KurtzMTCfinal “Good morning, my precious little Estonian on the other side of the speaker”: Ethnolinguistic Nationalism and Estonian Hip-Hop

Esther Kurtz

Brown University

December 2012




Search Capoeira: Online Practices of Capoeira Learners

            In recent years, many scholars have addressed how specific communities use online and digital technologies, and in some cases how these interactions with technologies play a role in forming  communities (Lysloff 2003, Miller 2012, Sterne 2006). My exploration of the online practices of capoeira practitioners began differently, however, because I did not stumble upon a thriving community online and then choose to write about it. Rather, I was familiar with thinking about capoeira communities as functioning primarily offline. For example, while my group, based in Cambridge, MA and led by Mestre Deraldo, communicates about classes and events through email and Facebook, we do not use the internet to learn or study capoeira, as a group, in any formalized fashion. However, the internet has progressed from novel technology to daily reality. Very much like the radio in the early twentieth century, it is now “something that people [use] in their everyday lives for pleasure, information and more” (Taylor 2005:251). So I went searching for more intersections of capoeira practice with online technologies. At times my searching felt like aimless rummaging through junk drawers. I watched YouTube videos and let myself be lured by links to websites and blogs; I downloaded capoeira apps for the iPhone and scoured Twitter. I also interviewed group members and observed the larger capoeira cyber community, and found a diversity of individual interactions with the internet. In no case did I find indications of people learning capoeira in isolation, in front of a computer screen, as Miller describes Grimmly learning yoga (Miller 2012:203-217). After all, capoeira is a game that must be played in a group setting, at the very least with one other opponent. However, individual capoeira learners and teachers have integrated media practices into their capoeira practice to varying degrees and with varied purposes, and certain consistencies in their media practices emerged.

            For this paper, I focus on practices rather than technologies (Sterne 2006, Taylor 2005), considering “the perspectives of players and producers” (Miller 2012:171). While everyone I interviewed for this paper plays capoeira, for the sake of this study the “players” are the consumers, those who turn to the internet seeking to increase their knowledge, and I will focus primarily on them. The capoeira players I spoke to range from students with a significant level of commitment to mestres (masters). [i] Everyone involved with capoeira is in a continual process of learning, even mestres, as Mestre Deraldo often attests, and they turn to the internet for information according to their individual needs. While the assumption is that questions will be directed at the mestre or an advanced student, in absence of these figures or when time is limited, students may turn to the internet. Other information, such as how another mestre plays, or about another school's style, may be inaccessible offline due to geographical distance. Through videos on YouTube it is now possible to see mestres and schools in action.

            Nonetheless, even in an age where online media practices have become fully normalized in our lives, certain aspects of learning resist being adopted to the virtual world. Which aspects of capoeira can be disembodied and virtually transferred, and which cannot? By asking what the internet can or cannot offer the practice of capoeira, I have had to think more about what it means to learn capoeira, as well as what it means to learn through online media. In the process, I have encountered limits of online learning as well as new realms of possibility.


The internet as archive and textbook

            Before performing research for this paper I would feel guilty about spending too much time watching videos or reading about capoeira online. However, as I searched and indulged, I began to feel simultaneously overwhelmed and grateful. As I watched, new resources sprung up before my eyes: I had previously looked in vain on YouTube for famous capoeira movies (there are only a few), but now I found CapoeiraPassion's channel, just over a year old, with all the movies I had ever heard of (CapoeiraPassion 2011). (We shall see how long this channel continues, as it is most certainly violating copyright laws.) Also, while I was watching, Itapuã of Rio de Janeiro, announced the premier of a ten-video series he had produced through a Brazilian crowdfunding site, on his website abeiramar.tv. I also became aware of how much I enjoyed the Facebook postings of LowCountry Capoeira Angola, the capoeira teacher called Chicago [ii] . For example, recently he has posted lyrics by Paul César Pinheiro which quote a capoeira song; a link to an NPR program about the hangings of Dakota Indians in Minnesota during the Civil War; and videos of “footwork” dancing. His postings resonate with common themes which run through capoeira Angola discourse and movement analysis, and it is this coherence that I most admire in his Facebook presence.

