@ the university of chicago





our company - what is capoeira - our teacher

for more information, including booking contacts and a list of our instructors, please visit gingartecapoeira.org

Our company

Founded in 1991, Gingarte Capoeira has grown into a thriving community of over 100 students and performers, many of whom have been with the school for over a decade. The focal point of our activity is the Gingarte Academy located at 2909 N. Milwaukee Ave in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Gingarte has also established satellite classes at other locations around the city. The Gingarte Academy offers a diverse range of classes focusing on Brazilian culture including capoeira, dance, music, and language.

Gingarte trains and practices under the tutelage of Contra-Mestre Marisa Cordeiro, who ranks among the highest female capoeiristas in the United States. She is well respected both in the U.S. and Brazil as a pioneer for women in capoeira.

We also have a performance ensemble, Gingarte Capoeira, a group well known throughout Chicago for our lively shows and demonstrations of capoeira, as well as other African-Brazilian cultural dances.

We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to preserving the cultural significance of capoeira by promoting the art form of capoeira through workshops and performances, and educating the community by making capoeira accessible to a broad spectrum of people. (back up)


What is capoeira?

At first glance, capoeira may appear to be a dance between two people, gracefully combining movements to the beat of and orchestra of berimbaus, atabaques, pandeiros and crescendoing voices. Suddenly, the dance turns agressive, and skilled capoeiristas exchange kicks, throws, and daring acrobatic maneuvers with both beautiful grace and deadly accuracy.

Capoeira is more than a martial art, more than a dance. It is a way of life. It combines elements of fighting, dancing, singing and instrumentation into a unique culutural experience that is expressed in an amazing physical and spiritual space. Its origins are embedded in African slave history of the 1800's Brazil. The art form arose from the pressures of colonialism and oppresion as slaves disguised a form of self-defence in the charade of a dance.

Today, capoeira thrives in its history and philosophy, as it continues to promote awareness of oppression and its symbolic resistance against it. Gingarte Capoeira shares in this rich tradition and strives to commemorate its history and explore the boundaries of the art. (back up)

Our contra-mestre

Marisa Cordeiro is the Director of Gingarte Capoeira and a shining symbol of the Brazilian community in Chicago. Born in Cur Velo, Brazil, Marisa trained at the prestigious Cordao de Ouro Capoeira Academy in São Paulo with top instructors such as Mestre Suassuna, Mestre Canguru, and Mestre Urubu Malandro. She is one of the highest-ranking women capoeiristas in the world.

Marisa first came to the United States in 1989 as a performer with the renowned international group Oba Oba. They performed throughout the United States and Latin America. Two years later, she returned to Chicago and established Gingarte Capoeira in 1991.

To Marisa, from her students... Obrigado. Thank you for all that you have given to us. Gingarte Capoeira. (back up)


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