The Capoeira Blog

What Do You Think About Demonstrations?
October 5, 2007, 9:30 am
Filed under: Questions

Photo by pyrog (Flickr)

Capoeira demonstrations; we’ve all been there. You get dressed up in your cleanest whites, go down to the local mall or fair, and put on a show for the crowd. Or maybe you just get some people together for an impromptu street roda and attract onlookers.

I’m sure some of us love doing demos, and others hate doing them.

Some people say they’re a good way to attract new students and promote the art form. Others decry the overuse of fancy flips and tricks at the expense of the game. Some call them a necessary evil, some call them fun.

Where do you stand?

Do you think demonstrations are a good way to promote capoeira? Do you think it’s OK to use capoeira as entertainment? If so, do you tone down the actual game while you play, in favor of cool looking moves to awe the audience? Or do you play the same game that you would anywhere else (with takedowns, malicia, and all)?

Tell us what you think in the comments!


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I hate them. =P However, I can see the point in doing them to attract attention and gain students. The problem for me is that I believe that it perpetuates the myth that capoeira is all about doing flashy acrobatics and playing music. Is there any wonder why less than half of the new students stay after their first session?


Comment by Rasta

I like them for two reasons, 1) No matter who you do it in front of, it will always be impressive and 2) It can get the chicks if you know what you’re doing.
Even though the second one hasn’t happened, I’m still waiting for it.

Comment by Fragil

hhahaha nice second reason Fragil….. 😉
you sold me on demos……
demos are nice and dont always have to be about music and flashy tricks….. most people do that just because they think it’ll attract more people…….but i’ve seen a slow demo or two with plenty of good capoeira playing in it….

Comment by Rapadura

I like doing demos, trying to promote capoeira; attracting new students. When we do demos it’s not about flips and floreio. We play hard, we play nice… We have a roda and at the end we have solos, with flips and whatnot. I like demos, but I’ve never had a real cheesed out one. We keep ’em raw! Even if people don’t come flocking up to join, at least they see the true capoeira, instead of “breakdance fighting”. Getting people the right info to people is half the battle. Gotta spread the word, you know?

Comment by Pixador

Thanks for all the comments!

I tend to agree with those of you who enjoy demos. I love to entertain people, so that’s a big part of why I like to do demonstrations. Many people have only seen capoeira in movies or commercials, so they don’t know what a real roda is, and they might not even know that music is a big part of the game. Demonstrations, even if they can tend to get a bit flashy, are still showing people the game and the entire capoeira package.

At the batizado I went to recently, we did an impromptu street roda outside of a restaurant. It wasn’t just a flashy demonstration, it was a real roda with the real game. Mestre Loka and Mestrando Jamaika even played the “money game” which is not flashy at all, it’s all about malicia, and people still gathered around to watch.

I think the most important thing is to just go out there and do what you would normally do while playing, and have fun. People will catch on to the energy of the roda and watch no matter what.

Comment by faisca

Hi everyone!

I think demos are a very good way to promote Capoeira. During solos the Capoeiristas will try to show their best moves – and this is only natural! But when it comes to the jogo – you get to play the true way anyways! It always amazed me how concentrated players are and what beautiful combinations and flow comes out – even if just “simple” moves are used!!!

I find that giving short “classes” to the audience volunteers during demos has a great effect since people get to “feel” what is it about Capoeira. And it’s a lot of fun for everybody!

Comment by Mariposa

I’ve given a short “class” to people when I did a demonstration once. It was fun, some people are more into it than others, though.

Comment by faisca

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