Celebrating 25 years of M Poloca

Mestre Poloca, besides being a great capoeiristas, is also an arts educator. He creates beautiful designs for Grupo Nzinga and he uses the art of Capoeira Angola in his classroom work with children. In the November 2003 issue of “Toques d’Angola”, M Poloca published an article about the use of the legends of Capoeira Angola in his work with kids. In the article, he gives various real-life examples of his own use of these legends with different groups of children. The article is insightful, and serves as an excellent reference for anyone looking to teach Capoeira Angola to children.

Here is a taste:

Another connection that I establish using Capoeira as pedagogy, is through the use of a story that I adapted from the real life of the famous Mestre Vincente Ferreira Pastinha, the greatest figure in Capoeira Angola...

It is the story of one of the greatest legends of capoeira, with which other black children in Brazil can identify.

While I tell the short story, the children are called to play the parts. In the beginning, nobody is obliged to say anything. .. Because many of the scenes are repeated, the children soon realize that they have to speak and in the end, some even dare to improvise, as was the case with a boy named Manú, about 5 or 6 years old, in Brasília. In truth, the idea to tell the history of “Little Vincent” came from him…

… He loved it and kept asking that I tell him the story every time we met. The following day, I would give a story and capoeira workshop with children. I decided to tell the story of “Little Vincent” this time with the help of the young boy, Manú, who soon took the main role. After, the boy Tigor, 12 years old, student of Nzinga/SP, took the part of Honorato, and from there, the other children took the rest of the parts—the evil mother, the teacher, the friend, and Benedito- creating a real dramatization of this story. We closed with the ritual of a capoeira roda, a magical moment in which we played music and capoeira.

What a great story and a fabulous class (I want to do it, too!). This article is available in Portuguese in our archives, or I believe you can purchase the magazine from Grupo Nzinga in Salvador.

Congratulations to 25 years of Capoeira Angola, M Poloca. We hope for many more.

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