Mestre Calango

Mestre Calango began playing Capoeira in 1980 in São Bernardo do Campo, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. He attained status of Mestre in 1992, and is certified under Federação Paulista de Capoeira (São Paulo Capoeira Federation). He has been teaching Capoeira, as well as fitness and physical rehabilitation, since 1985. His students are of all ages and of varying levels of ability.

 

Mestre Calango in the Media

Mestre Calango: O Melhor Da Capoeira

Written by Mauricio Mendes, Brazilian Times, Friday September 3, 2004. Translated by P. Maia

 

Even though 116 years has passed since the abolition of slavery, the anguish of slavery still echoes in every aspect of Brazilian life. The backbone of slavery served as an example of colonial Brazil, whose precious blood invigorated its progress. Suffering was a routine in the Brazilian cultural pages. It was in that atmosphere that this rich culture grew in the form of food and music. Such as: ao som dos berimbaus, pandiros e atabaques, and escpeicially the creation of Capoeira, an example of dominance and personal defense. It is a combination of dance, music, and self-defense, as explained by L.C. Galvez, o Mestre Calango, who has twenty-five years of experience in this art.

 

He explains in detail the beginning of this original black art. Brazil in the 16th century was a symbol for the white: wealth, comfort and liberty, and for the black: poverty, misery and slavery. One thing was certain: sooner or later the black would be sold or traded like any other merchandise. Without a right to family and a body without a soul, the black was born merely to serve the white. Many were brainwashed to never return to Africa, and many would die of longing for their country, and depression. Along the way in their heart there was a strong desire for liberty, of someday becoming a people with its own dances, customs, songs, rituals and traditions. Everyone would gather nightly around the fire to sing his or her longing for "Mother Africa" and playing with each other, thus Capoeira was born in its primitive form, "N'GOLO", as something to help, as a getaway, and to depend oneself against being captured by "Capitaes de Mato" who were prepared to apprehend the fugitives. This was Brazil of the 16th century.

 

In Ninteenth century Brazil, with pressure from the English, the Repubilicans, artists and abolitionists caused Princess Isabelle to make a law giving liberty to slaves on May 13, 1888. They became free, but without right to employment and shelter. To survive, they were limited to low paying jobs or stealing. This was the time that Capoeira took a new dimension, being used in a not so jocular manner.

 

In 20th century Brazil, specifically the 1930's, Manoel dos Reis Machado (1900-1974) was Mestre Bimba. He developed a sequence of moves and the adaptation to other forms of battle. Training his students in this new philosophy, he created a regional Baiana Capoeira that was presented to the President Getulio Vargas, who was marveled at the skill, decided to revoke all the laws that prohibited the practice and recognized it as a national sport. From this point on a Capoeira Regional (esporte luta, competicao) and the Capoeira Angola (malicia, brincadeira, cultura, folclore, and also luta) became the evolution of the work of other masters. Today, it is embraced in all parts of society as seen in universities, schools, and clubs throughout the world with therapeutic elements. He is able to mix music, rhythm, and happiness with martial arts. Capoeira was born to liberate the black from the social slavery but in the years that followed, it transformed into a panacea of social and psychological problems such as low self-esteem, insecurity, stress, and other negative aspects. Through its training and its unique philosophy, the individual values a positive existence and mutual cooperation. This is its therapeutic form of self-expression.

 

Mestre Calango was a professor of Capoeira in Oliveira and Minas Gerais when he organized groups that would perform in various countries. At the moment, some thirty students are enrolled in the Academia de Capoeira Rosa Rubra. From the ideal age of six everyone is welcome to begin this secular art, according to Mestre Calango.

 

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