
dance-like motion. They tease and taunt each other and frustrate each
others tricks. They joke and jibe with theatrics but are always on the
lookout for that sudden attack. Capoeira commands respect and
camaraderie among diverse people yet trust is not a virtue. Receiving
your friend's blessing has more than one meaning.
Capoeira is a fighting art and a dynamic
performing art. It is a vigorous sport and casual recreation. It is an
art of powerful African-Brazilian percussion and song. Capoeira mixes
fight and play, co-operation and confrontation, gymnastics and
theatrics, malice and playful taunting, percussion and song into a
dynamic cultural expression.