For Immediate Release
CITY OF NEWARK TO HOST FREE CAPOEIRA AND AFRO-BRAZILIAN DANCE PERFORMANCE
AT CITY HALL ROTUNDA ON THURSDAY, APRIL 15, AT 7 P.M.
Local and internationally recognized dance groups will perform 400-year-old martial art form
Newark, NJ - March 18, 2010 – Mayor Cory A. Booker announced today that the City of Newark will host a Capoeira and Afro-Brazilian Dance Performance in the City Hall Rotunda, on Thursday, April 15, at 7 p.m. The event will also include samba and maculele performances as well as other Afro-Brazilian dances. The performance is FREE and open to the public. City Hall is located at 920 Broad Street in Newark.
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that originated more than 400 years ago on the sugar cane plantations of Brazil. It is characterized by its combination of evasive fighting techniques, acrobatic movements, and musical rhythmic dance moves. It started at a time when enslaved Africans were forbidden from practicing the combat methods that evolved in Africa. Capoeira was used as a means of preserving these combat methods under the guise of traditional dance. It has been an important way of preserving customs indigenous to African heritage.
“The Brazilian, Portuguese, and African communities have long been a source of Newark’s strength, and we are proud to host this opportunity to showcase this 400-year-old art form, and make it fresh to new generations of Newark residents. This performance will manifest the excellence of Newark’s own performing artists, and their dedication and commitment to a stronger, prouder, and better Newark. I urge residents to attend the Capoeira and Afro-Brazilian Dance Performance and salute all the artists,” said Mayor Booker.
Performers will include students and instructors from Capoeira academies in and around Newark, as well as from top institutions around the world. The event represents the fourth year that the City of Newark has hosted the Capoeira and Afro-Brazilian Dance Performance in the City Hall Rotunda. Last year’s celebration drew Capoeira professionals and students from across the United States, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
The event is organized by the New Jersey/New York branch of Grupo Senzala – one of the oldest and largest Capoeira groups in the world. The group organizes it in conjunction with its annual Batizado (Graduation) Ceremony for students. Grupo Senzala trains at the New Jersey Cultural Arts Center at 51 Bruen Street, located in Newark’s East Ward.
“We are very excited to work with Newark to celebrate this important part of Afro-Brazilian culture. The City Hall Rotunda is a fantastic place to display these art forms. We hope many people will come to watch and learn about capoeira, maculele, samba, and other dances,” Grupo Senzala leader Wagner “Mestre Zumbi” Dutra said.
Residents with questions about any City of Newark initiatives, programs or policies should contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.