Sunday, December 30, 2007

Break-Dancing and Capoeira

I always wondered if there was some connection between Capoeira and Break-dancing. Was there ever an influence from Capoeira on Break-dancing? It is somewhat unknown of HOW exactly break-dancing developed. Some elements of the early developments of Capoeira are also a mystery, as in exactly where it came from. Please excuse some of the posturing that you see in the Break Dancing segment, I am still trying to find some other examples without it.

Beat Street - Break Dancing 1980's

Capoeira - Eberson

Tell me what do you think, could there be some connection in the development of break-dancing from Capoeira?‎


Jose said...

it's not a matter of "could there be", but is. a lot of the early breakdancers had to make up new styles, so they started incorporating forms from Africa, South and Central America, as well as Asia. That's why now it's more technical than ever. As much as the root of the breakdance is African, it's heavily influenced by all these other cultures. As a matter of fact, the present breakdancers represent their region, district, or country with specific things they do or styles they include in their dance. Peace ...

Mes Deux Cents said...


I don't know this for a fact but; break dancing originated in New York City. In the particular areas lived lots of people who were of Puerto Rican, Brasilian and of other Latin American ancestry. So I can easily see how Capoeira could have influenced Breakdancing.

Also Capoeira is a martial art. The performances of Capoeira are battles rather than dancing. Breakdancing, although obviously not a martial art, consisted of battles between rival dance groups.

Capoeira was invented by Africans who were enslaved in Brasil.

Shelly said...

Hi Ehav,

I think there is a definite connection! The parallels between popular dancing styles across the WHOLE African diaspora and more traditional African dances is so obvious I take it as a given.

I first noticed this after travelling to Africa a few years back; I was startled by how similar alot of the moves were to what I was seeing in hip hop/ soul/dance videos that my friends and I had been imitating for years!

The breakdance/capoeira is one strand amongst many which make up the deep, vast tapestry of conscious and (mostly) unconscious genetic and psychological memories of our ancestral roots.

Miriam said...

not sure about break dancing and capoera, but in the beginning part of the copoeira video I almost thought they were shaking a lulav and etrog! lol

Lisa said...

Dont's know A THING about the origins of any dance. . .my knowledge is tantamount to my knowledge of cooking. . . btw, I have a question. . . does chicken alfredo by Stouffers (in a bag - just add water, simmer for 8 min) count as cooking???

Looking forward to the lessons!! LOL!!!

Ehav Ever said...

Hey all,

Thanks for your comments. Really good information. I have always had a respect for people who could do Capoeira or Breakdancing. There is a lot of physical skill involved.

I trained in Capoeira Angola for a short while I was in California. I remember the first class they broke me physically. It was intense. At that time I was doing more weight lifting, but I was not good at Cardio. Those guys put me through some hoops.

Karl Frost said...

I remember talking to some of Jelon Veira's Capoiera students back in the early 90s, and they told me how they would go down into the subways and busk, doing capoeira acrobatics to hip hop music... immediate hit and super fun! The story goes that things started to take on a life of their own ... they started evolving what they were doing beyond the frame of capoeira (Jelon was also working in Modern Dance at the time, so that's not surprising), and others started to copy what they were doing in the streets, forgetting about or just never knowing about the capoeira part.

Thus break dancing very quickly started to evolve.

That's the story at least.