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Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    A reviewer

    In Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art!, George Ancona tells the story of Capoeira by following a classroom of students at the Mandiga Academy in Oakland, California. Kids reading the book are sure to get a kick out of the Portuguese nicknames of the students in the classroom from Reizinho (little king), to Perereca (tree frog), to Princesa (princess) to the name of the instructor, Malandro (scoundrel). In fact, Ancona uses a number of Portuguese words throughout the book when talking about Capoeira. He even includes a glossary with a pronunciation key in the back of the book for kids who want to practice speaking the words. Through pictures and Ancona's detailed descriptions these students teach different moves and techniques as well as names of traditional musical instruments used to play music during Capoeira games. Ancona also takes us to Brazil and shows the impact of Capoeira on the Brazilian culture today. From the slums and beaches to actual Capoeira academies, we see vibrant photographs of kids of all ages and walks of life practicing this amazing art. A few years ago, I spent four months teaching English in Brazil and was fortunate enough to see Capoeira being played on the streets. While nothing can compare to seeing it in person, Ancona's book gives us a vivid picture and interesting history of the art.

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