Capoeira, the most martial form of dance
Capoeira is a cultural phenomenon that is deeply rooted in the traditions and resistance methods of the African slaves that were taken to Brazil. It is a very complete martial art that mixes dance and music, and its rhythms have crossed borders.
Due to its origins, profoundly connected to the traditions of slaves, capoeira has not always been legal and was on the verge of disappearing before two key figures emerged: Manoel Dos Reis Machado, more commonly known as Mestre Bimba and Vicente Ferreira Pastinha. The former was the creator of the regional style, while in 1942 the latter founded the first capoeira Angola school.
Depending on the variety that you practice, fighting or sporting, more emphasis will be put on either blows or acrobatics. So, you will find that capoeira Angola is the purest and most traditional style. Regional capoeira is the result of a fusion between the Angola variety and batuque, and is really spectacular thanks to the large amount of acrobatics it involves. You could also opt for contemporary capoeira, which mixes elements of the aforementioned schools.
Music is of special importance to capoeira, as it marks the rhythm of the fight and connects with the cultural roots of the participants. The musical instruments key to this art form are the berimbau, a wooden bow with metal strings, the pandeiro, which is like a large tambourine, a scraper instrument named reco-reco, the agogô, similar to a gong or bell and the atabque, a tall, wooden hand drum.
Capoeira exists in Brazil in its purest form, come and enjoy it!