Capoeira Meeting in Copenhagen is more than Capoeira

We always try to include other Brasillian elements of dance and fun in the program for CMC. That is why Capoeira Meeting in Capoeira is more than capoeira. This time we will include the traditional dances of Jongo, Forró, Maculélé, Maracatú and Film. Find out more about the various genres right here on this page and get a taste of what to expect at the CMC event in march 2016.

Coco de Umbigada

Jongo – also known as Caxambu or Tambu

Jongo is a dance and musical genre of black communities from southeast Brazil.
Jongo (da Serrinha) is an essentially rural cultural manifestation directly associated with the African culture in Brazil. The formation of samba carioca was heavily influenced by Jongo.

See the Jongo training at the 2009 Capoeira Meeting

See the dance in a show…

See Mestre Darcy Do Jongo talk about Jongo

See the dance in action – O Jongo Ritual e Magia

Jongo – the origins of Samba. Watch more videos about Jongo.

The cultural heritage and story behind Jongo

Jongo inserted itself within the so-called”dances of the belly strike” (however being related to the “Sembaa” or “Masembaa2 of Angola), the Jongo was brought to Brazil by Bantus. Generally, these Bantus were kidnapped in the ancient kingdoms of Ndongo and Kongo, which nowadays makes up most of the region of Angola.

Composed through characteristics of music and dance and animated by improvisational poets, the Jongo most likely has its origins in the traditional Angolan guessing games, the Jinongonongo. One essential characteristic of the Jongo is the utilization of symbols that, aside from maintaining rhythm, possess a magical function, apparently provoking paranormal phenomenon. Among the more evident ones, one can cite the fire, with which the instruments are tuned; the drums, that are considered to be ancestors of the community. the circular form of the dance with a couple in the middle, which refers to fertility; and not to forget, the rich metaphors used by the jongueiros (participants of the Jongo) in order to compose its main points and whose meaning is inaccessible to those not yet initiated.

These days, both men and women can participate in the Jongo, but this participation in its original form was very restricted to the initiated or the more experienced members. This factor relates itself to the ethical and social norms commonly found in other traditional societies, such as the Amerindians. The basis is a respect and obedience to-wards the older individuals and the ancestral past.

Historical research indicates that the Jongo possesses, within its Bantu origins, the need to create diverse communities, similar to secret societies and political-religious sects. These fraternities had an important role in the resistance of slavery, as a means of communication, organization and even the purchase of liberated slaves.

The Jongo is made up of singing and dancing, with the accompaniment of the urucungo (a musical Bantu arc, that gave way to the berimbau), the violin and pandeiro, in addition to the consecrated drums, used even today, called Tambu or Caxambu. The Jongo is still widely practised today in various cities: The Vale do Paraba in the Southeast region of Brazil, to the South of the state of Rio de Janeiro and to the North of Sao Paulo.


Maculélé is a great and fun dance we often play at work shops and other events. It is a dance, where a number of people gather in a circle called a roda with one or more atabaques positioned at the entrance of the circle.

The leader sings, and the people in the circle respond by singing the chorus of the songs. There are several songs. The chorus in one of them is: Que eu sou Maculélé (cause I am Maculélé).

When the leader gives the signal to begin playing Maculele, two people enter the circle, and to the rhythm of the atabaque, they begin clapping their hands and each other’s hands to the rythm. On the first three beats, they clap their own hands, making expressive and athletic dance movements, and on each fourth beat, they strike each other’s right hands together. This makes for a dance that looks like “mock stick combat”. (Also, traditionally in Maculélé?, the players wear dried grass skirts).

Some people think this dance came with the salves to Brazil – as a memorial dance on honour of a warrior aculélé who gave up his life to save his village.


Forró is a great dance for 2 people – it is often mistaken for salsa – but it’s even more fun.

Film – Filhos de Bimba

In 2008 we had fun seing a film about hos jongo was played in the streets of Rio. We also saw a film about Mestre Bimba: Mestre Bimba. A Capoeira Iluminada:

In 2009 we saw a film made by Ceser Allan and M. Sorriso who attended the 4th meeting: Vida de Mandingueiro – see the beginning (in French)

Coco de Umbigada

Coco de Umbigada is a dance very popular in the north of Brazil, similar to Jongo. According to some historians the dance has it’s origin in slaves breaking coconuts for there dinner. The rhythm was made by hitting coconuts against each other in a “festive and rhythmic way” while they sing about there hard daily life.

Coco de Umbigada


“Maracatu – Ritmos Sagrados” (2005) is a documentary
Directed by Eugenia Maakaroun and edited by Cristiane Nery
that shows the reality of the Maracatus from Pernambuco.
How they live and their masters, their queens, their
world, their faces, their lives
The ancestral souls of the afro-brazilian percussion
are on the hills of Recife, Olinda and Nazar da
Mata. The human transforms on sacred, through the
rhythm, the dance and the colors. All of that reflect
on image of the peregrine soul. The culture is insert
on the day by day, on the streets, in the cities and
at the history of the Brazilian people.

ForrA? – the sensual and beatifull dance for couples: