Category: Cultural Events

The Physical and Spiritual Art of Capoeira


Mestre Lua Santana playing at Permangolinha, the three-day retreat run
by Mestre Cobra Mansa.

VALENÇA, Brazil — The white-bearded, dreadlocked master and his bushy-haired student face off in an open-sided compound set amid cacao trees and coffee bushes.

The two are in constant motion, swinging back and forth in what is called the ginga — the fundamental movement of the Brazilian combat game capoeira. At times, the way they feint and kick, and roll under and over and around each other, looks like choreographed dance.

But then one side does something the other is not expecting, and it becomes clear that this is a game of strategy, not a planned dance. Mestre Cobra Mansa’s ginga transforms into the movement of a staggering drunk, then a marionette whose puppeteer has suddenly let the string go slack. Then he’s in a handstand. From there, a leg strikes out like a lightning bolt, stopping just short of hitting his opponent’s face.

The circle of men and women surrounding the combatants are engaged in a hypnotic call-and-response song about an encounter with a dangerous snake. It’s intoned to the beat of Afro-Brazilian drums and the twang of single-stringed gourd instruments called berimbaus.

“Valha-me deus, Senhor São Bento,” the circle intones in Portuguese, beseeching Saint Benedict for protection.

The participants — Brazilians mostly, but also Uruguayans, Russians, Ethiopians and Puerto Ricans — have come to the 80-acre property of Mestre Cobra Mansa (or, Master Tame Snake) on the outskirts of Valença, a small coastal city in Bahia, for a three-day retreat called Permangolinha. Its name (and its purpose) are a mash-up of the sustainable farming system known as permaculture and Capoeira Angola, the capoeira style that Mestre Cobra Mansa, 58, teaches.

The event also attracts masters friendly with Mestre Cobra Mansa, including Mestre Lua Santana, from the interior of the state; and Mestra Gegê, a rare female master who also teaches in Valença.


Roberio Silva, 34, from Bahia, Brazil, at a daily capoeira practice.

READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/13/arts/dance/capoeira-permangolinha-cobra-mansa.html?action=click&module=Features&pgtype=Homepage

Favorites About Food, Family and Thanksgiving

There is a story passed along in my family that makes me smile. It centers on a nephew of mine. When he was 7 years old, his grandfather and another relative died in the same week, and he grew curious about death in the months that followed. At one point, a teacher tried to explain the concept of heaven to him. “When you go there, you’ll see everyone you love all in the same place,” she said.

Thanksgiving is upon us, and for me that means lots and lots of family. I have a gracious aunt who hosts 30 to 40 family members every year at her home in Pennsylvania, and I will be heading there again. When we are not eating, we’ll be cherishing the new babies, cracking jokes until they go too far and catching up on one anothers joys and struggles.

He thought about it, and then replied: “Oh, so it’s like Thanksgiving?”

Whatever form your holiday takes, don’t forget to thank all the people who create a little scrap of heaven here on earth, on this day and every day. Here’s some of our favorite articles about the holiday, both serious and fun, that you can dig into when you aren’t tucking into turkey or pie.

Bad Bunny and J Balvin Talk Upcoming Joint Album and the Rise of Latin Trap | Complex Cover 1,031,788 views

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Lee en Español.

A mob of people swarm Bad Bunny, the Puerto Rican rapper, yelling his name. “Oh my god,  he’s so sexy,” one teenage girl squeals. Another, in complete shock, shouts: “I touched him.” But Bunny isn’t fazed. Dressed in a maroon Alexander Wang anorak jacket with matching shorts, long tan socks, brown Gucci hiker boots, and mirrored sunglasses, with his fingernails painted yellow, he flashes a smile and takes selfies with them.

In certain New York City neighborhoods, Bunny might not be as recognizable. Not here, though. Throughout the shoot for this cover, the predominantly Latino residents of the area surrounding Brooklyn’s Knickerbocker Avenue followed his and Colombian artist J Balvin’s every move. Some even managed to find the nondescript bar where we filmed, waiting outside for hours and screaming every time the door swung open. They wanted to catch a glimpse of Bunny, the 24-year-old Latin trap king, and Balvin, reggaeton’s answer to Drake.

Reggaeton’s long been a fixture in the Spanish-speaking world, but in 2004 it exploded in the U.S. with Daddy Yankee’s hit “Gasolina,” off his album Barrio Fino. The genre’s had its ebbs and flows since then, but it has recently found a massive new market, thanks in part to the global success of Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” remix featuring Justin Bieber and Daddy Yankee—the most streamed song ever—and, of course, Balvin’s steady hit-making and Bunny’s arrival.

