Thursday, 6 September 2012

Vamos vadiar!

This is my last blog from this piece of research. It has been an amazing experience! It has made me think not only about capoeira and security but also about the processes of learning and knowledge. The insights that I have gained have been intensely intellectually – and physically! – challenging and will continue to be so.

My final blog is dedicated to expressing thanks. I am very deeply grateful to the people who have been part of my experience of capoeira in Salvador. I have played dozens of games and I thank everyone for every single moment – in all the classes and all the rodas – it has all been brilliant.

My greatest gratitude is reserved for the teachers in the two schools in which I trained.

Mestre Nenel!
My heartfelt thanks go to Mestre Nenel, the living legend of Capoeira Regional and head of the Filhos de Bimba School of Capoeira, and to Professor Berimbau who oriented me patiently through my first Regional steps. Mestre Nenel taught me the diversity and loveliness of the musical toques that accompany the Regional game and shared the vast wealth of movements, each with a name, an objective and an escape! I am grateful to him for inspiration, for technique, rhythm and precision in capoeira and for the total magical happiness of it that makes everything possible! And for his great rodas where the extremely young, the extremely good and the extremely seasoned play – including many who trained with Mestre Bimba. Through an extraordinary charismatic power, Mestre Nenel lives, plays and teaches profoundly beautiful capoeira.

Mestre Valmir
Mestre Cobra Mansa

I extend my deep thanks, too, to the FICA team – Mestres Valmir and Cobra Mansa, Contra-Mestra Gege, Dija and Aloan. FICA Bahia introduced me to the wonder of Angola songs, the baterĂ­a, the improvisation, the theatre of interaction, the diversity of games and the intricacy of convention. I am grateful for the stories that surround and work through capoeira Angola, the traces of history, and the insights into the extremes of physical expression and the variety of play. And for the experience of playing in the street, in the countryside, everywhere – everything is capoeira! 

Part of the FICA experience is Kilombo Tenonde, Mestre Cobra Mansa’s lived witness to permaculture and capoeira Angola. I spent some wonderful days weeding vegetable beds, working on an irrigation pump (!), playing capoeira and music, and swimming in the river. Kilombo is testament to the importance of sustainability and community and to how much work is involved. And it is fantastic! Another world is possible – it’s already there!