Ie viva meu Mestra, Part 4: Contra-Mestra Marisa Cordeiro

26 12 2007

I can’t believe I almost forgot about Contra-Mestra (or Mestranda) Marisa Cordeiro, considering she was the other woman interviewed in the documentary I saw, and so part of the inspiration for this post series. I know it’s been a while, but better late than never, right? Thanks again to Mike for reminding me about her!

Contra-Mestra Marisa CordeiroMarisa Cordeiro was born in Curvelo, Brazil, and began training with Capoeira Cordão de Ouro in 1985. She was a lucky pupil of renowned Mestre Suassuna, as well as of his students Mestres Cangaru Domingo, Flavino Tucano, and Urubu Malandro.

The talented Marisa soon joined Oba Oba, a Brazilian performance group that held shows around Latin America and the United States. Two years after performing in the U.S. for the first time, Marisa returned to Chicago and founded the city’s first capoeira school, Gingarte Capoeira, in 1991.

Eight years later, she received her Contra-Mestra’s corda from Cordão de Ouro. Today, Gingarte Capoeira has grown since its fledgling days at the University of Chicago, and Contra-Mestra Marisa Cordeiro is known as one of the highest ranking female capoeiristas in the United States.


P.S. I could only find one video of Marisa Cordeiro playing, but I had to agree with one of the commentators that she didn’t really seem to play like someone at her given rank. She also seemed to split off from her teachers’ school a lot sooner than any of the other mestras/contra-mestras I’ve featured, and I can’t help wondering if this might have been detrimental to her in the long run?

Click here to see other posts in Ie viva meu Mestra



4 responses

23 02 2008
Leite de Coco

Oops! Your pic isn’t of CM Marisa. Check out her bio page on the Gingarte website here:

It *is* a little misleading – various pics of students appear in the lefthand sidebar, but the pics directly underneath the “contra-mestre marisa” headline are of her.

Great site, by the way!


PS: In my opinion, I don’t believe the video you mentioned is indicative of the quality of CM Marisa’s game. It’s a shame there aren’t more videos of her floating around, but there just aren’t. She may not necessarily be a “show off” capoeirista, but I know she wipes the floor with me (and just about all of us) each and every time. 🙂

27 02 2008

It’s not?! Oops, I’m sorry! This is embarassing. Thank you very much for the correction! I’m glad to hear that about the video, too; that makes more sense!

13 04 2009

Yes I totally agree with Leite de Coco, please do not be fooled by the lack of floreios, volta por cimas, giro de mao type moves in her game as one that it is not indicative of her level. As a student of hers for over 2 years now, I can tell you she has one of the toughest games I have faced. She plays like the mestres of old, I have seen footage of, lots of malicia and malandro. I enjoy the acrobatic stuff as much as the next person, but let’s not loose sight of what capoeira is suppose to be about, and believe me Contra-Mestre Marisa totally embodies that spirit. if you don’t believe me ask some of the other Contra-Mestres, Mestres, etc. within the Cordeo de Ouro family.


Gingarte Capoeira

13 04 2009

Thanks for that, Jaguar; you’re right, of course. If you happen to come across a link or video one day that does her justice, please share! 🙂

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