"Tuddddoooo bem galera" (everything good people...) / Capoeira Mandinga ShanghaiThis was how the Brazilian Band greeted the around 500 guests in Latina Restaurant on Saturday 20.03.2010 for the Brazilian Carnival in Shanghai.

The atmosphere was like in Brazil: Traditional Brazilian carnival music, people dancing to pagode, forro and axe music, caipirinhas (the Brazilian national drink) being served in huge quantities and Brazilian samba girls dancing on stage in their beautiful sexy costumes…

It showed the international carnival crowd another tradition of Brazilian life and culture. Amidst all these traditional elements and presentations, there is certainly one cultural aspect which should not be omitted, and that is CAPOEIRA – the cultural heritage of Brazil, a sport which shows a great deal of Brazilian culture and history, a mixture of martial art, dance and music.

The performance was presented by Grupo Capoeira Mandinga, the only capoeira group in Shanghai. The space was limited, the “roda (playing circle)” small and tight, but with the berimbau (traditional one-string music instrument) leading the rhythm and songs for 20 capoeiristas, and a cheering international crowd, the atmosphere was energetic and it was the perfect time to show this beautiful Brazilian art form.

The capoeiristas played and showed all the art’s acrobatic “movimentos”, beautiful “golpes” and rhythmic “gingas”. The mixtures make the beauty of the game, and so it was exciting to see the different styles of the capoeiristas. Some impressed the crowd with radical acrobatic maneuvers, some played a smooth and stylish slow game, and some performed with many kicks and fighting movements, always controlled in order not to harm the opponent but forcing him/her to defend or launch a counterattack.

The show lasted for about 15 minutes and impressed upon everyone just how much this Brazilian cultural heritage has spread all over the world – even to Shanghai.