Ie viva meu Mestra, Part 3: Mestranda Marcia “Cigarra”

8 12 2007

Mestranda Marcia Cigarra TreidlerI got a little worried at one point trying to ascertain whether it was Mestra Edna Lima or Mestranda Marcia who became the first Mestranda in Abada Capoeira. I think it was Mestra Edna, according to a list of graduation years I found, but modified that one line in her profile just in case. And I know both Edna Lima and Marcia were awarded their Mestranda cordas by Mestre Camisa, but I believe Marcia is considered Mestre Camisa’s “first female student” to become Mestranda because Edna Lima had trained with several others before joining Abada Capoeira.

For sixteen-year old Marcia Treidler, it was love at first sight. Fast-forward 25 years, and the capoeira-enthralled teenager has become Mestranda Marcia “Cigarra” of Abada Capoeira, founder and artistic director of Abada Capoeira San Francisco, and one of the most esteemed capoeiristas in the field.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Mestranda Marcia started training capoeira in 1982, under Mestre Camisa. She rose through the ranks and taught and performed capoeira throughout Brazil, Europe, and North America, until moving to San Francisco in 1991. There, Mestranda Marcia founded Abada Capoeira San Francisco, which aims to preserve and expand capoeira beyond Brazil, use capoeira to improve and enrich people’s lives, and improve “cultural and social equity” through initiatives such as outreach programs.

In 1997, Mestranda Marcia received permanent residency in the United States, through a National Interest Waiver that declared her an “Alien with Extraordinary Abilities”. She then founded the Abada-Capoeira Brazilian Arts Centre, dedicated to preserving and promoting Afro-Brazilian cultural arts.

Finally, in 1998, Mestranda Marcia received her corda vermelha, becoming Mestre Camisa’s first female student to do so, as well as one of the world’s first. Today, she is internationally recognized for what she has done, and known by students and fellow capoeiristas for her deep commitment to capoeira and to her students, whether it is bringing out their best every class, or improving their very lives.

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