History of Capoeira Senzala

Grupo Senzala was founded in the 1960s by a group of young capoeiristas who had been training with the brothers, Rafael and Paulo Flores Viana in the Laranjeiras neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. This group developed its methodology though contact with the great Masters of the day. They drew on the teachings of Mestres Bimba and Pastinha from Salvador, Bahia as well as the mestres of Rio de Janeiro embodied in figures such as Mestre Leopoldina. These styles were brought together with new teaching styles and a fresh approach to Capoeira. This Senzala style would later form the basis for what would be later called "Capoeira Contemporanea" - a style that quickly gained popularity and is now a mainstay of Capoeira the world over.

In 1967, the group registered for the “Berimbau de Ouro” Capoeira tournament and to their surprise, won the tournament. In fact they came back to win the competition three years in a row. This created a great deal of attention for the members of the young group and provided a launching point for the development of their work. Grupo Senzala grew quickly and by 1974 the mestres of the group began to branch out to develop their own work separately. Each began to teach in different areas, academies, schools, and communities. Their academies flourished within Rio and soon to other cities and states of Brazil and beyond.

Currently Senzala has expanded throughout Brazil, and to numerous countries in Europe and the Americas. Among the founding members of Grupo Senzala still currently working with the group include Mestre Gato, Mestre Peixinho, Mestre Garrincha, Mestre Sorriso, Mestre Itamar and Mestre Gil Velho. In the years since, several members have reached the rank of Mestre: Mestre Beto, Mestre Samara, Mesre Toni Vargas, Mestre Elias, Mestre, Ramos, Mestre Feijao, Mestre Claudio, Mestre Amendoim, Mestre Azeite and Mestre Abutre. The Senzala community is immense, with thousands of students, and many talented teachers. This group is known for its rigorous demand for quality, technique, and attention to tradtion, which passes on the dedication to continue to help Capoeira grow in new places and also, to ensure that the tradition of the artform will always be maintained.

Centro Cultural Senzala

Centro Cultural Senzala is a vital part of the larger group and draws its roots from its founder, Mestre Peixinho. Together with Mestre Toni Vargas, Mestre Ramos and many other notable Mestres, Centro Cultural Senzala continues to develop its work in Rio de Janeiro within its headquarters which are currently located in the neighborhood of Leme. Centro Cultural Senzala continues to expand throughout Brazil and throughout the world.

Source: www.zumbisenzala.org



Mestre Chiquinho