Before we arrived in Caracas I knew I wanted to find a capoeira group to join. Our friend Leon had been playing with a group in Portland and we went to a couple workshops in Seattle during festivals like Folklife. Early in last school year I stumbled upon a group that practiced in a nearby neighborhood at La Estancia. I went once to watch with Graham but it was a pretty large group and I found it a bit intimidating. Also, we didn’t have a car then and I wasn’t too stoked about taking the metro there and back in the dark.
If you are not already familiar, Capoeria is a Brazilian martial art born during the sugar cane slave times. Traditionally one or more berimbau lead a drum, a tambourine and a shaker/rattle to form the ensemble. The songs and the music are equally important to the the actual playing of the martial art that most often is performed in a circle called a roda. Beyond the martial art aspect, capoeira includes several dances such as samba and maculele, which is performed with wooden sticks or machetes.
So I more or less put my search for a capoeira group on hold until March of last year when a group performed during the ECA International Fair. I chatted with them after the class and was quite taken. We had a car by then so I went to their practices regularly until the end of the school year. Thanks to the knee injury I could only watch and learn some instruments. Come the new school year though, I was ready to start playing. I’ve been training and learning little by little as the knee continues to recover.
I will continue to have much to show and tell about capoeira in subsequent posts. Stay tuned.