Permangola 2011, photo by Anja Wiken
Capoeira Angola is an art form rooted in Afro-Brazilian tradition. Its practice represents the conjugation of various cultural activities that include fight, dance, music, dramatization, trickery and game.

The movements are traditional yet each ‘capoeirista’ reproduces them starting from his/ her physical constitution and gesture. From powerful kicks to ground acrobatics, dance movements and strategies of self-defense, the exchange between two capoeiristas transforms into a deceptive physical discourse of carefully executed variations and complex combinations.

The Capoeira Angola jogo (game) unfolds in the roda (circle) which represents the world and its various elements. Capoeira music, an integral part of the practice, embeds a philosophy and history that began in Africa, evolved in Brazil and now reverberates across cultures.

Capoeira Angola was an expression of freedom and a social instrument to revive African identity and resist oppression. Today, although the socio-political context in which Capoeira Angola developed is no longer the same, oppression takes on a new form and so has the role of the art form in modern-day society.

In an attempt to broaden an individual’s perception by way of collective experiences, Capoeira Angola is a self-awareness process that is not limited to physical activity as it taps into the intuitive and the metaphysical.