Maculele (Stick dancing) in honor of the new Capoeristas
Yesterday we attended our first Batizado (literally translated as baptism). Capoeira Masters and their groups of students came to Denver from all over the US to demonstrate their skills in hopes of receiving a "cordao" (woven belt) to indicate the next level of achievement. Masters flew in from ten states and several countries--including Brazil, of course-- to test and instruct each candidate. But first, each Master played another Master to give credibility to their skills and to set the standard that candidates must achieve. As this is a dance, although it uses martial arts moves, there is no competition. The word "play" is purposely used to describe the interaction between the two dancers performing within the circle. The dance involves advancement and avoidance moves, cartwheels,handstands, kicks and defensive techniques. There is--if done correctly--no physical contact. Yet, I have no doubt that these candidates possess the skill and strength for self-defense if necessary.
The Maculele, in the photo above, is not a part of capoeira but is a common Brazilian celebration presented in honor of acheivement--and all the dancers in this case were capoeiristas.
Each candidate received two family tickets and as Ligia's host family we were privileged to attend. Though the energy was highly charged with rhytmic instruments, clapping and song, the dedication and quiet respect for their craft was almost spiritual.
If you wish to see--and hear--more, there is a link on my March 26 entry: Capoeira.
A Capoerista demonstrating her skills "playing" with a Capoeira Master