Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mestre Jurandir's visit to Seattle!

Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, November 29th; Thursday, December 1st and Friday, December 2nd:
classes at the Seattle FICA studio from 7 to 9pm.

Saturday, December 3rd: capoeira angola class from 11am to 1pm; capoeira angola roda starting at 4pm.

Each class will be $15, or $55 for the whole week, to cover the costs of Mestre Jurandir's visit.

some of us will be heading down to Seattle at least for Saturday - contact us if you're interested!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lots of events in fall quarter!


Mestre Silvinho will visit us on November 17th (thursday), when he will also be a guest lecturer in the Movement and Culture class at WWU; he will have a music class for us at WWU in the PAC, room 27, from 5:30 to 7pm. you can find a map here:
There will be free parking in the gravel lots south of campus, and then it's only about a 5-minute walk.

Mestre Silvinho will be BACK in Bellingham on November 19th (saturday), for a day of workshops and fun! We will hold the workshop in the Majestic Ballroom underground room; on the southwest corner of Forest and Maple (the entrance is on Maple Street). We plan to start promptly at 12:30, and go until 4:30 or so!

Regular Practice continues to be Mondays at 5:30 in the MultiPurpose Room (MPR) of WWU. Everyone is welcome! wear comfortable clothes. a yellow shirt, black/dark pants are preferred, and wear comfortable shoes!

FICA in Seattle has regular practices in Seattle other times in the week, but especially on Sundays from 4 to 6. Their studio is on King Street and 8th avenue, in the international district, a couple of blocks away from the train station. They have open rodas the first sunday of the month at the same time and location.

we might also be lucky enough to get a visit from Mestre Silvinho's Mestre, Mestre Jurandir, the last week in November. be on the lookout for more details.

Finally: there are initial plans for a gathering of all groups in FICA Northwest (Portland, Olympia, Seattle, Bellingham), in January, tentatively Sunday the 15th, tentatively from 10 to 6. The details are still being worked out, but stay tuned... and yes, there will be a carpool!

Non-capoeira events:

Keith Doran (who has kindly joined us to play djembe during one of our rodas) teaches a west-african drumming class at the Old Foundry every Monday and Wednesday starting at 7pm

Friday, October 14, 2011

Our most recent review in the Western Front

The WWU student newspaper just published a new feature about our group.

There are (inevitably) a few inaccuracies. To get a better picture of who we are and what we do (and to give due to our teachers) you might want to watch the video about FICA posted below.

In Capoeira Angola, the bateria (i.e. the percussion ensemble) includes three berimbaus (which are Brazilian instruments with African roots, not Portuguese instruments), an atabaque (a large drum - which is NOT the same as a djembe: djembes are African, but when slaves were brought to the Americas they could not find the same kind of tree that djembes are carved out of), two pandeiros (which in English we would call tambourines), a reco-reco (the same principle as a washboard, but made from canes or hollowed wood) and an agogo (a pair of cowbells).

There's also a photo gallery (with some ADORABLE pictures of Ben with Nyah and Carys) and a video.

A shout-out goes to Keith Doran, who teaches West African Drumming classes here in Bellingham for playing djembe during the roda in the video!

The music in the video is Mestre Moraes, singing :"ponha la, vaqueiro, ponha jaleco de couro"

A couple of inaccuracies in the video:

The "zebra dance" is actually an African ritual, from which capoeira draws at least some of its roots - it is not a specifically Brasilian thing. During the course of the slave trade, people were intentionally mixed so that they could not communicate with one another and so organize and rebel. Of course, many rebellions DID occur regardless of this, but specific practices did not have a large community to support them, so traditions of different African groups mixed with one another and with the local culture.

And be sure: while many (most?) capoeira angola are meant to be friendly and non-contact, there are certainly times when the fighting is real. Not at our practices perhaps, but out there in the wide world of rodas it's a different story!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Workshop Success!

