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Campus Pick

Seventh Annual Capoeira Angola Encounter.

Featuring Capoeira Camar and the MIT Capoeira Club.

Kresge Auditorium.

Saturday, 7 p.m.

By Craig Chang
Associate Arts Editor

Brazil's superb heritage in soccer may owe much to its equally impressive history of African dance. One form called capoeira, a virtual kaleidoscope of dance, music and martial arts, embodies the feverish energy in Afro-Brazilian batuque. To give an idea of its power, Brazil had official capoeira dancers fight in its war against Paraguay.

Capoeira doesn't let its origin as a form of defense diverge too far from the heart of African spiritualism. Chanting goads dancers into a rage as instrumentalists and spectators encircle the primal exchange of foot sweeps and acrobatics. The ring dance is a collective experience towards communicating with saints and gods. Today the regions of Rio, Salvador, and Recite still share descendants to this style of dance - Bantu slaves originally brought capoeira over from Angola centuries ago.

This Saturday, the MIT Brazilian Students' Association brings the Seventh Annual Capoeira Angola Encounter to Kresge. Capoeira has become very popular in cities across Brazil today - even the break dancing phase of the 1980s borrowed from it. The program, however, will reflect the more volatile duality between play and combat in capoeira, as it will begin with several martial arts demonstrations, including tae kwon do. The rest of the program will prove how derivations of Brazil's Samba tradition makes artists of athletes.

The Boston-based Capoeira Camar, featuring some of the best capoeira performers in the world, and members of the MIT Capoeira Club will also be engaging in a little bit of advertising with their performance. MIT has agreed to finance free capoeira lessons for the next Independent Activities Period. Tickets are available to students for $10.