It is instantly recognizable thanks to the movements of the performers; they seem to move together and then suddenly attack each other, still keeping in time with the rhythm. Yet despite its rising popularity, the exact origins of the art have been lost due to a scarcity of historical evidence and the secretive nature of its beginnings. It has been suggested that capoeira was first created during the 16th century by slaves who were taken from West Africa to Brazil by the Portuguese colonists. Prohibited from celebrating their cultural customs and strictly forbidden from practicing any martial arts, capoeira is thought to have emerged as a way to bypass these two imposing laws. Hidden in the musical and rhythmical elements of the form, violent kicks were disguised as passionate dance movements, and its combination of a mixture of West African cultures saved it from being identified as an attempt to preserve any specific tradition.
How to Be Good at Capoeira (with Pictures) - wikiHow
Capoeira took its shape in the bubbling cauldron of Brazil. As a dynamic expression of Afro-Brazilian culture, its own evolution is testimony to the creative adaptability and will to survive of its people and culture. Still evolving, Capoeira has been spreading worldwide in recent decades. It provides a rare modern format to bring together our best human resources: music, vigorous physical interaction, playfulness, community structure, and creativity……. Capoeira is played in a roda circle of people that includes several members playing various percussion instruments. Driven by soulful songs and rhythms of diverse intensity, two capoeiristas at a time engage in a spirited dialogue of body and wit.
Capoeira , dancelike martial art of Brazil , performed to the accompaniment of call-and-response choral singing and percussive instrumental music. The basic aesthetic elements of capoeira were brought to Brazil by slaves, primarily from west and west-central Africa. These elements were recombined and reinterpreted within the diverse slave community of Brazil to create a unique means of self defense, both driven and disguised—as merely a dance—by its musical accompaniment.