Celebrating 25 Years of M Janja

In celebration of “Malungos: 25 Years of Capoeira Angola” we are going to post items from each of the participants over the next few days, so even if you can’t be in Salvador, you can get a bit of the flavor of the fun everyone is having and the wisdom they are gaining.

We found this interview with Janja in the FICA archives. The copy that we have does not have a date on it, but it looks like it came from a magazine called “Cordão Branco”. In the interview, Janja talks about women in Capoeira Angola, religion in Capoeira, and her mestres. Here is a little bit from the interview:

Cordão Branco: What do you think of the presence of women in capoeira, Regional as well as Angola?

Janja: I think that women are no longer seen as “novelties” in groups, academies, and capoeira rodas. Only in those places that are not interested in capoeira’s historic and philosophic facts can think of capoeira without the presence of women. What is a novelty is women’s current numeric and qualitative representation. That is, the fact that they represent close to 40% of capoeira practitioners worldwide indicates that witihin capoeira in general and within groups, academies, mestres, contra-mestres, teachers, etc, in particular, they can no longer insist on ignoring women, or even in reducing their roles and participation in the practice and activities of these organizations.

Out of respect, I will not speak here about Capoeira Regional because I have never practiced it. My trajectory and formation as a capoeirista took place within the “world of angoleiros”, and within this, the feminine presence never caused difficulties. My mestres (João Grande, Moraes, and Cobra Mansa) never discriminated against us, and beyond this, never wasted time inventing “rules” that would impede our growth as capoeiristas, telling us things that until this day don't make sense to us (like that women should not touch a berimbau or sing a ladainha).
Congratulations, Janja, on 25 years of Capoeira Angola and thank you for all of your contributions!

The rest of the interview is available in our archives.

Event with Mestre Jogo de Dentro

For all of you in Brazil who had a great time at the Annual FICA conference in Rio, and are now on your way to the 25 Years of Capoeira Angola celebration with Mestres Valmir, Janja, Poloca, Paulinha, and Boca do Rio, there is yet another event happening in Salvador from August 7-12. This one is hosted by Mestre Jogo de Dentro and his Grupo Semente de Jogo de Angola.

Here’s the flyer:

4th International Capoeira Angola Meeting
Mestre Jogo de Dentro
Rua José Alves Ferreira, 160 Bairro de Garcia

Mestre Jogo de Dentro was out of Bahia for twelve years, developing his capoeira work all around the world. Now he’s back to Salvador where he founded his group “Semento do Jogo de Angola”. The 4th International Capoeira Angola Meeting aims to keep and strengthen the work of the group by maintaining and recovering the basis and traditions of Capoeira Angola. The seeds keep developing São Paulo state (Campinas and São Paulo), Minas Gerais state (Santa Rita do Sapucaí and Juiz de Fora), and in Canada. The meeting of students and friends is also going to be a celebration of Mestre’s return to Bahia.


August 7
4:00 pm: Roda at Conceição Church

August 8
10:00 am: Instrument making class (berimbau & caxixi)
5:00 pm: Music class
7:00 pm: Roda

August 9
10:00 am: Capoeira Angola movement class, Mestre Jogo de Dentro
2:00 pm: Maculele class
4:30 pm: African Dance class
7:00 pm: Roda

August 10
9:00 am: Capoeira Angola movement class
2:00 pm: Capoeira Angola movement class
4:00 pm: Capoeira Angola movement class
7:00 pm: Lecture, “Capoeira Angola and the New Generation”

August 11
9:00 am: Capoeira Angola movement class
11:00 am: Samba de Roda class
2:00 pm: Trip to Ilha de Coroa
7:00 pm: Roda on Ilha de Coroa

August 12
11:00 am: Closing Roda with traditional feijoada
5:00 pm: Return to Salvador

All program + t-shirt + certificate R$400.00
Single class R$60.00

More information
55-19-97153254 (mobile)
55-71-87277127 (mobile)
e-mail: jogodedentro@bol.com.br


Event with Mestre Lua de Bobó

This was sent out from the Capoeira: Jogo Atlético Brasileiro blog, and we pass it into you all (and I could not resist the picture):

O Grupo de Capoeira Angola Menino de Arembepe Mestre Lua de Bobó - Bahia invites all of the capoeira community to the III Encounter of the Caraguatatuba/SP-Brasil group.