            On YouTube I found videos of Mestre Pastinha, the father of capoeira Angola, who died in 1981 (Assunção 2005:167) and Mestre João Pequeno, my mestre's mestre, who just passed away in December 2011. Thus the internet is a vast, chaotic, constantly-changing, disorganized archive and resource for anyone learning capoeira. Indeed, as Burgess and Green claim, “YouTube's value as a cultural archive is actually a direct result of its unfiltered, disordered, vernacular, and extremely heterogeneous characteristics” (Burgess and Green 2009:89). While many capoeira students do not participate in discussion online, the internet is nonetheless a growing site of capoeira discourse. Thus the question remains, how are capoeira students and teachers consuming and interacting with this information at their fingertips?

            Peninha has been training with Mestre Deraldo's group for just a little longer than I have. She thinks she started sometime in 2008. Tamanduá has been training with the group since about 2005, and Lua Cheia has also been training, on and off, at least as long as that. (No one seemed able to pin down dates when I asked them.) I started by asking Tamanduá about watching videos:

Tamanduá: I think video resources online, like YouTube, give students access to seeing the art performed at a high level that we usually don't get to see... you see different elements that normally aren't taught to us through direct instruction in class because we're at a lower level. So I think that's one, I mean for me at least, stuff that they wouldn't teach you, some other aspects of the game that you don't get to in class... I mean there's lots of ginga movements that I don't think I got necessarily from doing ginga in class but from seeing videos, from seeing someone move in a certain way, that's really more like decorative, not decorative, but... like aesthetic choices I've definitely picked up from watching people online. (Peninha, Lua Cheia, Tamanduá 2012)


            Capoeira students often identify strongly with their group and mestre, building a community out of their practice. Loyalty to one group is mandatory. Students may be free to leave one group for another, but they can never go back. Training with multiple groups is rarely tolerated, while visiting other groups' rodas (events at which capoeira is played) may be allowed depending on the relationship between the groups mestres (Vassallo 2006:77-78, Downey 2008:52). While egos certainly play a role here, a mestre may also warn students not to visit groups he knows play a rough or violent game. This reveals a striking advantage of online interactions: the ability to “visit” any group without offending your mestre or risking injury. I return to this point later in conversation with Contra-Mestre Toca. Next I asked if Peninha ever looked at capoeira videos:

Peninha: Sometimes. Very rare. I guess the times that I looked [were] for music? Like things that we don't get to see as much in detail, whether because the timing isn't right, or in the middle of the roda you think about it but you don't have the time to ask… you didn't catch it at the moment... and then it'll occur to you later on and then you kind of look for it as a supplement?


Esther: What's an example of something you've looked for?


Peninha: Toques[standard rhythms played on the berimbau], even like the basic toques for the berimbau... So I think one thing about capoeira Angola is there's no textbook. You learn it from another person, or your group, but there's no textbook to go to. But I do feel that I need some—sort of my own studies. It just doesn't—the basic ground of studies don't exist, so... YouTube is just one of the easy places to search for things like that.


Esther: So what exactly do you look for? Are you looking at games or are you looking for lyrics?


Peninha: It depends, not so much the lyrics, I guess. The games would come up just by chance, 'cause I don't really look for games. But... if you type capoeira Angola, then it's a mixture of the games and berimbau, or maybe “capoeira music,” maybe that's what I search for. I'm thinking about music, and then you have a whole bunch and then you choose whatever appeals to you at that moment. But there's no systematic search that I do, it's just a very random search [that] happens to find something that may interest you at that time. But again it's very rare.


Esther: That you actually do that—so it's like, would you say, less than once a week?


Peninha: Oh, way less. Way less.

