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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Capoeira Club to Host Ninja

This weekend, for the first time, the Grinnell College Capoeira Club will host a series of Capoiera workshops with a professional instructor who goes by the name of Contra-Mestre Ninja, due to his popularity in the Capoeira community.

Charlie Kessner '12, co-leader of the Grinnell College Capoeira Club, executes a role(roll) into an au(cartwheel) while playing Capoeira. Photograph by Travis Law.

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art which fuses music and dance. It’s known for its rapid movements and incredible poses. A “rhoda,” or circle, is formed were capoeiristas practice their techniques.

“It is a type of game, where you are trying to enhance your skills, while having your opponent improve their skills as well,” said Capoeira co-leader Sofia Tedesco ’14. “It is a very constructive game, you are not actually intending to hit the other person, theoretically. The real goal is to show that you can hit the other person, but you choose not to.”

This year the group has strengthened its affiliation with the Cornell College Capoeira group and Contra-Mestre Ninja’s own academy in Kansas City. They often travel over a weekend for a Batizado, a gathering for capoeira practitioners.

The first workshop will begin outside this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. where Ethan Chun ’12, a long-time member of the group, promises that Contra-Mestre Ninja with surely set the crowd ablaze.

“Most capoeiristas dodge their opponents’ movements, Mestre Ninja merely flips over,” Chun said. “He can do unbelievable things with his body. It’s going to be very exciting because traditionally Batizados last for a couple of days and although ours isn’t this long, it will still be something to see.”

In the future, the group plans to host more instructors and to continue traveling to other schools to participate in their Batizados.

In addition to their first public roda on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., there will also be a very basic, multidisciplinary Capoeira class at 3 p.m. in Bear P103, the Multipurpose Dance Studio. Students of all activity levels are welcome. The club’s regular weekly sessions are on Sundays from 8-10 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9-10 p.m. Join in, or just watch, but both Chun and Tedeso promise that the berimbaus (stringed intruments) and atabaque (drums) guarantee loud, upbeat music and a great time.

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