This is part one of a three part series on the three main styles of Capoeira that are taught today.
Capoeira Angola is the oldest form of Capoeira that is still taught today and is generally seen as the most traditional.
Modern day Angola was most influenced by Mestre Pastinha who in 1942 opened the first Angola school – Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola.
Both ritual and performance, the game of Angola in many ways represents life. The players interact with each other and attack and defend as necessary, all while utilising subterfuge to represent the unknown challenges one may face.
The songs sung often have deeper meanings of warnings, prayers or of higher powers which influence both those playing and observing the game.
The Angola game itself is characterised by a very expressive and loose movements. The game’s speed can vary but is generally played a touch slower than other styles of Capoeira as the focus is all on the strategy and malicia (trans. malice – malicious intent).
The length of game for Angola is long and between the two players only. Most of these games you will find last for at least 10 minutes and are broken up by the use of Chamada(trans. call), a ritualistic call by one player for the other player to approach them, and volta do mundo (trans. around the world), a break in the game where players walk around the circle.
The music is accompanied by a full, often seated, bateria (trans. drum kit – percussion group). This will typically be made up of three berimbaus, at least one pandeiro, one agogo and one atabaque.