Event Title

The Forbidden Dance: The Appreciation, Appropriation, and Exploitation of Capoeira Angola

Location

Science Center A247

Start Date

10-28-2016 3:30 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 4:50 PM

Abstract

By analyzing the history of Capoeira Angola and Regional, I plan to ask how does a group respond to their own culture being appropriated? Angola is the oldest known style of Capoeira, it is played with two people within a circle called a roda. Both players play close to the ground, with instruments, and the people around the roda sing songs as the two in the center play a "game". Regional is a style of Capoeira that fuses Angola, Batuque, and other art forms. It’s played much faster, the relationship between the two players is less significant, the games are much shorter, and the belt system resembles various Asian Martial Art styles. In the origins of Regional, majority of people who practiced were either college students or those who could cover monthly fees. The academy became only available to people of the middle or upper class. Poor people were not allowed to participate. Regional strayed away from many traditions instilled in Angola. It was not until Regional came along in the 1930s that the ban on Capoeira was Abolished, but because the middle and upper class only supported Regional, Capoeira began to lose some of its cultural richness and became “whitened”. In my research I plan to question the role that cultural appropriation plays in black dance; I want to generate more conversation about the relationships that develop amongst people not native to an art form and how their influence either positively or negatively effects that cultural experience.

Notes

Session II, Panel 6 - Culture & Place

Major

Musical Studies Dance

Award

Oberlin College Research Fellowship (OCRF)

Project Mentor(s)

Justin Emeka, Dance; Africana Studies

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Oct 28th, 3:30 PM Oct 28th, 4:50 PM

The Forbidden Dance: The Appreciation, Appropriation, and Exploitation of Capoeira Angola

Science Center A247

By analyzing the history of Capoeira Angola and Regional, I plan to ask how does a group respond to their own culture being appropriated? Angola is the oldest known style of Capoeira, it is played with two people within a circle called a roda. Both players play close to the ground, with instruments, and the people around the roda sing songs as the two in the center play a "game". Regional is a style of Capoeira that fuses Angola, Batuque, and other art forms. It’s played much faster, the relationship between the two players is less significant, the games are much shorter, and the belt system resembles various Asian Martial Art styles. In the origins of Regional, majority of people who practiced were either college students or those who could cover monthly fees. The academy became only available to people of the middle or upper class. Poor people were not allowed to participate. Regional strayed away from many traditions instilled in Angola. It was not until Regional came along in the 1930s that the ban on Capoeira was Abolished, but because the middle and upper class only supported Regional, Capoeira began to lose some of its cultural richness and became “whitened”. In my research I plan to question the role that cultural appropriation plays in black dance; I want to generate more conversation about the relationships that develop amongst people not native to an art form and how their influence either positively or negatively effects that cultural experience.