Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lucas' Capoeira Event

Earlier this week Lucas received a special invitation. His Capoeira group at school, Kilombolas, was celebrating its 35th birthday and Lucas was invited to participate. His instructor told us that not all the kids in his class were invited, only the more advanced ones, if you can be an advanced student of Capoeira at three years old.

I knew more or less where the event was happening, but what I didn't realize was that I knew exactly where the event was happening. There had been a graffiti event in the bairro back in October and the cultural center where the party was held was in the same spot. I had spent a very enjoyable hour or so running around the same streets with a very motivated organizer who wanted me to paint every wall in the neighborhood with the dribbles I had left in a couple cans. It was really cool to go back today, because I got to see and take pictures of some paintings that I hadn't even seen in daylight. Plus I got to show them off to Evani and Lucas.

The event, which was to start at three, was typically poorly organized and late getting started. When they finally did get started, we had to sit through the usual thanking of all the mestres and advanced students present, and a couple mestres who took the mike to say a few things. There are very few things you can say about all mestres of Capoeira, but it's safe to say that they are all like to talk. So that took a while.

What made the speeches a bit different was the guy MC'ing the event told everyone, twice, right off the bat, that there was to be no stealing of cameras or sneakers or cell phones because there were police in attendance and this wasn't that kind of event. He also made a point that this was not a batizado, or baptism, but a birthday party. Batizados are initiation events in Capoeira Regional and are generally accompanied with a troca de corda, the Capoeira version of moving up a belt. Neither of these things exist in Capoeira Angola.

To open the event there was a little bit of Maculelé, which is another very cool Afro-Brazilian stick fight/dance. People who are skilled at it use machetes, everyone else uses pieces of wood. This was a bunch of kids, and nobody was using machetes.

Next up was Lucas and his crew. Their presentation lasted all of two minutes, and it was as I had expected: very cute, the kids in varying degrees of focus. They sang the usual songs that get sung when kids are in the roda, including the old favorite Nhem Nhem Nhem, where they sing:

Cala boca, menino,
Nhem nhem nhem,

Menino chor√£o,

Nhem nhem nhem

This translates as "Shut your mouth, kid, you crybaby," with the taunting refrain every other line. There are a bunch of other songs for kids but like I said, this was only a two minute presentation. Now I'm going to do the Proud Papai thing and post the video of the entire thing so you can say "aaawww... how cute" in the privacy of your own home.

Pretty much as soon as they finished, we left. We'd been there for an hour and a half already. The room was also quite stuffy. I don't really understand the Brazilian aversion to windows, but they build a lot of stuff that has almost no ventilation. This place was actually better than most, with a bunch of little openings high up on the walls. Thank goodness it was cool and cloudy- if it had been sunny and summertime we would have been roasted in there.

So to wrap this up I'm going to post a couple photos of my aging street art, now that I have daylight versions of them. On the way out I discovered that one of them had been painted over. Blast!!


michelle said...

Awwwww...the part with the bottom of his little foot just about killed me- cute, cute, cute!
That girl with the long hair on the left side of the screen looked like she was itchin' to kick some butt- sort of like the pre-school version of the woman from your Roda post...

markuza said...

Yeah, that girl is fierce - the instructor made some comment about her, I think he said every group needs a dozen like her... She'll be downright dangerous in a couple years!