Last year, Balvin (real name José Álvaro Osorio Balvin) released his megasmash “Mi Gente” with French DJ and producer Willy William, followed by a remix featuring Beyoncé. Both songs were everywhere; the original currently has over 2 billion views on YouTube, while the remix has over 79 million. But those two songs weren’t just major successes on the charts. More than that, they helped other Latin rap artists, like Bunny, cross into the mainstream.

Born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, Bunny started his career by uploading songs to SoundCloud while still a student at the University of Puerto Rico. But in two short years, he’s become a phenomenon. “Soy Peor,” the track that established the Latin trap sound, caught the ear of the U.S. audience; it’s been streamed 13 million times on SoundCloud. Balvin’s “Si Tú Novio Te Deja Sola”—a song Bunny first composed with the artist in mind—has been nominated for a Latin Grammy. He’s collaborated with big-name American artists like Nicki Minaj (“Krippy Kush”), Cardi B (“I Like It”), Chris Brown (“Dime”), and Drake on an unreleased song.

Together, Balvin and Bunny are leading the charge in bringing reggaeton to the American market once again. The best part about that is they’re doing it on their own terms—a new sound, painted fingernails, eccentric outfits. We haven’t seen anything like them before, but if you ask them, that’s the point.

 

Bad Bunny and J Balvin, two of reggaeton’s most recognizable faces, are Complex’s latest cover stars. They sit down with Rapetón editor-in-chief Angel “El Guru” Vera to discuss how they first met, the rise of Latin trap, and what they think it takes to be an icon. Bunny also explains why he hasn’t released an album and reveals that he has an upcoming joint album with Balvin.

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LeBron James Loved It When Kendrick Lamar Showed Up At Lakers Practice

Life in Los Angeles for the Lakers is a bit different than in past seasons. There’s always glitz and glamour, but LeBron James makes them a significantly more interesting team than in previous years. That won’t always translate into the win column, as it failed to on opening night against Sauce Castillo and the Trail Blazers. The game began with a few dunks from LeBron, but the final result wasn’t what’s going to get that team into the playoffs.

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Still, the hype is real for James and the Lakers this year. Quavo wrote a song for the Lakers’ opener, and the intersection of music and sports continued for L.A. on Friday night when rapper Kendrick Lamar joined the team after practice to share some words of wisdom.

The Lakers posted about Lamar joining them for their “genius series,” where apparently he addressed the team about, what else, staying humble.

It’s not clear exactly what he said, but the words certainly resonated with James, who posted the group photo the Lakers shared and also said what the meeting meant to him on Instagram later that evening.

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“The homie @kendricklamar came in today and blessed us all with mad game talk, inspiration, drive and what it means to get to the mountain top from the bottom and remain there throughout it all,” James said on Instagram. “Appreciate you brother!”

Playing in Los Angeles makes these kinds of interactions easy for James, and the “genius series” certainly makes these kind of talks a bit more common for the team.

Review: Hear the Beat of Dancing Feet, Right in Times Square

Of all New York City’s classic attractions, a stroll through Times Square may be the one that least appeals to people who live in New York, especially at rush hour. But on Thursday evening, there was reason to brave the crowds, the noise and the invitations to take a photo with Spiderman. Danspace Project, an East Village organization housed at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, had come to Midtown.In Danspace Project at Times Square, presented with Times Square Arts through Sunday, three new works — by Laurie Berg, Luciana Achugar and Full Circle Souljahs — allow even the most jaded New Yorker’s to see the city’s commercial epicenter through fresh lenses, sometimes literally.

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Full Circle Souljahs presented “Behind the Groove — Times Square Edition,” a showcase of hip-hop styles.

Before watching Ms. Berg’s enchanting “scape,” in Duffy Square at 47th Street, viewers were encouraged to grab a pair of 3D glasses. As seven dancers appeared, walking calmly through the throngs with linked hands, you could see — but only through these frames — messages printed on their vibrant patterned costumes (the work of Liliana Dirks-Goodman, Jaime Shearn Coan and the designers at Print All Over Me). Some read as subtle calls to action (“Is it a show? Show up.”), others as checks on our scattered attention (“Look again.”).

READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/arts/dance/review-danspace-project-in-times-square.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fdance&action=click&contentCollection=dance&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

Everyone at Afropunk looked like a damn dream Afropunk style is never missable. This year was no exception.

Personal style at major music festivals can be generally watered down and frankly, a little lame, but not at. Afropunk. Attendees of the music and arts festival, now in its thirteenth year, looked as lush and happy as ever. Flower crowns, which have been having a moment in fashion, were ever-present and larger than life. Shades of bright yellow were inescapable, and skinny shades returned sleeker and chic-er than ever. Many of the impressive looks we captured were handmade by the wearers themselves. Peep some of our favorites from the weekend below. MORE PICTURES