Capoeira feature

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marching marching marching
We went to L'Escargot Restaurant to watch the Grand Carnival Parade on 30 April 2005. We arrived quite early (a bit before noon) and found this troupe already on the street. We passed by them and got a table on the terrace at the restaurant. We were enjoying a bottle of water and some chilled Sancerre when they marched up and stopped in front of us. All photos will enlarge, if clicked. Use your back button to return.

dancing dancing dancing
The colors and the emblem on the outfits indicates Brazil and after they performed for about a half hour we went down and talked to the leader. He's the one at the right in the large picture at the top right. He is a local guy, currently studying at the AUC med school, but he learned capoeira in the US. It combines singing, drumming, and the martial arts into a beautiful bit of choreography. The two "opponents" start off on the side of the ring made by their fellow students. They touch hands and enter the ring extravagantly. The object is to move in time to the music and make wild leg kicks and arm swings at your opponent. The opponent ducks and parries. The object is NOT to hurt anyone, but to be graceful, although we saw a few bits of contact. As you can see in the photo on the right, one opponent is applauding the other's amazing back flip.

Some of the songs are old Brazilian folk/slave songs in Portuguese. Others are improvisational call and response type songs related to calypso in that they poke fun at recent events. Some of the events may be as recent as the last match.

Cutting in On the left, a new opponent is cutting into a match and on the right, he continues with one of the two previous participants. The leader will soon be going to the US to get married and do his residency. He took some of his older students to NY to learn how to teach capoeira and they will ensure that the group continues. These were about 20 of the oldest students, but there are about 80 in total. Most are much younger. New match

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