Video: “Capoeira Girl” [CGI]

6 05 2008

Watch this video! I came across it the other week and am sharing here it for two reasons:

1. It features a mandingueira, playing a mandingueiro.

2. It’s beautiful!

The graphics are stunning, the capoeiristas themselves are “devastatingly fit” (to quote from the youtube description), the music is haunting, and their game is pure enjoyment to watch. Although it’s mostly kicks and acrobatics (as opposed to more elaborate dialogue, though that might have been hard to create well), Lena at Utopia Films did a really good job. Look out at 1:46 and 1:53 for examples of cintura desprezada!

Of course, I couldn’t help noticing their capoeira cordas as well…I’m assuming, based on the red and the white, that the woman is a contra-mestra and the man is a mestre. Why they couldn’t have both been mestres I don’t know, but I guess for the variety. (And better than a higher level woman being matched with a lower level man, I suppose?) Oh, and apparently the video is an ad for Diet Coke, though it’s subtle (well, kind of)…just ignore that part! 😛

Anyway, the best bit about this video is: It’s supposed to be part 1 of a trilogy! So I will definitely keep an eye out for the rest of the installments and feature them on here once they’re available. (Unless they just included that line in the video for “effect”.) At any rate, for now, press play, and breathe in the music, the motions, the scene…

Update: It has been brought to my attention that this video has actually earlier appeared on another well-known capoeira blog!  So if you like, you can now have the pleasure of watching it twice. 😉

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23 responses

6 05 2008
faisca

You’re a little late on this one, Joaninha =P

http://thecapoeirablog.wordpress.com/2007/11/19/capoeira-video-capoeira-girl/

But that’s OK. I’ll let it slide this time.

6 05 2008
Joaninha

LoL! Darn… Well, I’d have liked to have had it up on here anyway, but in my defense, it looks as if that post was before my time… 😛

But thank you, O great and merciful one, for your magnanimity knows no bounds! =P

6 05 2008
faisca

🙂

6 05 2008
Cachoeira

Hm I don’t really know, it’s sort of cliche.. I mean it starts off with her being so white and drinking coke and him being so black and excercising on a fenced playground kinda thing, and then she plays real nice but he rocks harder, even though he’s got white and she’s what, ruby or what. And I am not sure about the clothing question: Should women be always portrait in these sport bras?

6 05 2008
Cachoeira

oh on second look i saw, yeah, maybe you’re right Joaninha and he’s diamond. But I dont know, I mean he does not look very much like a mestre.. for me 🙂

6 05 2008
akira

Just a quick note about the cordas: depending which school you’re part of, the corda grading will be different. For example, in Senzala, I believe the red corda signifies mestre rank whereas the white corda is for beginners. The video description has it that they’re from opposing clubs – perhaps different schools altogether?

Beautifully shot and edited, an entertaining video for sure.

6 05 2008
Joaninha

Hey Cachoeira (what does your name mean, by the way?),

Heh, I suppose it is cliche in some respects, and on Faisca’s blog I believe someone said some parts were cheesy, but in terms of aesthetics I think it’s still worth watching!

Ruby and diamond? That sounds interesting…are all of your cord colours named like that?

About the sports bra…I don’t know. Women in my group do train with them, so it’s not too out of place for me, and I suppose the video producer wanted to show off the characters’ bodies…I agree it’s definitely not always necessary, but somehow it seems to fit the tone/atmosphere of the video here… (Even if only in the sense that it plays into more cliches XD)

(Now to Akira as well)

As for the belts, I think in a lot of groups “white” is Mestre, but “undyed”/”raw”/”crua” is beginner…so they both look white, but there is actually a difference. So I assumed he was white/a mestre because I didn’t think they’d have a crua/beginner playing like that!

7 05 2008
akira

Oh whoops. I left out a sentence in my last post which was to say they could possibly be the same rank because different schools use different corda grading systems. I went to a Senzala event and I was incredibly excited because I was going to meet two people of mestre level for the first time. To my surprise, they were wearing red cordas.

Apparently, the red corda is their mestre level rank and white was their beginning rank. I was wondering why they had so many young ‘mestres’! 😀 From youtube videos, I always assumed that white corda meant mestre and that every contemporanea school used the same corda system.

I don’t know much about corda systems. My school uses coloured handkerchiefs instead of cordas. Or so I’ve been told… they only award you your first one when you graduate so I’ve not actually seen one yet. Meh.

