august 22, 2010


Kolme aasta tagune üllitis minu sulest..


He had stood there by the left side of the bateria all that time having the air of a man who’s seen it all, the ups and downs, the good sides and the bad, yet he was constantly intrigued by what went on inside the ring. His sunpainted face was framed with ginger hair reaching his shoulders, his mouth curved in a barely noticeable smile that seemed to have a hold of his whole, entirely approachable posture. He kept his hands in a wristlock behind his back – if he had a suit you’d probably think he was an distinguished professor giving a lecture on something scientific he knew from side to side, top to bottom or as thoroughly as possible, if you wish. His bare feet touched rather lightly on the ground, his built wasn’t forcing them down with gravity and what a marvellous built that was! Impeccably white cloths fitted him admirably.

But there was something puzzling about his cord around his waist, something that caught everybody’s attention, but made no sense no matter how much they strained their eyes. The cord seemed to have a color nobody had ever seen, ever thought of, at least you couldn’t make one out for it! It wasn’t faded, it wasn’t stained, it was just the color from a spectrum the light only produced for that cord and that cord only. Was it the sun itself that had given it to him to cause confusion among the eyes of men?

You could have easily made a mistake of thinking he was daydreaming as he never answered anybody’s curious looks, yet his eyes told a different story: they were alert to something infinitely attractive about the way the contestants moved around, over and around eachother always carefully timing, swiftly executing and endlessly enjoying the movements, passes and dodges in the mid-circle.

Yes, he was intrigued. He was aware of everything that happened around him: the musicians playing a São Bento Grande, the three berimbaus all perfectly sounding out their variations; the master leading a melodious song:

Berimbau tá chamando menino
Tá chamando você pra jogar
Esse toque que toca no peito
Tá fazendo seu corpo gingar
Capoeira é arte é magia
E a luta pra não apanhar*

And the ring answered:

Vem, começou a roda iôiô
Começou o canto iaiá**

He saw capoeiristas forming the ring: experienced players clapping enthusiastically to the rhythm of the instruments, enjoying the spectacle and the stunned beginners, not knowing where to put their hands, whether to smile or to blush in fear of having to enter the ring themselves.

The energy was good and what an excellent bunch of people they had here today! The guys were eager to buy eachother out, to waltz into the ring and show off their longpolished arsenal of kicks, feints and jumps all worthy of a degree in machismo and trickery.
The strings of the berimbaus held on and so did the opponents as if the energy fed them with unbreakable stamina and unlimited strength.

But there was a black sheep among the merry herd, as always.
It doesn’t happen often nowadays that a player thinks he’s far more superior than the others, at least he won’t openly boast about it. Over and gone are the days when the notorious capoeiristas fought the police, worked as assassins for crooked politicians and possessed all kinds of inhuman powers with the help of candomblé and the evil deities they called upon. It may be that you have heard of the corpo feshado some of them had against bullets and knifestabs and how they fought off ten at a time. These bygone days.. No capoeira-supermen any more.

Never say never as the good old saying goes. The guy who was last to buy into the game obviously never questioned it as far as these legends went. He was a strong guy no doubt about it, an ox of a man of the first quality, a massive upper-body joined to fast legs by a flexible waist and he didn’t mind using any of his superbly developed skills. The guy was like a whirlwind in the roda, he practically owned the ring, putting already third guy on the floor.


* Poiss, berimbau kutsub

Kutsub sind mängima

See rütm, mis mängib su põues

Paneb su keha õõtsuma

Capoeira on kunst ja maagia

Ja võitlus, et mitte alistuda

** Tule, algas roda
Tule, algas laul

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