Like with Mestra Suelly, I unfortunately wasn’t able to find very much biographical information on Contra-Mestra Cristina (unlike a lot of mestres or some regional mestras, angola mestras don’t seem very good at tooting their own horns 😛 ), but I will make up for it with something extra at the end!
Cristina Nascimento, or Contra-Mestra Cristina, first encountered capoeira in an unusual way: through a type of therapy she was undergoing called “Somatherapy”, part of which involved temporarily joining a capoeira angola class. Soon enough, however, she realized that she didn’t need anything more than the latter: “I finished the therapy and disligated myself completely from it, realizing it was in fact Capoeira which brought the profound transformation I was looking for in my life.”
Her first class took place in Rio de Janiero, in 1993 when she was 28 years old. The future contra-mestra trained under GCAP’s Mestre Neco, then became a student of Mestre Manõel the next year, whose oldest student she remains to this day. Cristina helped Mestre Manõel in the founding of Grupo Capoeira Angola Ypiranga de Pastinha (GCAYP), and in 2003 she received her contra-mestra’s corda. Today, she teaches children and runs the Rio de Janiero branch of GCAYP.
Now, here it is: an in-depth interview with Contra-Mestra Cristina, from Chamada de Mandinga in 1999. I hesitated about putting it up at first, because a large part of the second half made me feel the same way I feel when popular female celebrities give feminism a bad name and take us back a few decades (you’ll see), and some parts seem to focus more on Mestre Manõel than on Contra-Mestra Cristina, but ultimately still wanted the interview to be available to you guys. Click on the link to read it!
Interview with Contra-Mestra Cristina [pdf]