(Peninha, Lua Cheia, Tamanduá 2012)


            Peninha's account illustrates a common online practice among capoeira learners. In the particular case of our school, learning capoeira music is not emphasized, and this is experienced by many of our students as a deficiency. Learning to play the berimbau and the other instruments of the capoeira bateria is essential in order to fully participate in playing capoeira in a roda, where everyone is expected to rotate playing instruments and singing with playing capoeira. If only a few people can play the instruments, then they will be stuck playing the music and not get a chance to play capoeira. Peninha turns to the internet in order to supplement what she is learning in class. Again, she expresses frustration that there is no “textbook,” no single source where everything is recorded and easily accessed:

Peninha: Maybe it just highlights the fact that there's a need for a central source, or maybe a book, or even a blog where you can ask questions and reliably get an answer. But yeah, I don't have where I go, I lack this resource.


Lua Cheia: 'Cause usually it'd be your mestre, right? Usually it'd be your mestre, those questions that you would ask. Yeah, like I feel like if you were in Brazil you wouldn't have this issue.


Esther: Really?


Lua Cheia: Having to find all this information on the internet. I don't know, maybe 'cause it costs money to use the internet there, so like you're just going to your class, learning what your mestre teaches you...

(Peninha, Lua Cheia, Tamanduá 2012)


            Lua Cheia had just spent half a year in Brazil, and acknowledged that in the big cities of Rio and São Paulo more people had internet access. However, she is also referring to differences in how capoeira schools function, which vary greatly whether in Brazil or another country. In my own experience in Brazil, the mestre taught about half of the classes, and there was class five days a week. I know this used to be the case with Deraldo's group in Cambridge, but since the group lost its training space several years ago, we only have class twice a week. Mestre Deraldo moved back to Brazil in 2011, but even when he was here he did not teach every class. Overall, however, we agreed that being in a Brazilian capoeira class offered advantages when learning songs and lyrics. New songs are often learned orally in the roda, by listening and singing along. In Brazil, there is much less “telephone” effect, as Tamanduá pointed out, where lyrics are mis-heard, mis-pronounced and then passed on incorrectly.

Peninha: It's an interesting topic, because I think things have to shift. You know, it is one way, it is a culture like Deraldo says... Like you hang out together, that's where things happen, and it's not just the class, but outside. You know, the disciples follow the master, and... by being around you learn the culture and the philosophy and things you're supposed to do and not supposed to do, but we lack it. And I mean there're many groups that doesn't have the master on site, so many, that it just has to be this way...


Lua Cheia: Yeah, I mean consider Deraldo's group in Italy, like they train by watching videos of him, you know, they're very reliant on [videos]... And he say's they're good!

(Peninha, Lua Cheia, Tamanduá 2012)


            In fact, shortly after this conversation, Deraldo traveled to Italy to visit his group there. He told us he was pleased that they had continued to train capoeira Angola, faithfully sticking to the pedagogical sequences he had taught them. Lua Cheia marveled at their reliance on videos, in the absence of a present master. This raises all kinds of questions about which videos they use and how, that I am at present unable to answer.

            What has already become apparent, however, is the wide variation of mediated interaction, within a group and from group to group. Peninha approaches the internet resources as a substitute “textbook.” There is so much information out there, only it is un-centralized, unedited, and sometimes unverified. In fact, this seemingly chaotic collection of data reflects the variation inherent in an oral tradition which has never been standardized. (While capoeira practitioners and scholars have been keeping records for decades, the tradition is still largely passed orally.) Most elements of capoeira, from song repertoire and lyrics, and how toques are played and named, to movement names, styles and strategies, vary greatly from school to school. In short, the information available online is fragmented and not always accurate or relevant to the particular capoeira practice of one's own school. Students like Peninha must sift through the pieces and put them together as best they can. The practices of online video posting and viewing, in comparison, offer a different kind of substitute, most notable for their potential to expand the capoeira player's experience.


“How do you YouTube?”

