Capoeira: A Snapshot of Brazilian Culture
Latin America has a rich history of traditions and festivals, so many in fact we can’t possibly cover them all in this one blog post! In this snapshot blog post we’ll be exploring a the exciting dance and martial arts fusion that is Capoeira!
One of the most beautiful practices in Brazil is the art of Capoeira. Capoeira is a mix of martial arts, dance, and music that stems from a darker history. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, Brazil was under Portuguese rule and was financially supported by slave labor. Enslaved Africans brought to the country, rebelled against oppression and unfair treatment by developing a unique martial arts form. In order to avoid backlash from oppressors, the enslaved Africans of Brazil disguised their martial arts as dance, thus creating what we now know as Capoeira.
The explosive dance is punctuated by floreios (or flourishes in English) of handstands, backflips, and cartwheels that give Capoeira its distinct style. The sound of Capoeira is also distinct. The vibrational sounds of the berimbau, a stringed bow-like instrument, conduct the tempo of the dance- speeding up or slowing down the motions of the performers.