Movement, Music, & Mandinga – Body, Mind, & Spirit
Capoeira Angola is a cooperative practice. Whether one is training the physical movements, the musical customs, or the hidden subtleties of the art training constitutes a steady exchange of dynamic energy and information. As a result, those that train in Capoeira Angola are not simply training their physical fitness, cognitive perceptions, or spirituality; they are learning how to functionally utilize themselves as a whole, and to better utilize that whole to benefit the world.
Training in Capoeira Angola consists of Movement, Music, and Mandinga. With the integration of these principles, one is easily able to play Capoeira Angola at any speed or pace for any duration of time necessary.
Movement is the body of Capoeira Angola. The actions are engaged in the form of strikes, deflections, evasions, sweeps, and counter-attacks. Taking on the form of a dialogue, the movements of Capoeira Angola can range from a pleasant conversation to a heated argument. Importantly, these movements are trained to be applied in an improvisational manner - it is the improvisation of the movement that makes the game of Capoeira Angola so exciting, spontaneous, and often surprising.
Music is the mind quality of Capoeira Angola. A line of eight instruments forms a bateria, or orchestra, which consists of three berimbaus, two pandeiros, a reco-reco, an agogo bell, and an atabaque. All of the songs are sung in Portuguese in the style of a call-and-response. While training or playing, the rhythm of the music affects the movement of the players, and the movement of the players affects the proverb of the songs, making the music an integral part of Capoeira Angola.
Mandinga is the spirit of Capoeira Angola. Blessed with Axé and cooked in Dendê, Mandinga is effectively applied without any apparent evidence. Mandinga is borrowing a person’s watch without their knowledge, asking them for the time, having them check their phone, and accepting their compliment on your new watch. Mandinga is putting money in a person’s bank account, taking them out to dinner to celebrate their newfound cash, and paying the bill. Mandinga is cunning. Mandinga is calm. Mandinga is the playful Malícia that energizes and motivates the game of Capoeira Angola.