**A Capoeira Player**
**A lot of people in Shanghai have probably never heard of Capoeira.** Capoeira is something between a dance and a martial art that was created by African slaves in Brazil. They would form a roda--circle--like we still do today, and take turns playing instruments, singing and sparring in pairs in the center of the circle. **For people who don't know though, that seems similar to karate or kung fu.** No, it's more fluid and acrobatic. **Sounds a little intense, what kind of people are in the group?** We are mainly expats, there are around 25 active members in the group here. For the most part, everyone's like me and works during the day--that's why lessons take place in the evenings or weekends. **Everyone we've ever seen doing capoeira is in incredibly good shape though (so not us). Can anyone join?** Capoeira is for everybody and once you practice, you can have fun even if you can't do any sophisticated acrobatic movement. To be a good capoeirista you just need to learn the basic actions and kicks--and also to play capoeira traditional musical instruments and to sing capoeira songs. **Sing?** Everyone in the group has to sing, just not by yourself. **Do you discriminate against people who can't carry a tune?** No discrimination, everyone can take his or her time to learn how to sing capoeira's songs. **Why do you sing while doing a martial art?** In this art, the people in the roda around the two capoeiristas sing and play instruments to give the capoeirista energy. According to the music, the game changes. The slower the music, the more relaxed the movements; the faster the music, the more aggressive the action. **Can you "sing" us a few notes of a song?** Most songs are in Portuguese. A popular song is "Bananeira Caiu." The first few lines are, "O facao bateu embaixo, a bananeira caiu, cai, cai, bananeira caiu!"
**Cost**: ￥70 per lesson or ￥400 per month