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International Capoeira Angola Foundation - Mestre Jurandir - Seattle, WA
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Capoeira Angola

Capoeira Angola is an African-Brazilian art form - a fluid rhythmic martial art; a ritual; a dance of deceptive vulnerability, wit, and grace. The intricate movements of Capoeira Angola weave African tradition, history, spirituality, and philosophy into a uniquely beautiful "game". Like many African based traditions, it is orally transmitted from masters to students.

While the Bantu origins of Capoeira (called N'golo) were relatively peaceful, early forms of Capoeira Angola were used by enslaved Africans in Brazil to combat the colonial opression of Portugese rulers. Its practitioners used the art as a weapon of resistance during revolts and in defense of the Quilombos -- communities/nations of formerly enslaved Africans. The use of Capoeira was outlawed by the Portugese and for almost 400 years it was practiced only in secret. Not until the 1930's was it made leagal to teach and practice Capoeira Angola. It survivies because of the wisdom and dedication of a handful of mestres.

Played in a circle, the roda (game) of Capoeira Angola is an infinitely varied combinaton of movements, a mix of acrobatics, choreographed rituals, and dance: humor and seriousness, fun and struggle are entwined in a metaphor of motion and flourished pauses.

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Updated 16 Oct. 2008