Capoeira: Afro-Brazilian Martial Arts, Music, and Dance - Arts For Learning Massachusetts


Capoeira: Afro-Brazilian Martial Arts, Music, and Dance

Type: Performance
Art Form: Dance|Music|Exploring Cultures
Grade Level: K - 12
Scheduling Request

From the streets of Brazil comes Capoeira: a unique hybrid of martial arts and dance, in which partners pair off and spar in graceful, fluid motions, incorporating acrobatic flips and tumbles, all to the lively rhythms of Afro-Brazilian drumming. Using traditional costumes, colorful maps, live music, Portuguese language, and direct student engagement, the Afro-Brazilian Ensemble brings this unique movement form to life within its cultural context. In addition to Capoeira, two other important dance styles, the Maculele and the Samba, are introduced. Student volunteers are called upon to get up and try some moves.

Program available in person.

Length: 45 Minutes
Audience Limit: 300
Curriculum Connection: Music, Dance, Martial Arts, African Roots of Brazilian Culture

ABOUT CAPOIERA: Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art developed by African slaves in Brazil, starting in the colonial period. The slaves disguised the fight form as a dance with the intention to potentially defend themselves against the tyranny of slaveowners.

Capoeira is marked by deft, tricky movements, often played on the ground or completely inverted. It also has a strong acrobatic component in some versions and is always played with authentic music.

There are two main styles of capoeira that are clearly distinct. One is called Angola, which is characterized by slow, low play with particular attention to the rituals and tradition of capoeira, in particular the disguise as some type of dance. The other style is Regional (pronounced ‘heh-jeeh-oh-nahl’), known for its fluid acrobatic play, where technique and strategy are the key points. Both styles are marked by the use of attacks and counter-attacks, and use groundwork extensively, as well as sweeps, kicks, and headbutts.

Single Performance: $950
Additional Performances: $760
Travel: $100 per day
Pricing may vary for weekends/out-of-school time
Processing Fee of $30 added to all contracts



  • 2 mics on stands
  • 1 reserved parking space
  • Water for 3 people
  • Chalkboard, large easel, or folding table (something to prop a very large map up on)
  • Changing area on or adjacent to the stage OR 4 tall gym mats for the artists to change behind during the performance.

Performance Space:

  • 25’ X 25’ performance space
  • Wood floor preferred.
  • Please let Young Audiences know if a changing area on or adjacent to the stage cannot be arranged.

Arrival time before first performance: 45 minutes

Strike time: 20 minutes

Time needed between performances: 10 minutes.

Teachers are expected to model appropriate audience behavior for students.

Please introduce the performers as an Arts for Learning Massachusetts ensemble.

Available for performances on Friday mornings throughout the year.