THANK YOU to Mestre Silvinho and Leika for coming up and sharing their time and their knowledge with us. Thank you to Ernesto and Antonia for coming down from Vancouver to spend the day with us!

And finally, THANK YOU to all of the people who came to hang out with us today.

E' tu que e moleque, moleque e' tu!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Workshop SUNDAY with Mestre Silvinho!

Friends old and new,

we are SO happy that our teacher, Mestre Silvinho of FICA will be coming to lead a workshop for us THIS SUNDAY, October 9th. The schedule is as follows:

11:00 am to 1pm: movement workshop
1:45 to 3:00pm: music and songs workshop, followed by a roda.

All of the above will take place in the MultiPurpose Room (MPR) of the Viking Union (VU) building at Western Washington University. Street parking is available around the VU, starting on Garden Street.

If you park on or around Garden Street, there is an elevator on the street level: take it to the 6th floor, walk out of the VU and then make a left.

We are asking for a $5 - $10 donation (or more!!!) to contribute to Mestre Silvinho's time and travel.

AFTER this part of the day is over, some of us will drive with Mestre Silvinho to the Lummi Youth Academy to conduct a workshop for the young people who live there. You are welcome to join us, but room in people's cars will be limited, and there is NO bus service to Lummi on Sundays.

We REALLY hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

At the Bellingham Farmers' Market - Saturay September 24th

Thanks to everyone who came down to take advantage of a beautiful day!

Especially thanks to Randy, Sarah, Juliet and Devin!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall quarter starts - on a tragic day

Friends and visitors,

I started to write this as a lighthearted note to say that with the beginning of fall quarter we'll start meeting again for regular practices on Mondays, at 5:30pm in the Multipurpose Room (MPR) of the Viking Union building (VU) at Western Washington University. We welcome everyone!

But then i found out that the state of Georgia has executed Troy Davis, a sad commentary on the fact that the blistering legacy of slavery and white supremacy is not in fact over, but is terrifyingly and viciously alive today.

Capoeira esta de Luto - Capoeira is in Mourning

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Big News and Open House!

While things here in Bellingham have been slow over the summer, in Brasil very exciting things happened!

At the annual FICA conference, our teacher Silvinho "graduated" from being Contra-Mestre to being a full Mestre - the highest standing in Capoeira Angola! He joins the ranks of the other three Mestres in ICAF - Mestre Jurandir, Mestre Valmir, and Mestre Cobra Mansa.

Also, the group in Seattle has moved to a new location, and has done a TON of work to get it ready. They will have an Open House THIS Saturday starting at 11am, to celebrate the new space and Mestre Silvinho's "graduation".

we don't have the full agenda, but there will certainly be dancing music... and of course a roda!

let us know if you're interested in heading down!

The new space is in the International District of Seattle at 803 S. King street - just a few blocks from the amtrak station.

See you soon!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brasil Fest: August 14th in Seattle!

Join us there! Our friends in ICAF - Seattle will be hosting a workshop at 12:15.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Scattered Summer

With the WWU school year over, we'll be practicing on an ad-hoc basis. Please email us at to be in touch with us about practice times.

However, Capoeira events continue. The group in Seattle will have to move from its studio soon, and they are having a fundraiser on SATURDAY, JUNE 25th.

Some of us are going - let us know if you're interested!

Enjoy the sunshine, whenever we get any!

- - - - - -
From ContraMestre Silvinho:

The Union Cultural Center is moving to an exciting new location- soon to be announced! To make this transition smooth and successful, WE NEED YOUR
HELP! Please come out and show your support for the UCC on Saturday June 25th for a MEGA-FUND-RAISER party. With a new studio comes increased rent and moving costs. All money raised on this day will help tremendously with these expenses and make this move possible. We are a $10 donation at the door.

