Capoeira kicks off with style

Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian blend
of dance, acrobatics and unarmed combat, brings the excitement of this
fast-growing sport to several workshops 6-8 October, followed by a special
performance at the Brick House in Grand Harbour on 8 October. Events culminate
with a special batizado, or graduation, ceremony at Camana Bay on 9 October.

For the uninitiated, you may see
Capoeira unfold in front of your eyes before you understand it: A group of
people are in a circle, all dressed in white – some playing instruments, some
clapping, and all singing and having fun. In the middle, two people concentrate
intensely, then one throws a flying kick while the other gracefully evades it.
They continue for a few minutes, before the one wearing a black cord stops,
shakes the other person’s hand, and presents that person with a yellow cord,
replacing the white cord previously around their waist. It is only then that
you realise you have seen the first-ever capoeira batizado in the Cayman Islands.

Pronounced ka-pu-eh-ra, the sport
is practiced all over the world, and recently found its way to the Cayman
Islands. It was created in the 16th century by African slaves in Brazil as a
way of disguising their self-defence training by combining it with dance and
music. It was not legalised until 1953, but it is now one of the fastest
growing sports in the world.


In Cayman since 2008

Instructor Koé has been teaching
capoeira in the Cayman Islands since 2008, under the guidance of the
world-renowned Mestre (Master) Curumim. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
he is very excited about his first batizado ceremony, in which students are
promoted to their next level.

“The batizado is the highest point
for the capoeirista (practitioner of capoeira), where he applies all the
knowledge acquired in the past year of training,” said Koé. “The student has
the chance to play against a master or a professor – this way the student earns
his first  grade and is initiated into
the world of capoeira.”

Shanice Kelly, who has been
training with Koé for several months, says for her, it is “an avenue in which I
can express myself through physical activity and learn about a completely
different culture.”


The Capoeira workshops are open to
the public and will feature guests from Brazil and the US to help celebrate the
achievements of local students. For more information, please call Instructor
Koé on 547-3673, Instructor Panda on 926-2147, or email [email protected]