If someone told me a year ago that I would find myself in the company of 50 Capoeira fighters – dancers from all over the world for a Capoeira beach festival in Paros, I would have laughed to say the least.
But here we are, invited by Professor Fuba who heads and teaches in the leading Capoeira school in Athens, to participate, discover the art of Capoeira and most of all, have fun!
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art combining elements of dance, acrobatics and music. It was developed in Brazil mainly by African descendants, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is famous for its quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques.
Capoeira arose as a hope of survival for an escaped slave, completely unequipped, in this hostile, unknown land and against the armed and mounted colonial agents who were charged with capturing escapees. The dance was incorporated to avoid detection and corporal punishments. If slaves were caught practicing fighting techniques, they could be punished or executed. With music & rhythmic moves, they raised no suspicion of escape attempts.
Capoeira has gained a huge following during the last few years with millions of people practicing it all over the world.
Talking to a participant from Norway during the Paros beach festival, she told us that she has been practising for a few years now, but the best thing about it, is that it is a great opportunity to travel, with events, festivals and workshops taking place in countries like Brazil and Greece, this year alone.
This year’s Capoeira festival took place in Santa Marina beach, on the island of Paros.
We arrived on Saturday morning to find ourselves in front of an amazing spectacle. More than 50 capoeiristas assembled in a circle with the company of their musical instruments, practicing… more like showcasing what Capoeira is all about. Dancing, fighting, music, singing and an array of impressive martial arts moves.
Before coming here, I thought that Capoeira is a sport fit for a few, a violent martial art that would require the flexibility of an Olympic gymnast.
But this weekend changed the way I see Capoeira or better, opened my eyes to what it really is. An expression of fun, dance and music with fitness in its core.
I may never become a capoeirista myself, but I can say with certainty that this was one of the most awesome weekends ever on a gorgeous beach and surely next year there will be more Combadiers here!
P.S. A bit thanks once again to Professor Fuba and his team for organising this great festival, inviting them to be part of their family and showing us how fun capoeira can be!