Mestre Ananias' berimbau playing and style had a profound effect on my approach to my own practice.
phot by Maria Buzanovsky
Mestre Waldemar jogando
Capoeira has a rich history stretching back hundreds of years. While arguments exist about its exact historical trajectory, we know it is an artform practiced and developed by the African people of Bahia, Brazil.
This rich mixture of dance, fight, resistance, philosophy and strategy survived brutal repression well into the twentieth century. It was the opening of Mestre Bimba's academy that would pave the way for capoeira to be decriminalised in the 1940s.
Capoeira Angola is a traditional style of capoeira different to the Regional style developed by Mestre Bimba. Characterised by a larger musical orchestra (bateria), the use of rituals such as chamadas (where one player 'calls' another) and a focus on cunning or malicia, Capoeira Angola has been preserved by Mestres such as Pastinha, Waldemar, Gato Preto and many more.
East London Capoeira focuses on this traditional style of capoeira because of its depth, complexity and potential for lifelong practice.