And I agree with you, that guy is definitely not a beginner. I mean, just look at his moves. *whistles* x-D

7 05 2008
AxeCoxinha

Lol well I guess Joaninha made that assumption about the cordaos because many schools have white (not raw, although I have to say raw looks like white in my academy) and red as high ranks such as mestre levels.

7 05 2008
cigana

beautiful people doing beautiful movements, but I’m not sure if they’re mestres or even contra-mestres. My guess is they have a background in capoeira and dance/gymnastics (especially the guy) and that they were choreographed. I also think the red and white cordas are coca cola inspired.

Some groups take their corda colours from the Brazilian flag, others are inspired by the colours of the orixas and some from Asian martial arts’ belt systems (and I’m sure a variety of other sources). Never judge someone’s game by their belt!

you’ll have to keep us up to date on parts 2 and 3.

ps-cachoeira: waterfall

8 05 2008
cenoura

I do love this video, and agree I wanna know about parts 2 and 3, though I have to agree that the cordas are probably meant to sell diet coke rather than being real. I think giving them rank based on them is a bit much. I also have to ask, how do you tell the difference between a raw corda and a white one(have never interacted with a group that uses raw)?

8 05 2008
Shayna

Cenoura – the “raw” cord is slightly off-white – like an ivory. It is kinda hard to distinguish at first glance… so it’s probably easier to tell by the person’s game whether they’re a newbie or a mestre 😉

Re: the sports bra – it’s a great question and I feel like we’ve touched on it here at Mandingueira before. It brings up a lot of issues – like if “women in capoeira” are always/often portrayed as slender, six-pack sporting chicks strutting their stuff in a sports bra, how does that make women whose bodies may differ from that “ideal” feel? Or women who come from cultures where they dress more conservatively and would be uncomfortable revealing more, but may feel pressure to do so?

We recently touched on this a bit within my group – we dress more conservatively (T-shirt, which is tucked in, and shoes) – addressing the question of what to do if someone visited our class wearing a tiny halter top, or with their thong peeking out over their abadas, etc. The general consensus was that it’s ok to respectfully ask them to put on a larger shirt or whatever – we’re not saying they’re wrong for dressing like that, but they are visiting our house, so to speak.

I personally like the fact that my group’s uniform is conservative. It puts everyone on “equal ground” in a sense, and provides a sort of safe space where women don’t have to worry about the whole who-can-draw-more-attention-to-their-body competition, or the whole are-the-guys-checking-out-my-game-or-my-thong deal. Keeps the focus on the capoeira 🙂

11 05 2008
Joaninha

Hey Akira,

Ahhh yeah that’s a good point! And you can clearly see the logo on the girl’s abada, but not the boy’s, so they could very well be different. Hahah, young mestres =P

Some corda systems might be similar, especially for colours of mestres (it’s starting to seem like red or white are the most common, though I think I’ve seen one system with black), but many differ by a lot in between. And of course, as Cigana said, some are based on the Brazilian flag.

Handkerchiefs? Wow…that’s like what Mestre Bimba did, right?

11 05 2008
Joaninha

Ditto, AxeCoxinha!

11 05 2008
Joaninha

Cigana…the part about the cordas being for Coca Cola…wow!! It seems so obvious now, I can’t believe I didn’t see that or think of it at ALL!! Hahaha…that was an amazing observation…that’ll teach me to jump to conclusions. 😛

And thanks for the definition. ^^” It was bugging me because I know I’d heard it somewhere before…and I was right, it’s also the name of someone else in my grupo!

11 05 2008
Joaninha

Cenoura,

Yeah, I agree about the cordas being for Coke too. Haha, I feel silly. What a great idea on their part, though!

Between raw and white…yes, what Shayna said. ^^” Also, I think white is actually dyed white, so it would be brighter.

11 05 2008
Joaninha

Hey Shayna,

Actually, that’s really interesting…we’ve touched on the question of women wearing revealing/form-fitting clothing in general, but come to think of it, never directly discussed it in the context of what women wear to train capoeira!

In my group, women wear both T-shirts and sports bras to train…so I don’t know if the fact I’m okay with that is because I’m used to it or not. I’ve never felt pressure to train in a sports bra myself (for one thing, it would be completely unflattering and embarassing), and I haven’t found wearing/not wearing one really affects how you’re seen or treated, in my group anyway (luckily!).

I think I’m okay with using both if the environment makes it clear that either one is perfectly fine and okay, and doesn’t try pressuring people towards a preference for one or the other, since I can see a practical value in using sports bras as well (like easier mobility/agility and your shirt not falling down in bananeira XD).

