M. Cobra Mansa Workshop Re-cap

Cobra passes a bit of mandinga to Livia & Ugo.

Thank you to everyone who came to the workshops with Mestre Cobra Mansa in DC this past weekend. We learned a lot and had a good time.

Ugo, Mike, Livia, & Alonso from Atlanta drove up (11 hours!). Puck/Cachorro Doido, Njoli, Aaron, and Oliver (from Mestre João Grande's school) came down from New York. Nandita, Denzel, Thiambe, Marcos, and Skher came from Baltimore. Jessica from Montreal came by on her travels back to Canadaland. We had folks from Richmond, too.

If I forgot anymore, feel free to make your presence known in the comments section.

Njoli, Fabio, Jennifer, Alonso, & Puck having a blast on the bateria.


Event in Montpellier, France

Everson has been working hard to bring Capoeira Angola to France, and if you happen to be in the area, this event sounds great.

9th Annual Capoeira Angola Encounter with M. Valmir, M. Cobra Mansa, and Leninho.

When: 17th - 20th of May
Where: Montpellier, France
Price: 70 Euros, before April 31, 80 Euros after

For more information, including the registration form and payment information, click here.


Mestre Valmir & the roots of FICA-Bahia

Mestre Valmir with Mestre Bigodinho at the FICA-Bahia space.

One of the richest historical aspects of our archives is our complete collection of “O Angoleiro” back issues. “O Angoleiro” was a labor of love for Sylvia Robinson, who sat down every month to edit, layout, print, and send hundreds of copies of the newsletter to readers all over the world. Over the years, Sylvia took the opportunity to interview many mestres and students. Here is a bit from an interview with Mestre Valmir from the spring of 1999 conducted by Janiana, when he came to DC for three months:

I’ve been practicing capoeira since 1981 and was part of Grupo de Capoeira Angola Pelourinho (GCAP) in Salvador until 1995. My mestres were João Grande, Moraes, and Cobra Mansa. I became Contramestre in 1990. While I was in GCAP, I always had a parallel job. Before, I used to be a metal worker. When I was training Capoeira I also had a job where I made instruments and did research about instruments of African origin. I worked for ten years in the instrument commission of GCAP and I was responsible for all the instruments in the group. I was also a teacher in the University of Feira de Santana where I taught capoeira for two years and worked on a project with musical instruments, teaching children to work with their hands. I was also a part of the social program, Projeto Axé. Projeto Axé and GCAP were partners; the project had the structure and GCAP had to do the work- it was Capoeira Angola… GCAP gave me a strong structure to be able to start my own work.

… The group started thinking about using this money for our own space. So we worked together with energy and concentration. The idea of having our own space started to become stronger. We looked for help from our spiritual father and he said that the group was strong and that it had roots. The word FICA means roots and we do not create roots in someone else’s house. We decided to get our own space… We put everything together and we now have a new space in Carlos Gomes, downtown Salvador since December of last year. So far, we just have capoeira Angola in the space, but we have some ideas and projects for the future.

Eight years later, FICA-Bahia maintains its space that now has a computer center, an archives, and is the place to purchase high-quality berimbau. It has done many projects with the city government in Salvador, and some of the best community organizations, including Ilê Aiyê, Projeto Axé, and GRUCOM.


FICA-DC Event with Cobra Mansa

When: March 24th & 25th
Where: 733 Euclid Street, NW, Washington DC

Cobra Mansa will be in DC for a weekend of workshops, a party and a roda.

9am-noon: Workshop
2pm-5pm: Workshop
At night there will be a party at ECAC, Sylvia's organization

9am-noon: Workshop
2pm-6pm: Roda

We have not received information as to price. You can call the group in DC (best in the evenings, around 6:00 pm) to find out more. Hope to see you there!


From NY to LA

Jen M from DC has been all around the world (really). She has tons of pictures from the different capoeira groups that she has met. Here are some pictures from this summer when she went to New York with the mestres to visit Mestre João Grande and from the event in Los Angeles with Mestre Moraes.

