The Game of Capoeira
Capoeira is played within the “roda” (pronounced “ho-dar”), a circle of participants singing, clapping and playing instruments. Roda means wheel and signifies not only the shape of the circle but also, the continuous cycle of players entering and alternating, the call and response nature of the songs, and the spinning kicks and cartwheels within the game. In Capoeira you use your cunning and the agility of your bodies to engage in a physical conversation with the other player. Kicks, flips, cartwheels and graceful movements are all part of this conversation that is performed to the singing of the crowd and accompanies the berimbau and the other instruments.
We train Capoeira to strengthen our bodies and learn the essentials of playing within the roda. Capoeira is all about participation and the focus of all our training is for everyone to participate more in the roda. Everyone is strongly encouraged to learn how to sing the songs and play the instruments, not only take part in the physical part of the game.
Some of the games trained and played in the roda include; Capoeira Angola, Capoeira Regional, Benguela, and Capoeira Contemporánea. Other forms of dance associated with Capoeira, and often played in the roda are Samba de Roda, Samba Dura and Maculelê.