“Capoeira: My Anti-Drug”

23 12 2007

So, this was an idea that had been sitting around in my head for at least a year or so.  I don’t know how widely this series of public service announcements has been broadcast geographically, so I tried to find one to put here but I could only find parodies and no examples of the actual commercials.  Basically, each advertisement in the campaign focuses on a person doing something they love, basketball for example, and at the end the person or a message on the screen would say, “Basketball: My anti-drug”.  Before you read the following, please keep in mind that I’m no film student (especially if you are one yourself), and that it might sound cheesy/corny when written out here but I really think with the right cinematography, etc., it could be pulled off!


“Capoeira: My Anti-Drug”


Opening: Black.

Scene: Darkened gym room.  Person in capoeira uniform sitting on bench, obviously about to do drugs.  Person pauses, then throws substance into nearby trashcan, gets up and starts walking away from bench.

Cue berimbau toque: Sao bento grande de angola, with variations.

Fade into same darkened gym, panning across sole capoeirista training (same person as before).  Slow ginga, with dramatic cinematography; zoom in on and across arms and face, which wears expression of intense focus, and shows perspiration. 

Capoeirista begins sequence: kicks, escapes, acrobatics, done slowly, smoothly, and expressively, enunciating height and straightness of leg, flexibility and curve of back, length of airtime.  Camera pans from different angles; zooms in and out as best fits.

Sequence ends with mortal, camera follows capoeirista up into air—

Cue singing and additional instruments: Paranaue, paranaue, paranau.

—and back down, as capoeirista lands in the middle of a roda, playing an opponent.

Cue increase of music volume and rhythm speed.

Camera pans, briefly showing full batteria and singing, clapping capoeiristas.   

The game continues, played close and hard.  First capoeirista fells opponent with sudden, cleanly executed take-down.  Both do volta ao mundo, return to feet of the berimbaus, lowered and waiting.  First capoeirista looks up as camera zooms in on face. 

Cue fading of music into background.

Fade to black.

Cue anti-drug message.

Capoeira_my anti-drug





Doing Capoeira is like Falling in Love

20 12 2007

(a creative essay)

Diving into the art of capoeira

Doing capoeira is like falling in love.  It starts with a glance, a spark, or nothing obvious at all.  Some call it love at first sight; for others, it is pure serendipity.  At first, you are excited, unsure, nervous, walking in with both eyes wide open.  Then you learn to fall—and fall.

You tumble head over heels, you’re upside-down, beside yourself, and infatuated.  You want to spend every minute in this, every second, every unexpected waking moment.  You can’t stop thinking about it, dreaming about it.  This is the discovery stage; no contours, no leads, no boundaries are safe from your candid, lusting, insatiable curiosity.

You can hardly bear to doubt, it’s all so beautiful.  But in time, doubt you do.  For what happened to the things before?  Your friends, your family, your outside interests.  What outside interests?  Your school is your family, friend means anyone in a white uniform.  What about balance, and diversity?  What about dedication, and loyalty?  There’s more to life than the roda.  The roda is life.  And so, a crack in the flushed pink lens.  You grow distant, detached, and allow drift.

Yet still you think about it, dream about it, only not with the bright intensity of new experience, but with the smouldering acuteness of a thing once known.  Thus—inevitably—reconciliation, and renewal.  Green, unruly passion is tempered by autumn perspective.  You no longer fall, but dive.  And the depth is unlimited.