The corridos comes after the chula following the ladhaina and is the part of the song where the game is actually played. The form is an overlapping call and response with the first line of the song usually dictating the chorus that the spectators 'call back'
So why sing? The Roda in which the players play is a circle - The music and song is directed into the circle by the bateria and surrounding spectators which infuses it and the players with energy (or Axe - pronounced ashay). The songs themselves are many and varied - and in Portuguese. The elements of a song can be divided into four main categories - ladainhas, chulas, corridos and quadras.
Candomblé (pronounced can-dom-blay) is an African-originated or Afro-Brazilian religion, practised chiefly in Brazil by the "povo de santo" (people of saint). It originated in the cities of Salvador, the capital of Bahia and Cachoeira, at the time one of the main commercial crossroads for the distribution of products and slave trade to other parts of Bahia state in Brazil. Although Candomblé is practiced primarily in Brazil, it is also practiced in other countries in the Americas, including Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama; and in Europe in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The religion is based in the anima (soul) of Nature, and is also known as Animism. It was developed in Brazil with the knowledge of African Priests that were enslaved and brought to Brazil, together with their mythology, their culture and language, between 1549 and 1888.
The Capoeira Aú (pronounced Ay-You)is known as cartwheel in gymnastics and other martial arts. However, in Capoeira the Aú is performed slowly and in most cases with arms and legs bent forward to protect the player from incoming kicks and attacks. From Aú, the player can also easily kick the opponent. When performing Aú , it is very important for the player fighter to look at the opponent in other to be informed for any incoming attacks. To do this the player has to place his head between his hands looking straight instead of looking at the ground. As with a lot of capoeira moves , there are variations on the basic one.
The ginga (literally: rocking back and forth; to swing) is the fundamental movement in capoeira. Capoeira Angola and Capoeira Regional have distinctive forms of ginga. Both are accomplished by maintaining both feet approximately shoulder-width apart and then moving one foot backwards and then back to the base, describing a triangular step on the ground. This movement is done to prepare the body for other movements.
The rest of the body is also involved in the ginga: coordination of the arms (in such a way as to prevent the body from being kicked), torso (many core muscles may be engaged depending on the player's style), and the leaning of the body (forward and back in relation to the position of the feet; the body leans back to avoid kicks, and forward to create opportunities to show attacks). The overall movement should match the rhythm being played by the bateria. The ginga is essential to capoeira.
Capoeria is not just a pursuit of the physical - It is also a way of life, a philosophy. Part of that philosophy is the idea of malicia and mandinga. The roda is a microcosm of life and we are able to develop our senses to perceive the core nature of people through it. These concepts elevate true practitioners of capoeira beyond just the physical aspect.
Here is a great example of the ladhaina, chula/louvacao and corridos. I did mention you have to sing in Portuguese right? So here's some lyrics too. Translations will show lyrics as being nonsensical but the more capoeira you play the more sense they make
Ladainha means litany. It is the song that starts the roda and so is probably the most important part. No capoeira takes place until the ladainha is complete. The ladhaina is like a blessing on the space and players.
The format of the ladainha is akin to a prayer and as such players wait at the foot of the berimbau until it is over and they have permission to start
The Ladainha is split into two parts the second being the chula or louvação which consists of a call and response giving thanks to masters, gods etc
After the formality of a candomble ceremony, participants would 'relax' with the Samba de Roda. This traditional Afro-Brazilian dance has become part of capoeira. The expression of the Samba de Roda can range from truly ritualistic in terms clothing, movement etc to completly informal.
The reader can very well ask: why a roda? To which a good response would be another question: why has humanity chosen the roda? – To which responses would follow without understanding the meaning of the question.
Rolê (pronounced ho-ley) is a basic movement used for gathering momentum for other movements, moving around the floor and flowing. In most cases it is used in combination with other movements – Ginga, Esquivas, etc. In Rolê, the body is bent forward spinning to one side while the head is placed in a position suitable to constantly watch the opponent. The Rolê is finished when the body makes turn in 180 degrees.
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