Capoeira is a word with no translation, though possibly
somehow connected with the word poeira, meaning dust.
Capoeira is a dance of rare physical beauty. It is also
violent and very fast, a delicate and astute fight -
the highest choreographic expression of a suffering
capoeira appeared in Brazil with the arrival of the
slaves. At first, its performance was persecuted by
the senhores de Engenho, the farmers-owners, and later
by the police, because of the highly dangerous nature
of the capoeira as a mean of aggression as well as defense.
The present, playful capoeira is done accompanied by
the sound of musical instruments such as reco-reco,
caxixĂ and tambourines, but chiefly by one exotic instrument
which is the very soul of the capoeira: the berimbau
de barriga or simply the berimbau. There is a great
variety of rhythm in the sounds of the berimbau: Angola,
Sao Bento Grande, Sao Bento Pequeno, Santa Maria, Angelinha
and Cavalaria are the names of just a few of them.
dancers, moving in accordance with the rhythm, use many
different golpes (strikes) to hit the adversary with
legs and feet only. All these golpes have again their
names: rabo de arraia (tail of a kite), volta ao mundo
around the world), tombo de ladeira (slope tumble),
rasteira (tripping), bencao (blessing), martelo (hammer),
etc. During the vadiacao (idleness), the rest between
the fighting dances, they sing the chulas country dances
tunes) which usually speak of the feats of the famous
capoeiristas, of tales from the past, or give challenge
to other capoeira-dancers, or even to the audience.