A nice shot of Mestre João Grande's school in New York.

Mestre João Grande, Katie, Dale, & Ana.

Mestre Manoel & Jen.

FICA students from all over the US with Mestre Moraes. Let me see if I can get eveyone's name right: Joe, Silvinho, Daniel, Katie, Shira, Deepa, Jen, Mestre Moraes, & Jason (seated).

Everyone eating Ethiopian food with Mestre Moraes in LA.

Cute! But don't touch.

Have some pictures of your travels that you would like to share? How about some pictures of an event at your school? Send them along and we will post them. Please feel free to write a few sentences as well.


Event with Mestre Pé de Chumbo in North Carolina

When: March 16-18
Where: Bryson Gymnasium, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC
Cost: $90 in advance or $100 at the door

A rough schedule of events:

Reception, Roda, Lecture with Mestre

Class 10:00-12:30
Instrument class
Movement class
Video from mestres collection (this video is an extremely rare one, just found of
Mestre Pastinha playing Mestre João Pequeno)

Discussion; possible video or slideshow
Closing Roda.
??Samba de Roda??

From the organizers:
Mestre Pé de Chumbo is a tremendous Angoleiro. He is one of the few people
to have earned the title of Mestre under João Pequeno de Pastinha. You will
not regret a moment of time studying with this amazing teacher. He has
groups all over the world and to find him in the Southeastern US is an
opportunity not to be missed!

You provide your own food, lodging and transportation. There are limited places to stay available with local group members - contact John McGee for further details. Advance payments must be post-marked by 3/7/2007 and must be either cash or check made out to John McGee. Send advance payments to John McGee, 20 Cottontail Rd., Asheville, NC 28805.

For more details contact either of the following:

John at (828)242-5528 or lightofthedragon at yahoo dot com.

Stefan at (828)253-4610 or steebodesign at hotmail dot com


FICA Women's Conference in Atlanta

FICA-Atlanta will host this year's Women's Conference in the United States. Here are the details:

When: March 9- 11
Invited: CM Janja, CM Alcione, T Gege, T Andrea

Friday, March 9, 2007
8-9 am: Morning Capoeira Training
9-10 am: Breakfast
11:30- 1:30pm: MLK Site Visit
2- 3 pm: High Museum Visit
3:30 – 5 pm: Community Garden Visit
6-7 pm: Opening Ceremony with Roda

Saturday, March 10, 2007
7 am: Breakfast
8 – 9 am: Yoga Class
9- 11 am: Capoeira Class
11-12 noon: Capoeira Music Class/ Kid’s Class
12 – 1 pm: Lunch
1-3 pm: Lecture
3-5 pm: Workshop
5- 7:30 pm Roda
7:30 – 9 pm Dinner
9:30 pm Party

Sunday, March 11, 2007
7 am: Breakfast
8-10 am: Capoeira Workshop
10-11:30 am: African/ Brazilian Dance and Kids Class
11:30-12:30: Lunch
12:30-2:30 pm Final Discussion
3-6 pm: Closing Roda

For more information, including the registration form, go here.


Ladainha for Mestre João Grande

Looking for a new ladainha to add to your repetoire? This one below was written by Linda from Salvador in honor of Mestre João Grande. It appeared in O Angoleiro, Syliva's wonderful newsletter, in 2003.

Perguntei a João Grande
O que é a capoeira
Ele com seu jeito humilde
Respondeu dessa maneira
É tudo que a boca come
É tudo que o pé anda
É tudo que a cabeça pensa
É tudo que a mão alcança
Capoeira minha aluna
Só não aprende quem não quer
O N’golo é adequado
Para homem, menino, e mulher
Veja bem agora escute
Essas palavras não são minhas
Tudo isso me foi dito
Pelo meu Mestre Pastinha, camaradinha!