A magia da capoeira (The magic of capoeira)

I love the way capoeira undoes everything that a desk job does to my body. Arriving at class, my back is stiff, my muscles atrophied, my eyes strained, my wrists tight from too much typing. O ser humano não foi criado pra trabalhar assim. Putting on the preto e amarelo, tucking in my shirt and tightening my belt, I already begin to feel the spark of a new energy: Iê, chegou a hora, camará.

Beginning to ginga (ginga [v.] to swing or to sway [n.] the fundamental movement of capoeira) – I can feel my body change. Muscles warm, eyes refocus, joints crack and loosen – knees, hips, neck, shoulders, and every bit of my spine.

“Solta o corpo!”

The music enters, moves me, and then takes over completely. Everything inside feels like honey that’s been sitting too long and has crystallized, but now is being heated until it flows freely. Flow… aquele molejo do corpo, samba no pé, Deus no coração mas o diabo no quadril. Dancing, mandingando, bending and breaking the rhythm, not to mention the (apparent) limits of the human body…

“Solta o corpo!!!”

Until I reach the stage where it seems anything is possible. When I feel just as comfortable de cabeça pra baixo as I do right side up. Gravity seems optional, and each movement opens up 7, 70, 700 new possibilities. Viajo na música, viajo no movemento, e o berimbau leva meu corpo e minha alma pra novos caminhos.

Solta o corpo… taken literally, it means to loosen one’s body. But “soltar” has another meaning: to set free.