Capoeira in Paradise (Hawaii, that is)

Hello all. Here's a note from Joe in Hawaii about a recent event with Mestre Jurandir, Contramestre Silvinho, and Treineu Daniel of FICA-Oakland. Sounds like it was a lot of fun!

* we'll add some pictures soon, but for now, I think this will do. gorgeous!

Afro-Brazilian Cultural Arts Festival
Hilo, Hawaii March 2009

Treineu Daniel arrived on Tuesday afternoon at the little Hilo, Hawaii airport. That night and the next day he gave long classes that everyone enjoyed and appreciated. Already the group had been training intensely, not to mention all the fund raisers and preparations necessary for the conference coming up this weekend. But, Daniel's energy renewed us. Jumping and floating, we burst forth, trying to catch his tricky mind boggling maneuvers. Daniel works serious and loves Capoeira Angola.

At 4:30am the next morning we went to visit Pele, Goddess of the earth fire. Beyond
the other worldly black and rolling lava, called pa hoi hoi, was the Goddess spilling forth. Tricklets of steam tickling up out of the earthen cracks here and there. Freshly formed and cooling. Golden red strands of Pele's hair shimmering and shooting skyward as she met Kapo, Goddess of the ocean and mystery. The full moon was setting opposite the sun simultaneously rising, creation and destruction, immaculate, Pele was kind today. The afternoon was spent relaxing on the black sand beach and later we trained hard and talked capoeira well into the evening until we fell asleep.

On the following day Daniel and I went hiking through the jungle to visit the sweet water. We swam beneath the crushing waterfalls heavy from the rain. Afterward, we made our way to the airport to pick up Mestre Jurandir. We went directly to class where Mestre led the group in music and movement. Mestre's class is always physically, emotionally and spiritually challenging. We were all humbled as he patiently reminded us all about the importance of the most basic movement, Ginga.

The next day we went to a naturally heated warm pond, set next to the ocean, where Mestre loves to go. We spent many hours relaxing there before returning home. We picked up Contramestre Silvinho at the airport that night on the way to the opening of the conference.

So now all of our guests were here, and all that the group had worked so hard to achieve was underway. After another incredible movement workshop with Mestre we had a stellar music class. He talked about the importance of making a connection to the ancestors. And we sang as deep and as well as we could.

Contramestre Silvinho taught Saturday morning in the church. He gave a basic movement workshop, foundation, foundation and more foundation. A beautiful class. I had many emotions. Feeling the strength of having my teachers here got the better of me as I often feel alone in the struggle to keep my practice going in their physical
absence. I hoped the class would never end.

Following the workshop Mestre gave a lecture on his work in Mozambique, Africa. It was nice to hear the way Capoeira Angola is putting people together there, man, woman and child. Always challenging social norms and connecting otherwise disparate factions. It is nice to know that we have Capoeira family in Africa.

After the lecture we had local samba percussionist, Jesse Seymore do a workshop with the group. He taught us what he had learned while spending time in Salvador, Bahia. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the Roda playing Capoeira. And then the local samba community did a Rio style glitz and glamour performance led by Lisa Dixon. It was fun to watch. The synergy was bubbling below the surface and that's when Silvinho went to work. He is so much fun. He took a drum and the social barrier was broken and the evening relaxed. And when the energy was right Mestre took a conga and the party was on. He was in full form and everyone danced wildly.

The last day of the conference was here and we had to cancel the morning class due to the late night samba party. We did some more percussion and Lisa Dixon taught a beginner samba class in the Rio style and then the Bahia style.

Afterward, we did a Berimbau workshop with Mestre. There were twenty Berimbaus in a semi-circle, something the Big Island has never seen before. Gorgeous. The conference came to a close with a beautiful Roda, everyone played, sang and had fun. Thanks to Mestre Jurandir, Contramestre Silvinho and Treineu Daniel and to all of FICA Hawaii study group for making this conference happen.

Thanks Joe! Here's to many more events on the island.

Would you like to share your experience at an event with the capoeira community? Send a written piece, photos, or whatever to: ficadcarchives (at) gmail (dot) com.

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