M Cláudio: Angola Roots in Feira de Santana, Bahia

Here is an excerpt from an interview done with Mestre Cláudio of Grupo Angoleiros do Sertão of Feira de Santana, Bahia (I do not know in what year the interview was done).

If you would like to visit M Cláudio and his group, they have a great roda on Saturdays in Feira de Santana starting at 10 am in front of the Mercado Popular. There are a lot of good angoleiros there, and you should be prepared to get your samba on all afternoon following the roda!
In the 1980s, Cláudio Costa, a native of Feira de Santana, a city in the interior of the state of Bahia, founded Escola de Capoeira Angoleiros do Sertão in his hometown.

The school is headquartered in Feira de Santana and maintains affiliate groups in other cities.

Cordão Branco: Describe your introduction to Capoeira Angola.
Cláudio: My first contact with capoeira was in the sticks, when I was a boy and I watched my Uncle Domingos. Today, he lives in Salvador. Another was my Uncle Roque who made berimbaus from imbé plants.

But the greatest influence for me was when I accompanied my mother, who sold acarajé, to the market and I watched the capoeira roda. I remember the first roda at the Igreja Senhor dos Passos. In fact, I started training at the school of Mestre Di Mola, who has since passed away, in Salvador. I trained with the group for less than two years. Meanwhile, I really learned capoeira in the streets of Feira de Sanatana. From there, I made contact with other capoeira mestres in Bahia, including angoleiros. When I began, I would go to street rodas, where I met mestres Gago, Bigode, Zé Domingos, o Roque Rio and others.

Cordão Branco: Many people practice Capoeira Angola outside of Brazil. Does this make it more difficult to maintain the traditional roots of the art form?

Cláudio: It depends. If we were to analyze it, there are many responsible projects being done outside of Brazil, led by people who truly concern themselves with the roots of Capoeira Angola. My fear is that outside of Brazil, Capoeira Angola will be viewed simply as a sport. In this case, yes, the traditions which many people have died to preserve, will be compromised.


Cordão Branco: I am an angoleiro because...
Cláudio: Capoeira Angola is one of the greatest ways for me to discover myself. To find my values in a world full of differences and inequalities.

No comments: