Afro-Brazilian Art - IV
Our young and talented percussionist, 16-year old Edimilson da Silva Benedito of the Banda Beija-Flor, knows how to preserve the true spirit of African drumming with incredible flexibility and high-speed.
Today was the 9th. Batizado (graduation ceremony) of Capoeira Beija-Flor. Our Grupo Cultural Beija-Flor opened the event at 09:00am with their exuberant Afro-Brazilian dance, Maculelê, to the powerful rhythmic sounds of authentic African drums.
The Afro-Brazilian art forms, Maculelê and Capoeira, are closely connected.
Maculelê is a stick-dance that originated in the sugar cane fields of Brazil during slavery and brings together the traditions of different African tribes with those of Brazilian Indians. As a symbol of their work on the sugar cane plantations, the dancers carry sticks, and sometimes machetes. They simulate combat by hitting the sticks together to the rhythm of the atabaque (a percussion instrument).
Capoeira is a beautiful combination of dance, martial arts and acrobatics, second only to soccer in the preference of Brazilians as a national sport. Both art forms were created by Africans enslaved in Brazil in the XVII century, and developed through the ages as part of the Afro-Brazilian struggle for freedom.
The melodies, rhythms and songs of Maculelê and Capoeira carry the teachings of our ancestors and reflect the invincible spirit and imagination of the Brazilian slaves. These extremely dynamic art forms contribute towards some of the most traditional cultural practices in Brazil.
Please don't forget to visit Tatiana Cardeal's great photos from this event.