by Cristina Sakamoto (ACD Program Coordinator)
Capoeira is a Brazilian art form that combines martial arts, dance and music. Capoeira was created mainly by the African slaves in Brazil during the colonial period and combines movements from the martial arts and dance, to the sound of berimbau, pandeiros, atabaque, agogô and ganzuá, music instruments from Brazil.
Nowadays, capoeira is seen as the art form that represents Brazil around the world, bringing together people from different groups and nationalities in a roda de capoeira, the circle formed by capoeiristas, or the fighters, and the capoeira musical instrumentalists, where everyone involved sing and clap their hands to the rhythm. Capoeira has groups and representatives in several important cities around the world.
In 2004, the Brazilian Culture Ministry has produced a documentary called “Capoeira Paz no Mundo”, as a tribute to the Brazilian diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello, who was in a mission for peace and killed in a terrorist attack in Bagdad, at the local headquartes of the United Nations. The video presents the tribute to the diplomat that happened at the Victoria Hall Theater, in Geneva; and highlights capoeira as an important art form that connects Brazil to the world, through the camaraderie of the peoples sharing a roda de capoeira.