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‘Inhibitions flew out the skylight’

A mesmerising mix of music, movement and colour captured the hearts and hips of more than 120 patrons at a fundraiser for a dynamic program that helps young indigenous people and refugees recover from torture and trauma, held on November 19.

“The beat was intoxicating,” said Waterloo resident Don Burton, who attended the night at the Red Rattler in Marrickville. The event was held to support Project Bantu and run in tandem with the 2nd International Afro-Brazilian Conference 2016.

Project Bantu uses  and the practice of Capoeira Angola as a therapeutic intervention and has made a positive difference to the lives of hundreds of young people in Australia. Capoeira Angola is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and is usually referred to as a game.

Project Bantu founder Mestre Roxinho ran workshops at the 8th Startts Capoeira Angola Youth Encounter held at the Giant Dwarf Theatre in Redfern from November 7 to 11. Classes incorporated Capoeira moves, songs and instruments to help students move through trauma to a place of dialogue where they can develop a more positive, self-controlled and confident sense of self.

The fundraising event featured Samba da Roda from Bahia, a band of Capoeira Mestres, Brazilian food “Acaraje” and tropical sounds from Africa, Latin America and beyond with the DJ collective Afrobrasiliana Soundsystem.

Burton said he was delighted to see people of all ages and complexions mixing easily to dance the Samba and the Lambada, bend in limbo, and to play the rhythmic music of Africa and Brazil.

“Inhibitions flew out the skylight,” he said. “Impromptu drummers joined the artists. Girls and boys assisted with tambourines, bongos, bass drums and ukulele.

“I yearned to understand Portuguese.

“It was absolutely wonderful!”

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