Archive for the ‘capoeira traditions’ Category

This week during capoeria class, we received some lyrics to several of the songs commonly sung in capoeira, especially for our group Barro Vermelho.

Marinheiro So:

Parana E

Zum Zum Zum

No Mercado Modelo Tem Acaraje

I will post more as I find them. If you have any favorites or have used youtube to help you learn the lyrics, please post the links to the videos in the comments or in our Facebook group!

class at Dance Institute of Washington

Here are some photos taken at the new practice space at Dance Institute of Washington.

It’s a spacious open area with full  full length mirrors, wood dance floors, and barres for stretching.

DIW has changing rooms and is conveniently located a couple blocks north of the Columbia Heights Metro station.

On the left, students practice martelo and rasteira during a Saturday beginner’s capoeira class.

At right, some of the students practicing the berimbau and attabaque, two traditonal instruments used in capoeira.

class at Dance Institute of Washington

Classes at DIW are held on Saturdays at 10:30 am and last 90 minutes.

Drop in classes are only $15 (no monthly membership dues required).

DIW is located at 3400 14th St NW, Washington DC – just a few blocks from the Columbia Heights metro station.

Classes are appropriate for all levels – even beginners – just wear some comfortable workout clothes and bring a bottle of water.


The corda from Brazil for the graduation ceremony finally arrived by mail:

We will be dyeing the cord and cutting it for the upcoming graduation ceremony which is scheduled for June. Keep checking this site or our Facebook page for updates.

Classes have resumed at Bloombars on Saturday and Sunday mornings and at BTI Dance studio on Sunday afternoons. We will be having a graduation within the next month or so, so keep coming to class and practicing. Also, wear your uniforms to class so that we can take pictures for the website. When we have an exact date for the graduation, we will post it on this blog and the Facebook Page.

As part of a Brazilian Cultural Event held at Catholic University in DC, Contra Mestre Bomba and a few students from Capoeira Barro Vermelho DC were asked to do a demonstration and give a talk about the origins of Capoeira, it’s traditions and Brazilian culture. Here are a few videos from the event, in case you missed it.

This video shows the traditional way a Berimbau is made by hand using wood, a gourd and some hand tools.

Here is a video showing Contra Mestre Bomba and Pete playing capoeira.

This video shows “malicia” or “mandinga”, an often misunderstood element of capoeira that uses trickery and deception to gain an advantage over an opponent.

In this video we see another example of trickery on an opponent.

Afterwards Contra Mestre Bomba gave a talk on Capoeira, then gave a beginner lesson to several volunteers.

And what Brazilian cultural event would be complete without a little samba?

There will be a Capoeira Demo this week as part of Catholic University’s International Week.  The announcement is below, it is being organized by Catholic University and the DC Portuguese Language Meetup Group.  I hope you all can make it.



Capoeira Contra-mestre Bomba, from Barro Vermelho Capoeira group, is going to show some Capoeira moves and offer the audience the rare opportunity to see live how a berimbau ( the rustic instrument made with a gourd and a steel wire) is made.

Capoeira is the African-Brazilian martial art disguised as a dance and performed to traditional songs, drums, hand claps, tambourine and berimbau. A tradition that was taught orally by the Africans who where brought to Brazil as slaves, and evokes freedom and strength.

March 24, 7:50 – 8:30 pm Samba workshop Brazilian Samba is going to take over CUA when Zeze Zax teaches a basic level workshop on one of the varieties of Samba, the most famous Brazilian rhythm. She is a well known professional in the Washington/DC area, who offers Samba dance instruction in a regular basis, leads a troupe of Samba dance performers, and hosts a Brazilian music radio program on WPFW, on Sundays evenings.

March 24, 8:30 – 9 pm WPLM Meet Up / Group conversation. The members of the Washington Portuguese Language Meet Up will have the opportunity to discuss Samba and Capoeira in Portuguese, with the masters/instructors and Portuguese language specialists, improving their cultural knowledge on the topics and learning the related vocabulary. Besides, of course, the vibrant environment that our interactions produce and that never fails to make us feel relaxed to make new friends, speaking in Portuguese!

Where: The Catholic University of America Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, (better known to the community as ?The Pryz building?)

620 Michigan Ave., N.E. Washington, D.C. ( the specific room # at the building will be posted by the entrance on the day of the event.

How to get there: For a Catholic University campus map, click on the link below The closest metro station is the Brookland/ CUA on Red Line. The parking is free along Harewood Rd.,NE, and in the Basilica of National Shrine of Imaculate Conception visitors parking, on the same road. There is, also, plenty of metered parking on John McCormack Rd. NE.

Part of learning Capoeira involves learning the traditions that are handed down from teacher to student and have survived in tact since slave times. By the time someone reaches the rank of mestre, they will not only be skilled in the movements of capoeira, but they will be able to play all the traditional instruments, know all the capoeira songs and be able to make cordas (rank belts) and even instruments like the berimbau, pandera, and attabaque from scratch with nothing but some wood and hand tools.

After class on a recent saturday, contra mestre bomba was showing some of his students how to make a traditional corda rank belt by hand. It involves four people and two very long cords of rope that are made of strings that are twisted together by hand.

The following three videos show the manufacture of the corda in three phases, the beginning, middle and end. It’s not meant to be an instructional, but should give you an idea of what is involved in something as simple as making a belt. Note that all four people must work together to make one belt. Like all things in capoeira, teamwork is key. You don’t achieve anything worthwhile in capoeira by yourself.