I actually am not really sure what I think about the concensus your group came to…it could go both ways…as in, I think it makes sense to respectfully ask her to put on a t-shirt, the same way one might be expected to follow your style of play in the roda…On the other hand, it does seem to imply a tiny bit that it’s wrong, at least inside the academy, because otherwise she wouldn’t need to be asked…and in terms of keeping the focus on the capoeira, one could ask why the onus is on the visitor to keep attention off of herself, and not on everyone else for keeping themselves focused on capoeira instead of staring at her? But I also see the point about the safe space…so I’m undecided!

14 05 2008
Akira

Aye Joaninha, it is what Bimba did. His son Nenel is the mestre of our school and he’s very keen on tradition. I believe he’s only made one person mestre during his tenure as the head of our school. It was done the old-fashioned way: the guy is a skilled capoeirista and was already widely regarded as a mestre for his dedication and service to the community with many projects to help people.

And about the sports bra: what about the guy’s physique? Not all men have bodies like that and might feel a little intimidated/ashamed! You’re forgetting that a lot of issues females have are also relevant to the other gender. 😉 Sure, ideal male bodies aren’t as scrutinised or publicised as ideal female bodies are, nor are we sexually objectified to the same degree (though all this is slowly changing – equalising if you will :-P) yet in principle it’s the same.

I didn’t really notice the sports bra at first – I was too busy checking out their capoeira! Anyway, people in tight or little clothing is familiar to me in the context of capoeira, which is another reason it didn’t cross my mind. It just seemed to fit, if you know what I mean?

Furthermore, I assumed it was chosen for aesthetics since it’s a video. What’s more beautiful than a toned human body? The best way to reveal that and keep in the spirit of capoeira is to strip both players as much as possible – no top for the guy and a sports bra for the lady. Why it is acceptable for males to bare their chests but not for women is an entirely different matter… 😉

14 05 2008
cenoura

I don’t know, I don’t know if the best way to do anything is to strip both players as much as possible. It’s a common ad method, but that hardly means much good to me. That said, is what Shayna’s group does really much different than a particular club or restaurant having a dress code? Or another martial art having a uniform? I don’t know that I think it’s making the visitor keep attention off themselves. But I guess now that I say that, I do kind of see your point and that is a bit problematic-or at least very similar to a lot of modesty rules that I do find problematic. I mean, in my group you have to wear our shirts for much other than informal practices. It’s never been framed as a modesty rule, but it does work that way. That ad brings up the same issues for me as ads where runners can’t ever seem to wear a shirt-it’s annoying from a using sex to sell everything perspective, but I don’t think that it’s making any comment on the particular activity being shown.

14 05 2008
cenoura

meant to address the first part of the last comment to Akira

16 11 2008
Malandro

Lol at the sports bra issue…see, girls, it’s real easy: If you don’t feel comfortable in a sports bra (being unattractive, ogled, whatever) then WEAR A GODDAMNED t-shirt! LOL! Why do you think somebody else should solve your problems for you?

As for ‘respectfully asking them to put a large tshirt on’…what would you do if somebody respectfully asked you to wear a burkha in his house?

17 11 2008
angoleiro

Hey Malandro, I guess it’s ok to ask somebody respectfully to obey your rules when entering their school, no? if you dont like the rules, you dont have to be there. it sounds hard but that’s how it is. my trainer asked everyone to wear shoes while at his training, and told the people to wear t-shirts. men and women. it’s equal, it’s fair, and if somebody gets annoyed by it, because that doesnt fit into his “system” then it’s not the problem of the school, right?

18 11 2008
Joaninha

Wait, what do you mean by “somebody else should solve problems for you”? You mean by making rules for you? I think it’s not so much the idea of someone dealing with it for you but that if a rule is or isn’t in place that would affect the environment and how comfortable each person is making their particular choice in it. But then again, you could also be right in terms of “Who cares what other people think?!!”

Also, just to clarify, I think the conversation above was more along the lines of discussing how different capoeira schools address stuff like this, as opposed to “like, omg, should I, like, wear a sports bra?!?!? Omg, like, I don’t know what to do!!” which you seemed to imply…

The burkha question is interesting…it kind of addresses the issue of why I was on the fence about that one, like I mentioned above. Is it “levelling” and “respecting the academy”, or “oppression” (another extreme word, but for lack of a better one I can think of right now)?

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