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Capoeira Titles Get Praise

July 14, 2007

The Latin American Research Review, published by the University of Texas at Austin, recently praised The Little Capoeira Book, by Nestor Capoeira, and Capoeira: The Jogo de Angola from Luanda to Cyberspace, by Gerard Taylor.

Nestor Capoeira
Here’s an excerpt from the review (not available on-line):

“The first work to consider, if only out of respect for the author, is the revised edition of Nestor Capoeira’s The Little Capoeira Book. As might be guessed from the name, he is a mestre, or master, and has made a lifelong commitment to the art. While a number of mestres have written on capoeira, only Nestor and Bira Almeida, or Mestre Accordeon, have published in English. Nestor, who has formal academic credentials, takes a more grounded approach to his topic than the spiritually minded Almeida, though his longer book Capoeira, Roots of the Dance Fight Game, does include a startling range of associations. The first edition of The Little Capoeira Book was a lucid, brief text for people interested in learning capoeira and a bit of the relevant history. The revised edition keeps close to the original. It begins with a survey of capoeira’s history from its appearance in Brazil to the 1990s and considers the central debate about whether the art was developed in Africa or Brazil, though Nestor does not offer a decided opinion. The following chapters, “O Jogo (The Game)” and “The Music,” describe the art and explore its meaning. Nestor discusses the inadequacy of “dance” or “fight” to describe capoeira and outlines the game’s multiple levels. Reflecting on capoeira’s world role he concludes:

Capoeira can be a tool in the First World, a tool against the forces that tend to turn people into robots that do not think, do not wish, do not have any fantasies, ideals, imagination, or creativity; a tool against a civilization that increasingly says one simply has to work and then go home and sit in front of a TV with a can of beer in hand, like a pig being fattened for the slaughter.

Gerard Taylor:: More books by mestres Gerard Taylor and Nestor Capoeira can be found in our Blue Snake Books Capoeira store.


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