Make your own free website on
WorldBeat CenterHome

African Reconnection Program



is an abstract, and bewildering street fighting art that is also simultaneously a beautiful, acrobatic, African-Brazilian dance. It is an African retention in the Americas that has danced through slavery from the Europeans and the social, cultural, political and economic repressions of modern times. A Capoeira fights upside down, standing on his feet on the ground, in the air, giving out the most unusual and unexpected blows to his adversary! It was brought over to Brazil from Angola Africa in the early 1500's, during the infamous slave era. In Angola, it was called Nzolo (Zebra dance-fight), and used in wedding rituals. When the whites discovered that some of the African slaves practiced this art, they quickly forbade its practice, for fear that Capoeira would spread throughout the entire slave population and cause slave revolts. The Africans countered this law by disguising Capoeira as a dance, and for some time practiced this art right in front of their captors, who dismissed it as a harmless, primitve, niggardly dance! Capoeira spread in spite of the restrictions and many bloody revolts that followed. Capoeira went underground during and mnay years after slavery. Capoeira was an "antisocial stigma" to the Euro-Brazilians for hundreds of years until 1920, when the government began to gradually give legal sanction to this "secret fighting art of the Blacks", with the undertanding that it be taught as a dance! Today, Capoeira is the national sport/dance of Brazil, second only to "Foot Ball" (Soccer), in popularity.

Capoeira Angola Sao Bento Grande was practiced in Minas Gerais and Pernumbaco Brazil during slavery. It developed as a stylistic variation of Capoeira Angola caused by its isolation from other Angoleiros. The name "Sao Bento Grande" is an affiliation with a black Catholic saint. Capoeira Angola Sao Bento Grande is one of the five original styles of Capoeira Angola. It is characteristically played up, down, up-side-down and with rapid continuous movement.

Master Quizinmo Minas Gerais Brazil
Master Lepodinmo Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Master Celgo Pepe Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Master Touro Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Master Beigola Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Professor Dennis Newsome San Diego Afro-USA

MACULELE is an African Brazilian dance/fight ritual in which the performers use sticks and sometimes machetes. Originating deep in the interior of the Congo, the Macua people, practitioners of Maculele, were brought to Brazil as slaves. In the Maculele, when combatants battle, their sticks strike in time with the rhythm of the drums. Combatants try to outperform each other with spectacular movements which must be done in time with the beat. Not striking on the beat is a serious breach of form, demonstrates a lack of technique and, at worst, malice.

Maculele MACULELE : Dynamic Escape Posture

Tekura Jegnas

Tekura Jegnas

is a San Diego based dance company which performs a variety of "African War Dances". It is a non-profit organization for the research, development, documentation and perptuation of African culture of the Diaspora within the Diaspora. This educational process is to be achieved via culturally specific programming, documentaries, public workshops, classes, lectures/demonstrations and performances.
Under the auspices of Tedura Jegnas and the African Reconnection Program, OS MALANDROS DE MESTRE TOURO is an entity which trains young and adult Africans in the art of Capoeira Angola Sao Bento Grande with the intention of training other Africans in the art. The motivation behind this program is to restore and maintain the moral and cultural heritage and strength of African American communities through the practice of Capoeira Angola Sao Bento Grande.
Dennis Newsome is one of the leading African martial artists in the U.S. He has served as a technical advisor and fight choreographer for "Lethal Weapon" and other blockbuster hits! Mr Newsome is the subject of many articles appearing in national and international martial arts magazines and books.

for more information, contact

Capoeira Angola Sao Bento Grande
p.o. box 128623
San Diego, CA 92112-8623

Please report trouble with this web site to the author