When: August 17-19
Where: Caraguatatuba/SP-Brasil
Invited Mestres: Mestre Lua de Bobó, Mestre Pelé da Bomba e Mestre Valtinho da Senzala.
Cost: R$30

Capoeira workshops & rodas, samba de roda, photo exhibit, and partying down at the beach, with mestres and students from all over Brazil.

Free housing for those first to register. Transportation will be provided for the workshops and parties.

For more information, call: 55 (12) 3884 5032 – (12) 9748 3815
Sergio Jorge Burihan - Contramestre Serginho. serginhoprof|arroba|hotmail.com

“Without your presence it will be impossible to reach the desired brilliance.”

See, you gotta go…


25 Year Celebration in Salvador!

This is going to be good!

Janja, Poloca, Paulinha, Valmir, and Boca do Rio will be celebrating 25 their years in Capoeira Angola with this great event.

If you will be in Salvador during the first weekend of August you would be insane to miss this!! And if you're not in Salvador, then try really hard to get there. Mestre Cobra Mansa will be a special guest.

Here are the details from the flyer:

Malungos: 25 Years of Capoeira Angola

Celebrating 25 years of Capoeira Angola of Mestres Valmir, Poloca, Janja, Paulinha, and Boca do Rio.
Invited Guest: Mestre Cobra Mansa

Classes, Rodas, Lectures, Expositions, & a Party
August 3-7, 2007

Information & Registration: (71) 9973 9870 and 99719283

Schedule of Events

Friday, August 3, Centro de Estudos Afro-Orientais CEAO/UFBa
3:00 pm Registration
6:00 pm Opening Cocktail

Saturday, August 4
2 classes at each site
9:00 am – noon
Cobra Mansa & Valmir, FICA
Janja & Paulinha, Nzinga
Boca do Rio & Poloca, Zimba

2:00 pm- 5:00 pm
Valmir & Janja, FICA
Poloca & Paulinha, Nzinga
Cobra Mansa & Boca do Rio, Zimba

6:00 pm Roda & Party, FICA

Sunday, August 5
2 classes at each site
9:00 am - noon
Cobra Mansa & Paulinha, FICA
Poloca & Janja, Nzinga
Valmir & Boca do Rio, Zimba

2:00 pm- 3:30 pm
Children’s Activities, Nzinga

4:00 pm Roda

Monday, August 6, Casa da Mandinga
6:30 pm
Discussion: Mandinga de Mulher: Gender & Capoeira
M Janja, Nzinga
Christine Zonzom, Nzinga
Adriana Alberta, FICA
Isabelle Sanches, Centro de Referência Lélia Gonzalez

Tuesday, August 7, Nzinga
6:00 pm
Capoeira Today
Fred Abreu, Instituto Jair Moura
M Valmir, FICA
M Cobra Mansa, FICA
Poloca, Nzinga
Paulinha, Nzinga
Boca do Rio, Zimba

8:00 pm Closing


Reflections from Indianapolis Anniversary Workshop

CM Chorao leads the group in Indianapolis

Contramestre Chorão of Grupo Acupe de Brotas in Indianapolis hosted a weekend workshop with Treineus Beto (FICA-Chicago) and Baba (FICA-Bahia) from July 12-16 to celebrate the group’s one year anniversary in Indianapolis. Here are some pictures and students reflections on the weekend.

Our first event celebrating one year in Indianapolis was an exciting experience. Planned and organized by Contra-Mestre Chorão, the weekend went perfectly according to plan. For four days we trained, played music and had two Rodas. The first Roda at Broad Ripple Park was more intimate as we played in a large park to several on lookers. The second Roda we played in the city and garnered a large crowd and were able to spread the word about Grupo Acupe to many people.

We were very lucky to train with Treinel Beto Defeitas from Chicago’s Quilombo Cultural Center and Baba from the International Capoeira Angola Foundation in Washington D.C. We listened and learned from them all weekend. Each one had new and different information about Capoeira Angola which allowed us to absorb a new perspective about the movements and the music. We were sad to see them go when the event ended. – StacyB

Michelle from Chicago with partner.

Grupo Acupe’s first anniversary was a great experience for me as a person and capoeirista. From the beginning to the end I felt I was challenged mentally as well as physically. Thursday was said to be a regular class but nothing was regular about it. Baba was there and he taught us a lot of different aspects of our basic movements. Learning someone else's style of movement within a slow pace was really difficult but really rewarding. The next day was an improvement in its self from the singing for a few hours to playing in the roda well past dark. I had a great time playing in the dark for the simple fact that one sense was inhibited while the others had to be heightened. Then there was the caxixi work shop which was really informative to our group since we hadn't seen this yet. The rest of the weekend was filled with more vigorous training and a few more rodas. All in all this event came out great even though a lot of people didn't show up. As Chicago's teacher Beto said, "Numbers don't matter, quality does".

Lastly, what I feel capoeira is to me would be a very long endeavor so I think I will shorten it a bit. Capoeira means so much to me and is growing everyday. When I started I didn't know if it was something that I would continue or if it was just something to do at the time. Now with not much over a year under my belt I feel there is no way I can part with this art. It's not only some where to go and be with friends anymore it's a part of my soul. I feel that I need to do something that is associated with capoeira every day be it train some basic movements, learn some songs, or play some berimbau. I feel every time I go to an encounter I gain new family members that genuinely care about how you feel and your growth in the art of Angola. These are a few of the reason I do what I do, and feel I must constantly get better. – MarquiseF

I want to also thank Baba and Beto and everyone else for coming this weekend. Their presence here with us in Indianapolis was full of energy and love for the group. I think the exchange we had was good for all of us, and I think that we need to cultivate this relationship. What was so amazing is that when Baba or Beto was teaching, or we were playing with the students from Chicago, is that they would do a move very similar to one that we do here in Indianapolis, but with a little change. Even though it was very similar, it was like a whole different move. It was very helpful to see other people play and really made you think and adjust while you were playing them. Just little differences like that help immensely in improving our game...

... It was a very special moment for our group and there is no way we can thank you enough for the energy, love, and knowledge that you shared with us. – KarlS


Sounds like a very successful year! Here’s to many more!

Thanks to T Baba for the photos and to StacyB, MarquiseF, and KarlS for the reflections.

check out more pictures on the Portuguese side of the site.

**If you would like to post photos and/or reflections of an event from your school, please e-mail us the information at ficadcarchives(at)gmail.com. We can do the translations between Portuguese and English.


A Note from Honduras

Here are some photos from a music session with Mestre Cobra Mansa in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He was here between July 10th and 15th. We had class every day, including music, and trained each morning. The mestre also visited La Tigra, a National Park near Tegucigalpa with several members of our group, stayed in barrio la Leona, where we train normally, and gave a class to adolescents and youth of Casa Alianza, an NGO that houses young people at risk or who have suffered from violence.

On Saturday June 11th, we had a show for over 150 people, in which Mestre gave a talk about the history of capoeira, there was a roda, and a batucada group. Mestre Cobra Mansa left an impression, and helped to improve the fundamentals of Ginga Lua, a new group that has been in existence since March 2006 (we collaborated with Grupo Raiz in San Jose, Costa Rica, in order to bring the mestre here to Honduras). I met the Mestre two years ago when he came to visit Nicapoeragem, the Capoeira group in Managua, Nicaragua (I lived in Nicaragua before Honduras!).

Gata Russa (Emma)


7th Annual Event in Los Angeles

Announcement from the Capoeira Angola Center Los Angeles:

The Seventh Annual Capoeira Angola Conference Los Angeles, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, will be held October 5-8, 2007. Gracing the Conference will their knowledge and skill will be:

Mestre Moraes, Grupo Capoeira Angola Pelourinho (GCAP) - Salvador, Bahia, Brasil
Mestre Jogo de Dentro, Grupo de Capoeira Semente do Jogo de Angola - São Paulo, SP, Brasil
Mestre Lua de Bobó, Grupo o e Capoeira Angola de Menino de Arembepe - Salvador, Bahia, Brasil

As always, we will providing food for the body, mind and spirit. Capoeira Angola is an ancient martial art used by Africans in Brazil to resist slavery and white supremacy. Outlawed by the ruling class, it has spread throughout the world in various forms since it was finally "legalized" in Brazil in 1932. Capoeira Angola upholds the traditions of African culture and resistance to oppression.

We will also holding the Third Annual Capoeira Angola Youth Camp, free for those under 18 years of age. Youth movement and music classes will instructed by the Mestres and others. Each youth will be provided with a special t-shirt and lunch.

Check here in the future for updates.

10th Anniversary of Academia Jangada, Berlin

Berlin's academy for traditional and contemporary Brazilian dance culture celebrates its 10th anniversary.

On July 19 in 1997, Mestre Rosalvo dos Santos and Contra-Mestre Susy Oestereicher founded Europe's first school for Capoeira Angola and Afro-Brazilian Dance. It has always been the goal to pass on both these expressions of traditional Brazilian culture in an authentic environment. This idea had begun taking shape with the arrival of Mestre Rosalvo in 1989, who was the first angoleiro to come to Europe.

We begin on Saturday 07/21/2007 at 1:00 p.m. with open classes for everyone to participate and try out (free):

1:00 p.m. Capoeira for Children with CM Susy
2:00 p.m. Get Physical with Ricardo
3:00 p.m. Samba with Carlos
4:00 p.m. Capoeira Angola with Rosalvo
5:00 p.m. Capoeira Angola Music with Rosalvo
5:30 p.m. Maracatu, Coco, Frevo, Afro Brasil with Carlos

7:00 p.m. Performances:
“Don't Stop” - Body Installation by Ricardo de Paula

“Identidade” - Solo Dance Performance by Ricardo de Paula (Chor.) and Susy Oestereicher (Dance)
Locomotiva do Frevo [Frevo Dance Group by Carlos da Silva]

Roda de Capoeira Angola

followed by a party with Brazilian food, drinks, music

Torstr. 109, 10119 Berlin

Thanks to Lars for the translation.


IV Workshop "No Fio da Navalha"

On July 21 & 22, the IV Workshop of Capoeira Angola “Fio da Navalha” will be held in Santo André.

Led by: M Cenorinha

Music, singing, and movement workshops
Discussion about the Capoeira Angola and its customs

The event will close with a Capoeira Angola roda and Samba de Roda of “Fio da Navalha”

Saturday, July 21: 9:30 am start, closing with a roda at 6:00 pm
Sunday, July 22: 10:00 am start, closing with a roda at 4:00 pm

Rua Julio Ribeiro 120
Santo André/ Sacadura Cabral / SP

For more information, call: 9853-8495 or 4421 8290
Or e-mail: cenoranofiodanavalha (at) hotmail.com

Spaces limited!
1 day: 20 reais
2 days: 30 reais

Thanks to M Cenorinha for the information.


Monthly Roda & Party in London

Fantasma of East London Capoeira (associated with Mestre Marrom in Rio de Janeiro) is going to start holding a roda every month to bring together different capoeira groups. Its free to join the roda and each month there will be a guest mestre.

They will be having their third roda/party on July 20th.

When: July 20, 6 - 12 pm
Where: Corbet place, 15 Hanbury street, London E1
Special Guest: Mestre Claudio

* There will be workshops and regular classes planned for the duration of Mestre Claudio's visit

The next party will be August 24th.

You can check out some videos and photos of the first party here.

Click here for more info.

Thanks to Fantasma for the information.


"Black Atlantic: Route of the Orixás" at FICA-Bahia

The International Capoeira Angola Foundation- Bahia, a non-profit organization whose mission is the promotion and diffusion of black culture through capoeira, will host the opening of Projeto CINEMAFRO with the screening of the film "Atlântico Negro: Na Rota dos Orixás" ("Black Atlanic: the Route of the Orixás) by Renato Barbieri, followed by a discussion with Professor Cláudio Pereira CEAO-UFBA. Free.

The International Capoeira Angola Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes the diffusion of black culture through Capoeira Angola as an expression of Afro-Brazilian culture and as a vehicle for the values of the Afro-Brazilian cultural universe. Considering that cinema, while a representation of reality, influences the continual formation of our cultural identity, O CINEMAFRO proposes a discussion about Afro-Brazilian identity as portrayed in Brazilian and African cinema.

Where: FICA- Bahia, Av. Carlos Gomes, Ed. Esther Moura Franco, 5º Floor - Centro (in front of Bradesco)

(71) 3321-7365

When: July 20, 7:00 pm

Thanks to FICA-Bahia for the information.


FICA-DC Cabaça Workshop Fun

In early June, T Fabio led a cabaça workshop at FICA-DC. He procured the gourds used in the workshop from a farm in Maryland. It was a lot of fun, and everyone went home with their very own cabaça, ready to be "married" to a verga to create a berimbau and make beautiful music together for a long time.

1. Choose your gourd. Size matters. Keep in mind whether you want to make a gunga, medio, or viola.

2. Dampen the gourd and clean off the slime and dirt, using a sharp edge. If your slime and dirt make an interesting design, you may want to leave it on.

3. Figure out how best the gourd will fit on a verga. From there, draw a hole-- not too big!

4. Use a sharp edge to cut the hole. It doesn't have to be perfect-- you can clean it up with the sandpaper.

5. Once the hole is cut, scoop out the insides and then smooth the walls of the gourd with sandpaper.

6. Once the gourd is ready inside and out, measure it against the verga to figure out where to cut the holes for the cord. Use the point of a knife or box cutter to poke the holes.

7. Slip the cord through the holes, and tie it. You may have to adjust the cord width to get the sound just right.

Thanks to Lars & Isa for the pictures!

Isa created a step-by-step guide on her website that includes a video (yeah, I nabbed some of the pictures).

Check out the FICA-DC archives for more information on gourd instruments, including a book that shows you how to make a variety of lutes, flutes, drums, and more.


FICA-Baltimore Roda at Festival

On Saturday, July 7, 2007, FICA Baltimore will hold a roda at the African American Heritage Festival in Baltimore, MD.

Come out and join in the fun!!

When: Saturday, July 7, 2007 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: AFRAM, meet at the War Memorial Wall at 2:45pm
Why: for Capoeira Angola

African American Heritage Festival
Location: 333Camden St. Baltimore MD. 21201

Special Performers:
Musiq Soulchild. Friday
Patti Labelle, Saturday
Charlie Wilson, Saturday


Bahian Independence Day

On July 2, 1823, the forces of the state of Bahia expelled the Portuguese armies to confirm the independence of Brazil. Bahia was the last of the Brazilian states to drive out the Portuguese.

Today in Bahia, baianos commerate this day as the Independence of Bahia and if you are lucky enough to be in Salvador, there will be a roda hosted by FICA-Bahia, N’Zinga, ACANNE, Zimba, and others. Enjoy!