Filhos de Bimba Toronto
The Magic of Winter
Feliz Ano Novo! Happy New Year, FdB Toronto Friends and Students!
Greetings from the Ottawa Valley, where I am typing this newsletter, nestled in the quiet of the countryside. Winter can be a challenging season, especially for us urban dwellers. Centuries ago, this would have been a time to slow down, catch up with friends and family by a crackling fire, hot meals and long stories filling bodies and souls. Digesting the events of a busy year, we would have dreamed up new projects and adventures.
Instead, many of us find ourselves working long hours despite the short days and cold nights, struggling to stay afloat. In such moments, it is especially important to create the space to do things that light us up and to be with the people we love. In Dr. Gabor Mate’s latest book, “The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture”, he writes about the many imbalances in our modern societies. Global warming, a rise in addictions and mental and physical illnesses are all signs that our lives are out of balance.
Just what does all this have to do with capoeira? Capoeira arose from a people who struggled for their very survival - their physical freedom had been taken away and the cruel condition in which they lived was plain to see. As Mestre Nenel says, many Afro-Brazilian descendants still suffer injustice and poverty. Although it may seem far-fetched to compare our lives to that of people suffering from extreme poverty and abuse, it is no secret that in the industrialized world, we are part of an economic system that puts profits before people. An increasingly tiny minority reap the lion’s share of wealth and power, and dictate the state of our lives.
Over the years, staying afloat in Toronto has gotten increasingly difficult for many of us. While the solution is far from obvious or easy, playing capoeira can remind us that what is most precious can never be taken from us. For me, capoeira has been a source of joy, love and hope, but also an act of defiance. Making room for it in a busy and stressful life has been my way of practising resistencia - of asserting my humanity in an increasingly inhumane world. Like other art forms that are deemed non-essential, even frivolous, capoeira has the ability to make room for play, laughter and song just because. It is nothing short of subversive. As long as we feed its fire, our human spirit will continue to burn bright.
Vamos jogar! Let’s play!
January 1, 2023
Classes start on Wednesday, January 4 from 6-7:30 pm @ the Capoeira House!
*In addition, a few students can train with me at Jimmy’s Athletics on Mondays from from 7:30-9 pm. Please speak to me if you are interested!
Fees: $120/month (includes 4-5 Wednesdays a month + a monthly roda + *Wednesdays at Jimmy’s)
If you would like to help out with my Kids Classes or to sign up your own children, please let me know. I’ll be teaching Kids 7-12 years old at Jimmy’s on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 pm & Kids 6-11 years old at Brown Community Centre (Avenue and St. Clair) on Fridays from 4:15-5:15 pm and 5:30-6:30 pm.
Playing capoeira in Plataforma at Professor Dentinho’s “Capoere” event in 2018 - Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.