A Lotus Grows in Brooklyn


Capoeiristas at the Museum
June 11, 2009, 9:50 am
Filed under: Arts | Tags: , ,

The other night in front of the Brooklyn Museum, entertaining the crowds packing in for First Saturday, I heard the familiar sound of capoeira songs. I don’t speak Portuguese, but that call-and-response can only mean one thing. Much of the distinctive sound also comes from the people in the back playing berimbaus, with a steel string attached to a gourd, as you can see in my photo below.

 Picture 103

Capoeira is a traditional Afro-Brazilian dance and martial art that originated with slaves brought from Africa. It combines games of play-fighting and acrobatics with ritual singing and instrumentation. (Apologies to my friend Jane, who’s a great capoeirista, if I have any details wrong!)

To a spectator, capoeira is exciting and soothing at the same time, and a tradition I find very intriguing.

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To get a better idea of what the music sounds like, watch this vid. And in case my action shots aren’t action-y enough for you, this is full of people being insanely acrobatic.

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