            As Jenkins states, “If YouTube seems to have sprung up overnight, it is because so many groups were ready for something like YouTube; they already had communities of practice that supported the productions of DIY media, already evolved video genres and built social networks through which such videos could flow” (Burgess and Green 2009:110). The presence on YouTube of so many capoeira videos that date from before 2005, when YouTube began, confirms that capoeira practitioners constitute one of these communities. One difference now, of course, is the ease and breadth of dissemination, at least for those with high-speed internet access. The question remains, how are capoeira learners using YouTube?

YouTube Search: “learn capoeira”

            I was not familiar with online communities for learning capoeira comparable to the communities Miller discusses in her book Playing Along. She found video lessons for learning congas, guitar, piano and even yoga, and her research reveals that significant numbers of people find these resources meaningful sites for building a foundation of knowledge and informing their practices. Was there a cyberworld of capoeira instruction out there as well?

            I searched on YouTube for “learn capoeira” and got 1,830 results. The still frame images of the top videos reveal brightly colored gym floors, amply muscled men and athletic women in capoeira uniforms, usually white pants belted with cords and white or colored t-shirts. The video “Capoeira Techniques: Learn Capoeira Moves” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Fqjdwh-L8) is one of the most popular I found, with 125,215 views and 122 comments (eHow 2009). In the video, Cavalo, a Brazilian, introduces himself and his school, Capoeira Maculelê in Miami. He talks while a petite woman demonstrates the moves silently behind him in the center of the screen. They both appear to be of Latin ethnicity, olive-skinned, and they are in a dojo with a matted floor, and flags of the U.S., the state of Florida, Puerto Rico and Japan hang on the white wall behind them, a Brazilian flag draped casually over a kicking bag. In a mere one minute and twenty-nine seconds, Cavalo packs in demonstration and explanation of three moves: macacu (a back hand flip); aú sem mão (cartwheel without hands); and martelo rodado (a rotating kick where both feet leave the mat.) The explanation of the macacu demonstrates the efficiency of the lesson. He explains as his partner demonstrates again, gesturing her preparation without completing the move, then completing it:

Cavalo: When she does the macacu, she has to make sure both knees are bent in a squatting position, first arm goes down. Once that first arm goes down, [she stands up and squats again to get the momentum she needs to complete the move] she gonna thrust up, put the second arm on the floor, and go over.

(transcribed from eHow 2009)


            It's that easy! This short minute-and-a-half contains general information on how to execute the moves, but there is no discussion of the movements in relation to a sequence of movements or their use in a game with an opponent. These demonstration videos rarely feature two capoeira players interacting (the only way capoeira is played). So who is watching these videos? The comments vary from compliments and mentions of failed attempts, to unrelated comments and remarks on the attractiveness of the demonstrator (apparently Cavalo's wife), with some exchanges about the moves or capoeira in general. Only one comment discussed the move in detail:

shaolindude1: question about macaco: how do i take my body all way back? i do it some more cartwheel with hand above my head my teacher said it's because i using power but i don't know how to practice it right

monsita21: u have to look at ur second hand at all times, and that second hand is the key to go to the back!! dont turn ur head or ur hand. always to the back!

            Many of the commenters are already engaged with learning capoeira. Shaolindude1 is training capoeira with a teacher, presumably offline, and though we know nothing about monsita21's capoeira history [iii] , she responds with the same advice I have heard time and again, from various teachers, when teaching the macacu: to watch your second hand as you swing it back over your head. Cavalo neglected to include this tip in his video, but perhaps this was not unintentional. He has made it clear where we can find his school. These videos are likely meant to whet our appetite for more.

YouTube Search: “learn capoeira Angola”

            None of my searching had yet turned up any videos of capoeira Angola [iv] , the style of capoeira that I practice, which is not surprising as this style is significantly less popular. So I typed “learn capoeira Angola” in the search field. The third video listed, uploaded by catmanchicago, was entitled “Capoeira Angola: Lesson #1 (Learning How to Fall).” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjztCMvRBgY) It had 1,135 views and zero comments (catmanchicago 2010).

