Posted by: Amiga | March 20, 2008

Looking so amazingly good in Brazil

Why is everyone looking so amazingly good here? I’m more than certain that during your sightseeing visits to Salvador da Bahia your eyes will stray off and you’ll wonder. Ok, ok…not everyone but certainly enough to make your neck ache after a 30 minute walk and ask yourself if it’s something in the water these Brazilians are drinking.

Well, It’s not the water that makes them look so damn good. They prefer to drink bottled water since the tap is prone to mosquitoes carrying Yellow Fever. It seems to be a mixture of Samba dancing, love for one another, nature, food, culture, life, and … CAPOEIRA. Since genetic didn’t rule out my chances of looking just as good as these native Brazilian, I ventured about to Pelourinho to get my Ginga on.

If you are sightseeing in the Historic Center, you’ll also spot a lot of men and woman, young and old, sporting these wide athletic pants or even uniforms, or carrying a long wooded pole with a round gourd attached to it’s base, it’s an instrument called a Berimbau. You’ll be tempered to walk over to gathering in circles of folks beating a tambourine, which is called a Pandeiro in Brazil or drums, they will be moving rhythmically and singing but these aren’t tripped out, pot smoking hippies. Within the circle you’ll discover … CAPOEIRA!

It is a dance-martial arts, involving kicks, sweeps, spins, acrobatics, defensive and attack movements as traditional songs referring to Bahia of the past are sung and played out with instruments. It was created by enslaved Africans brought into Salvador da Bahia. It’s seems like no one is too old or young to Jogar/ play in the Roda/circle. And it varies in technique and sequences. There are several forms, Angola which is the original, Regional, Abada, and the Rua (street) capoeiras.

I had the honor of studying for 6 months straight, six days out of the week, for 2 plus hours, each day at the first academy established in Brazil Associacao de Capoeira Mestre Bimba, under Mestre Bamba an exceptional teacher, whom I highly recommend in Pelourinho. I vowed to give these Brazilian ladies some competition,… or at least try.

Hey, it was fun,… trying. It really is. And you’ll get a wonderful workout, learn a little Portuguese, meet some nice people, have fun dancing, and feel great too. Not a bad package. Please try it out while in Bahia. There are many other schools as well. Such as Kirube, which is taught by Mestre Orelha. Or Capoeira Topazio. Just walk along the streets of Pelourinho with your head cocked to the side so when you hear a Berimbau, look for a school or a Capoeirista.

But if you’re just not motivated to lift anything more than a cold drink then, why not watch a live full show. Either a street one daily in Pelourinho in the Praça, it’s free. You will be asked for contributions, it is YOUR CALL how much you would like to contribute. Please do not get conned by a few bad apples at performing outdoors. Outdoors you may meet Mestre/Teachers amongst the street capoeiristas such as Mestre Ja Morreu. Or Mestre Beto Mansinho whom also does volunteer work with the children of Bahia at, Arte a nonprofit organization.

If you are down in Comercio/the Lower City walk into Mercado Modelo the old African market in the open back court, Mestre Hulk leads the roda there, (you gotta love these names).
Or just catch one at the Associacao do Capoeira Mestre Bimba, in Pelourinho (ask for Buda he speaks several languages or Dalva), which goes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with a full Capoeira, Maculele and Samba do Roda to blow you away.

If you decide to try it for yourself at the academy make sure to wear some loose attire, and bring along something to wipe the perspiration you’ll acquire from either the sport itself, or the incredibly sexy, instructors….Ginga!!!


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