This summer, internationally renowned capoeira master, Mestre Barrão, will return to Vancouver to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his capoeira group, Grupo Axé Capoeira.  Mestre Barrão, born Marcos da Silva, grew up in the port city of Recife, on the Northeast coast of Brazil. In 1974, Marcos began studying Capoeira with Mestre Pirajá, and later with Mestre Teté, learning the foundations of the art and dedicating himself to skills and knowledge that would ultimately guide his life. Marcos began teaching capoeira to others in 1980, and in 1982 travelled to Rio de Janeiro for the prestigious Brazilian National Championships. Competing against the best capoeiristas (capoeira practitioners) in the country, Marcos defeated all others and was declared the Brazilian Champion. His victory afforded him many opportunities to teach capoeira in schools, community centres, and universities throughout Brazil. That year (1982), he founded Grupo Axé Capoeira. In 1987, Mestre Pirajá graduated Barrão to a First Degree Master of capoeira. He has now received his Second Degree Master distinction.

Capoeira Demonstration

Grupo Axe Capoeira performing at FEAT Canada, February 2012

Mestre Barrão travelled the world, promoting capoeira through physical demonstrations and awe-inspiring percussion and music performances. His reputation earned him an invitation to perform at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival in 1990. Following his visit, he decided to migrate to Canada in 1992, with the intent of permanently establishing capoeira in Canada. This was no easy feat, as most Canadians had never seen or even heard of capoeira. He persevered for four years, and opened Canada’s first capoeira academy in 1996. After establishing the academy here in Vancouver – and others in Calgary, Toronto and throughout the United States  – Mestre Barrão returned to Brazil in 2004. His academy, now located on East Hasting Street in Vancouver, is led by his sons, Marcus ‘Barrãozinho’ Aurelio and Marcus Vinicios ‘Ossoduro’. Students of all ages and cultures are continuing to learn capoeira, traditional Brazilian dances, music, and the Portuguese language. Grupo Axé Capoeira continues to rise as one of the world’s leading schools of capoeira.

This year Grupo Axé Capoeira celebrates 30 years of dedication, hard work, creativity and culture. The group will host a two day celebration of capoeira and Brazilian culture on Granville Street on July 28-29, 2012. The energy, colours and culture of Brazil will take over Vancouver, and spectators will be wowed by the athletic abilities of some of the world’s top capoeira practitioners, including Mestre Barrão himself. The event will also showcase the vibrant costumes, music and dances of Brazil. Spectators will have the chance to participate as well, learning basic capoeira moves and dance steps in interactive workshops throughout the day. Grupo Axé Capoeira invites you to celebrate with them and experience the energy of the Brazilian culture and the rich history of capoeira.

Information on their event can be found here.

Since founding Grupo Axé Capoeira, Mestre Barrão has released multiple music CDs and has approximately 10,000 students in academies in Canada, Brazil, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Russia, China, Trinidad & Tobago, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Serbia, Azerbaijan, France, UK, Czech Republic, Angola, Turkey, Japan, Barbados, Belarus, Dominican Republic, and Poland.

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