            The frame fills with red and black, dimly lit around the edges, and everyone on the screen except one drummer is black. The eight musicians, are dressed in black, white, or red, seated on a bench in front of a red wall with the school's insignia painted on it. The eight minute video opens with what appears to be the start of a roda. No one in the video is addressing the camera, and from the background noise the room seems to contain a fair number of people, including children. The caption reads, “Lesson# 1: How to fall. The lesson few teach in the United States. Wanna free lesson? Need practice falling? Come to the Low Country Capoeira Angola Society Open Roda, Fridays 7:30-9:30.” As with Cavalo's video, here is as an invitation to the school, but not as paying students. “Open rodas” are free of charge, open to people from outside the group, and they do not usually include any formal instruction. Rather they offer the chance to apply what you have trained to a game situation. The tongue-and-cheek description implies that if you come to the roda, the capoeira players there will kick your legs out from under you, helping you to “practice falling.” This is an important exercise, however, because you inevitably will fall if you play capoeira, and learning to do so correctly means avoiding significant pain and injury.

            The video shows a game with whom I believe is Chicago, the teacher of the Low Country group, and presumably one of his students, a younger woman. As promised, he proceeds to make her fall many times in the video, but always as a teacher to a student, without malice. She falls or rolls to the ground and back up again to continue the game/lesson. He also gestures to her at moments that he is vulnerable to be taken down, and thus through demonstration and gesture, he reveals that another lesson is being taught at the same time: “How to Make Someone Fall.” Most significantly, this video demonstrates how learning happens while playing capoeira, in the roda itself. I don't leave a comment, but I make a mental note to visit Chicago's roda some day. My appetite is whetted.

YouTube Search: capoeira

            While rodas are sites of learning by playing, during a roda of several hours, one might only get to play once for five minutes. The rest of the learning comes from watching others play: remaining focused, observing playing styles, learning from their mistakes and successes. The importance of the sense of sight in learning movement has been described by Hahn: “we learn how to look, how to see, and how to consume movement through sight. It is through the particular angle and process of seeing that we envision and embody movement” (Hahn  2007:85). In capoeira, we must learn how to see not only in order to be able to imitate movements, however, though this is very important. Listening to experienced players talking after rodas about the games we saw, I have heard them talk about things that I did not see: they remember moves better, they can spot and remember weaknesses in a player's strategy. Gradually, I have come to realize that watching in the roda may be used as practice for the way you watch when you are playing: you can try to anticipate moves, and imagine what you would do if you were playing. Learning how to watch is an important skill in capoeira training, and one of the few that actually can be practiced sitting alone, at home, in front of a computer screen.

            In Hahn's experience of learning Japanese dance, many teachers were wary of using technology in their teaching practices, though media are allowed as aids to memory (Hahn 2007:135,142). In capoeira, by contrast, the use of recording devices is generally tolerated. Now with the ubiquitous presence of video recorders in our phones, from time to time in my group we may record a sequence or two, though often we prefer to train than to stop and record. More common than recording classes is recording rodas, and these are the content of the vast majority of capoeira videos found online. YouTube provides capoeira practitioners with more opportunities to use these videos in much the same way I imagine they used videos before YouTube: to watch capoeira rodas. [v]            

            I knew Contra-Mestre Toca from our group watched videos online because I had heard him mention them before. So I considered him the expert of the group, because the other members I talked to were not as avid video consumers. In an interview with him I asked him to go into more detail about how often he watched, and what kinds of videos he looked for.

Toca: I look at it almost every day, I go on YouTube and put in “capoeira Angola” and then I even filter down to see what's new for the day or for the week, and it's just interesting to see what people are posting. For example, Mestre João Grande just had an event out in LA to commemorate Mestre João Pequeno, but I wasn't able to go, you know, but they posted a couple of videos of Mestre João Grande there doin' some stuff, and it was nice that I was able to see some of that--even though it doesn't come close to compare to feel the energy if I was there-- but at least I can see what type of thing was going on there. So that's very nice. Also you know you can see some other groups and their style, some people that you don't want to have anything to do with. Like there's some videos on there where the guys, they go to play a game, they shake the other guy's hand, and then they go punch each other in the face!

