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Capoeira and Kung Fu in Dance

Capoeira and Kung Fu in Dance

: Photo by Jenisa Ubben.

Capoeira and Kung Fu in Dance

: Photo by Jenisa Ubben.

Capoeira and Kung Fu in Dance

: Photo by Jenisa Ubben.

Capoeira and Kung Fu in Dance

: Photo by Jenisa Ubben.

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Dance met martial arts last Fall, in a class about Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Brazilian Capoeira. Students from several departments took part in learning the techniques, histories, and movement philosophies of these art forms. “The atmosphere is energetic and fun, but tough” said Performance Production student Caitlin Tong.

Northern Shaolin Kung-Fu , taught by Michelle Miller, is a traditional style of Chinese martial art. It has been described as “not only practical in application, but also graceful and artistic in nature(1)”. Tong says “from Michelle, I learned a lot about patience and power”. The Encyclopedia Britannica notes that “The term kung fu can also signify careful preparation for the performance of any skillful endeavour without interference from the intellect or emotions(2)”, which would be helpful to dancers and other Cornish students.

Daniel Nery Dos Santos Filho and his wife Aileen Panke, founders of the Seattle Bahia in Motion organization, taught on Capoeira. Their website describes capoeira as “an Afro-Brazilian form of martial arts that began as a means to stop the oppression of African slaves in Brazil. It is a hybrid of African fighting techniques and native Brazilian folk dance styles that has grown into a celebrated global art form(3)”. In person, class was an energetic and entertainingly feisty set of drills and stylized sparring, set to traditional music filled with shouts and calls. Tong commented that “From Capoeira I learned agility and speed… [and] that perfect posture and technique isn’t necessary to move beautifully.”

Research references:

1.“Kick it, Kung Fu Style: Learn Northern Shaolin Kung-Fu with the City of Lancaster.” Targeted News ServiceOct 19 2010. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 15 Jan. 2013 .

2.“Kung fu.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 15 Jan. 2013.

3. “Bantos Capoeira Seattle: History”www.bahiainmotion.com. Web. 24 Jan. 2013. http://www.bahiainmotion.com/


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