Raices do Brasil/Roots of Brazil Capoeira Madison is one of several schools in the United States that is spreading the popularity of this rythmic and active Afro-Brazilian art form. Capoeira is sprung from the sugar cane plantations and culture of African slaves in Brazil. One reason for its popularity today in Brazil and other terminals of the African diaspora is the fact that it was an illicit practice only practiced in secret during the slave era.

         Director/Instructor Dominic Stryker — also known as Professor Sabidinha — and four students of the school explained and demonstrated capoeira at an appearance on the UW-Whitewater campus on Oct. 26. Their visit was sponsored by a grant from the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UW-Milwaukee.   

          Better than any written explanation could ever do, the demonstration displayed the complex give-and-take of the movements between the two weaving, kicking, and twirling participants in the middle of the roda, or circle. A video of the presentation is available here  as a movie download from itunesU site for UW–Whitewater. The authentic instruments, including the bowstring-and-gourd berimbao, also provided the live sensation of the rythmic heart to the action.

          Instructor and director Dominic explained that different people are attracted to capoeira for one of its many facets, such as its roots in Afro-Brazilian nationalism or the martial arts feel. But since all participants share in all the drumming, singing, and moving that involves capoeira, they eventually embrace the other aspects as well.