Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Game Within The Game

Ola camaras! Was browsing capoeira videos for stress release yesterday, and I found an angola video that demonstrates very well the various types of chamadas. I thought it'll be useful for those who aren't clear what is a chamada, especially since now we explore more regional techniques than angola.
(dunno why I cant embed >< The game starts around 1:30, and do watch it till finished.. some nice exchanges at 3:17 and 5:00)

A bit about the chamada, taken from the book Ring of Liberation : Deceptive discourse in Brazilian capoeira by John Lowell (available in NLB, and a very good book for malicia-lacking people such as myself >< also one of the best I've read regarding capoeira history, philosophy and rituals.)

In angola style, the jogo is by no means a seamless flow of continuous action, but is usually broken up by several types of 'inner games' or subroutines. The most common kind of diversion is called chamada de mandinga, or chamada de bençao. (Chamada means 'call', thus this is a 'call of the mandinga' or 'call to the blessing'). The signal for chamada is one player (the 'caller') stop moving and spread his arms wide, leaving himself open... When a player sees his opponent open himself in an invitation to a chamada, he might respond by attacking immediately, since it would seem to be prime opportunity.. but an angola player will rarely attack immediately, both because he is aware that a chamada is being signalled, and because direct attacks are foreign to the esthetic of deception, which celebrates indirectness. The convention is for the one being 'called' to put on a solo demonstration, to 'show his stuff', partly in order to proof that, far from being tired, he is still able to perform the most complex acrobatics, called 'floreios' (flourishes). Such exhibitions are also entertaining for the spectators, of course. After such moves, the soloist cautiously approaches his opponent, who has not moved the entire time, but is still in his stationary, open posture. The task of the moving player is to come close to the 'caller' and join hands with him, always on the alert for an attack. The closer he gets the more the tension heightens, since in the near range a sudden elbow or knee is hard to avoid. The stationary player is also on intense guard since he is vulnerable as well, and if his back is turned he usually turns his head to the side in order to watch his opponent out of the corner of his ete. The players join one of both hands after they come together and, side by side, step backward a few paces and forward a few, in a kind of walk or dance... After a few steps in each direction, one player offers the other the floor, in the same gesture used for the saida, and the tension heightens again as the players separate. Usually the first player to make a break for the open floor receives a kick from the other, or sometimes the kick itself will be the signal to break and resume normal play. The chamada activities serve as subroutines which intensify the action by forcing the players into close proximity, thereby heightening the tension. They also serve as tests for both players, to see if they are able to approach and separate while remaining protected against attack. Often the chamadas are accompanied by many small feints, almost like fidgets, to feel out the opponent, to see if he is guarding a certain point.

alrite, now watch the video once again n try to spot these stuff! =D

for those with a few days left before exams are finished, persevere!



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