(Toca 2012)


An example of a video from this event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfCBxVu9FMo


            Toca's example illustrates again how YouTube functions like a vehicle, allowing capoeira practitioners to “visit” places they otherwise could not go, and witness games they would be unable to see, either due to distance or because they would not want to be present. His nearly daily habit of checking for videos also implies that he is familiar with the available content and wants to remain up-to-date, similar to how people check news sites every day. Considering how regular of a user he is, I was surprised that Toca does not have a YouTube account, which would enable him to subscribe to channels and organize favorite videos:

Toca: No, I don't have a YouTube account, no. I mean a lot of the YouTube videos that I catch that I haven't found myself, I find on Facebook.  [because a friend posted it there] So there's a couple I can't remember what they're called, but they're a couple like Angola sites [vi] , or capoeira sites, that you “like” or are interested in or however it works, and then you get notices when people post stuff to it, and a lot times it's discussions or whatever, but sometimes it's videos.

Esther: So do you ever take what you've seen and try to apply it your game? Like try to take the movements?


Toca: uuuuhhhhh---- [he seems to be seriously considering the question]


Esther: Or is it more just like checking out what's happening?


Toca: uuuhhhhm-- I don't really go on there to try to get movements, no. I don't do that. Uuhhm, I have gone on there with the idea like, so like when Master Angolinha used to train with us and used to teach us, I went on and watched his videos. I typed his name in and watched a bunch of his videos, and a lot of the training came back to me. I got inspired to do his sequences and his movements.


Esther: After you'd already trained with him you went back--


Toca: Yeah, like then I watched a video of him to like get his, you know, his energy back, because it was slipping from the mind.


            This anecdote shows how watching movements or gestures one has performed can elicit kinesthetic response. Hahn describes a similar sensation when watching video footage she had taken of lessons: “Curiously, kinesthetic sensations (the sense of motion and orientation) often fell over me when I observed the videotapes...” (Hahn 2007:78). Miller also reported kinesthetic sensation watching yoga videos online: “As I read more yoga blog posts and watched more videos, my body shifted in my computer chair as though operated by remote control: back straightening, shoulder blades sliding together... toes spreading to grip the floor for a vicarious backbend” (Miller 2012:208). In these examples, the videos function not to teach or pass movements, but they stimulate the “sensational knowledge” embodied through the practitioners' experience (Miller 2012:208; Hahn 2007).



            While the totality of capoeira play and its movements may be difficult to learn online, other less tangible aspects of capoeira movements, like “aesthetics” and “energy,” do seem transferrable through videos. This directly contradicts one of Hahn's teacher's remarks: “You cannot get emotion from a videotape” (Hahn 2007:142). Apparently some capoeira practitioners can. This only serves to highlight the vast range of experiences and applications of technology. Practitioners of different cultural forms will meet limitations in technology at different points and in different areas.

            With this paper I have provided a glimpse into the online practices of capoeira players. Through talking to capoeira players closest to me, I learned that each one seeks slightly different information from the internet in order to fill in gaps in their capoeira knowledge. In this process they are frustrated with the lack of information available, as Peninha expressed, but they are also rewarded when videos trigger their sensational knowledge. Tamanduá has incorporated aesthetic elements he found in videos into his own game, while Toca has watched videos for inspiration, to recapture the energy of particular mestres. The comments on Cavalo's video also reveal that viewers are searching online for inspiration or tips about how to execute particular moves. Taken together, these experiences show that the internet contains a wealth of material to supplement capoeira practice.

            There are limitations. Lua Cheia summed it up like this: “So, I don't think I could really learn capoeira from YouTube, but some of the stylistic things, like jogo de corpo, like how you move your body, some of that's neat” (Peninha, Lua Cheia and Tamanduá 2012). Twice in his interview Toca emphatically stated that while he watches videos of rodas, it “doesn't come close” to the energy he would feel if he were there.  He added, “I have not been to Brazil yet, so it helps me to see the other things that are there, not that that can compare with actually going, you know, but it does help to see all the different stuff that's out there” (Toca 2012). These experiences are confirmed in the work of Hahn, who acknowledges that while “[v]ideo technology changed dance scholarship... dance has primarily been an art form passed from body to body” (Hahn 2007:6). The same remains true for capoeira.  Nonetheless, YouTube videos provide windows into past and present worlds we might never see otherwise, and our bodies respond. As I watched dozens of capoeira videos in preparation for this paper, I would get drawn into the games of the mestres, stopping and replaying their quick, subtle takedowns, feeling my palms sweat and my pulse quicken from the rise in adrenaline. I am looking forward more than ever to the next roda.




abeiramar.tv: capoeira online. 2012. Accessed November 20, 2012. http://www.abeiramar.tv/


Burgess, Jean, Joshua Green, Henry Jenkins, and John Hartley. 2009. YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. Malden: Polity.


CapoeiraPassion. YouTube Channel since October 26, 2011. Accessed November 2012. http://www.youtube.com/user/CapoeiraPassion


catmanchicago. 2010. “Capoeira Angola: Lesson #1 (Learning How to Fall).” (November 13, 2010). Accessed November 23, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjztCMvRBgY


eHow. 2009. “Capoeira Techniques: Learn Capoeira Moves.” (July 16, 2009). Accessed November 23, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Fqjdwh-L8


Hahn, Tomie. 2007. Sensational Knowledge: Embodying Culture Through Japanese Dance. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.


Lysloff, René T. A. 2003. “Musical Life in Softcity: An Internet Ethnography.” In Music and Technoculture. René T. A. Lysloff and Leslie C. Gay Jr., eds. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.


Miller, Kiri. 2012. Playing along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.


Peninha, Lua Cheia and Tamanduá. 2012. Group interview by author. Cambridge, MA. November 17.


Sterne, Jonathan. 2006. “What’s Digital in Digital Music?” In Digital Media: Transformations in Human Communication. Paul Messaris and Lee Humphreys, eds. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.


Taylor, Timothy D. 2005. “Music and the Rise of Radio in Twenties America: Technological Imperialism, Socialization, and the Transformation of Intimacy.” In Wired for Sound: Engineering and Technologies in Sonic Cultures. Paul D. Greene and Thomas Porcello, eds. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.


Toca. 2012. Interview by author. Cambridge, MA. November 18.


Vassallo, Simone Pondé. 2006. “Resistência Ou Conflito? O Legado Folcorista Nas Atuais Representações Do Jogo Da Capoiera.” Campos - Revista de Antropologia Social 7(1):71–82.

[i]     Throughout the paper I use the Portuguese “mestre,” which is common practice even among non-Portuguese speaking capoeira practitioners. Furthermore, I wish to avoid any connotation with “master,” which in English can mean “slave master.” The Portuguese word for slave master is “senhor.

[ii]    On December 2, 2012, I tried to check LowCountry's Facebook account to find it had been deactivated. Therefore there is no way to reference this site, as it can no longer be found. I have sent Chicago an email, but have not heard back from him yet.

[iii]   In the comments of another video by Cavalo, I read a comment by monsita21 which revealed that she was the woman in the video. This shows that, at least in this particular case, she was offering more detailed instruction. However, the comment and its advice were buried early in the list, not featured as the main content of the video.

[iv]   While the comparison and relationship of capoeira Angola to the Regional or, more accurately, contemporary style (contemporâneo) merits in-depth discussion, the distinction is not relevant for this paper.

[v]    When I first started training capoeira in 2006, YouTube was not as well-known or popular. I remember visiting houses of capoeira teachers, both in Holland and Brazil, and watching VHS videos and DVDs of rodas and at least one documentary about a capoeira school. I have also heard people talk about past get-togethers of watching capoeira videos. I suppose we do this less now because of the presence of YouTube.

[vi]   What Toca is calling “sites” are what Facebook calls “pages” or “groups,” or they are the profiles of people affiliated with capoeira or a capoeira group.