In 2013, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil will be hosting World Youth Day (WYD), and we were fortunate enough to be invited by some Filipino volunteers to talk a bit about Capoeira, which, in a way, is central to Brazilian culture.
To begin with, we have never been asked to ‘talk’ about Capoeira before. When people invite us, we usually do demo classes or performances, so this is quite new. Our audience was a small group of very enthusiastic young professionals from an Opus Dei Center near Shaw blvd. And although this was our first time, it was a very rewarding experience to be able to share your passion to people who are interested and are willing to listen.
To my surprise, most of the audience have never heard of Capoeira before, so I wanted to define it in the simplest way possible. The best one-word definition I thought of as I was preparing for the talk was “Liberdade” – the Portuguese word for “Freedom“. (This is also the usual definition given by one of our coaches, Leao, when he talks about Capoeira.)
Why Liberdade? Well, I gave a bit of a background on the history of Capoeira – how the word “Freedom” is very important during its beginnings, and how it still applies to us Capoeiristas today. If you’re interested to learn more, you can always tap me or send me a note.
We mentioned how we have learned a bit of Portuguese through songs, and so after the session and Q&A, they asked for us to teach them a short Capoeira song. It seemed fitting that we introduced them to “Dona Maria, Como Vai Voce” which literally translates to “Dona Maria, How Do You Do?”.
And lastly, of course, we just had to say yes to a short demo of Benguela. (I wish someone could share me a video of this so I can post it here. Right now, all I have is this odd photo of me and Pandora preparing for the demo below.)
To conclude, I am very happy to have been invited to this gathering, and this is something that I’d want to do more in the future.
For the benefit of the people in the discussion today, I’m sharing my slides (and forgive me if it’s full of me):
To the people from the center: I hope we were able to enlighten you, in a way. And of course, I hope to see you on the mats in the following weeks!
P.S. Special thanks to Kit Soliman for the invitation!
Edited September 3, 2012: Also special thanks to Pandora (Joan) and Sonhadora (Ces) for being there with me and talking about their own experiences on Capoeira!