What is Capoeira ?

Capoeira Classes in Manchester

What is Capoeira ?

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian Art Form that combines elements of Martial Arts, dance,acrobatics and music.

Practitioners are often well-versed in each of these and teachers will adapt workshops and training to cover some or all these aspects . It was developed by enslaved Africans in Brazil at the beginning of the 16th century.It is known for its acrobatic and complex maneuvers, often involving hands on the ground and inverted kicks.

It emphasises flowing movements rather than fixed stances; the ginga, a rocking step, is usually the focal point of the technique.

The most widely accepted origin of the word capoeira comes from the Tupi words ka'a ("forest") paƩ ("round"), referring to the areas of low vegetation in the Brazilian interior where fugitive slaves would hide. A practitioner of the art is called a capoeirista . After the abolition of slavery in Brazil, capoeira was declared illegal at the end of the 19th century. However, by the 1920's, authorities began to relax enforcement on its prohibition, and martial artists began to incorporate capoeira technique into their practices.

By the 1970's, capoeira masters started travelling around the world, helping the art become poeira elerecognised and practiced. On 26 November 2014, capoeira was granted a special protected status as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

...A DANCE ?

Capoeira is an exchange of physical movements between two players:one kicks and the other ducks under or away ,one sweeps low and the other cartwheels over.Between these exchanges the players will move apart executing back flips, cartwheels or maybe a hand spin .The exchange between the players is surrounded by a circle of clapping and singing as onlookers wait their turn . A group of musicians lead the music which in turn dictates how fast the dance takes place.

... A GAME ?

In the exchange of kicks and movement there are feints and trips designed to catch the other out. There are no winners; each player seeks to test their own reactions and skill by nudging gently against the limits of the opposing player . Played fast or low, with humour or cunning ,all games begin and end in the same way ; with a handshake.

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