The annual mid-year Xango workshop was concluded last week. This year, the numbers were smaller, but there’s new venues (ITE Simei huge MPSH & Wavehouse Sentosa), new faces, and of course, more Axé.
Instead of Mestre Luizinho conducting the workshop single handedly, Cantor is back and was helping Mestre out with the workshop classes.
As usual, the workshop started off with some basic sequences followed by those that we can improvise on our own. Sequences for Benguela and Regional were taught as well as take downs and counter take downs. One particular take down move, arrastao (grab the knees of opponent and pull), interest me the most as I get to see someone using the move on Macaquinho during the group roda and he countered it with the same way Mestre taught even though he did not attend the workshop. (Don’t get me wrong here. I know Macaquinho is so much senior than us so most likely he’ll know how to counter most of the moves. The move requires the person being arrastao-ed to put a hand under the attacker’s one arm and throat in a choking manner and try to stay as low as possible to avoid falling. The person thus has to respond almost immediately when the attacker put both his hands behind the person’s knees so as to not be taken down. Therefore seeing Macaquinho’s fast response in a roda really impresses and surprised me.)
Day 4 of the workshop was our mass public roda, and various Capoeira Grupos were invited as well. Contra Mestre Claudinho from Bantus Capoeira and Professor Pitbull from Capoeira Senzala came down with students from their grupos. Macaquinho and Aisha, plus baby Azmil joined us too. Held at Wavehouse Sentosa, the roda attracted lotsa people. The Axé awesome and despite the hard and grainy/sandy floor, everyone contributed to the roda with their singing, clapping, playing of instruments and of course jogo-ing.
Thanks everyone for making the workshop a success. And thank you Mestre and Cantor for the awesome 4 days. Looking forward to our grading in December!