The Line UP:
FICA Seattle group, w. Youth in Action and children's class students

We would love to celebrate this exciting transition will ALL of you! Thank you for bringing your incredible axe, your good energy, to our humble home over the past year. Let's move forward in unity, uplifting ourselves through dance and music!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

End of the school year RODA at Boulevard Park

Monday, June 6th, at 5:45. Come join us as we say our goodbyes for the summer!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Folklife festival here we come!

We are beginning to make plans to go to the Folklife Festival in Seattle thus Saturday and Sunday, May 28th and 29th.

The Seattle group will host workshops on Saturday at 11anm and again on Sunday at 4pm, and there will be a roda both days - it should be a lot of fun!

we're planning on carpooling, so let us know if you're interested!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Festival was a great success!

Thank you Sarah and Juliet for all your work, thank you Mestre Jurandir for your presence and wisdom, thank you ContraMestre Silvinho for your continued support, and to all of our capoeira friends old and new from Seattle and Vancouver!

Obrigado a voces!

Some upcoming events:

NEXT Saturday, May 21st, there will be a similar Afro-Brazilian festival at the Evergreen State College in Olympia. Some of us here are planning on going, and are looking to carpool.

The following weekend (Memorial Day weekend) our friends in Seattle will have a workshop and roda at the Folklife Festival in Seattle. Again, we are planning to have some people go, so let us know if you want to join us!

There are also (at this point) vague plans to go to Vancouver the first Saturday in June, to play in the roda of the group up there...

at the farmers market (may 14th, 2011)

it's not an everyday sight in Bellingham...

Thank you to Rebekah, Juliet, Sarah, Gareth, John, Matteo and Elise!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Afro-Brazilian Festival! (updated schedule)

Where? Viking Union room 565, at Western Washington University

When? Sunday, May 15th, 2011. We'll start at 10! (schedule below)


Samba class: 10:00 to 11:00

West African dance: 11:30 to 12:30

Capoeira Angola workshop: 1:00 to 3:00

Capoeira Music: 3:00 to 3:30

Capoeira Roda: 4:00 to 6:00

Dinner: 6pm

Cost? FREE for students: $10 for the general public (dinner included)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Workshop success!

Thank you to Contra Mestre Silvinho, to the young people in Raices Culturales, and to everyone who came!

Silvinho will be back at our regular practice on Monday, April 25. And don't forget the festival on May 15th!

Cade meu berimbau, Cade meu berimbau amigo meu?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Our latest review in the Western Front

The WWU student newspaper (which has been very generous in their coverage of our group) has an article in the Tuesday April 12 edition, as well as a multimedia audio/slideshow piece on their blog.

Please note that we meet on MONDAYS, not Thursdays as it says in the article.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Events this Saturday: time and place

Contra Mestre Silvinho will be up this weekend on Saturday the 16th.

At 11:30 he will lead a workshop for the youth group Raices Culturales, a program of Community to Community.

in the afternoon (tentatively starting at 2pm) he will lead a workshop for us adults.

We'll be on the WWU campus, in Carver Gym D (but if the weather is nice, we might hold the workshop for the grownups in Red Square).

Please come dressed appropriately (dark pants, yellow shirt). We are asking for a contribution to pay for Silvinho's transportation and time.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Afro-Brazilian Festival - mark your calendars!

We have now secured room 565 in the Viking Union building for our second annual Afro-Brazilian festival.
We'll have a capoeira workshop, samba, West African dance, and a delicious Brazilian dinner!
It'll be held on Sunday, May 15th - stay tuned for more details!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dates and times from April - June 2011

Starting on Monday, April 4th (2011), we will be meeting to play in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Viking Union on the WWU on Mondays at 5:30 pm. (If the weather is nice, we might play outside nearby).

ContraMestre Silvinho will come join us to give workshops on Saturday April 16th in the afternoon (time and location TBA) and then again on Monday April 25th at our regularly scheduled practice.

Stay tuned for info on the second annual Afro-Brazilian Festival coming in May!