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McKelvey School of Engineering

Sensing Ancestrality and Cross-racial Belonging in Capoeira Angola

Friday, October 1 | 3:00 PM

Music Classroom Building, 102
Music Classrooms Bldg, Clayton, MO 63105, USA

This paper explores embodied and temporal aspects of call, response and response(ability) (Madison 2018; Schneider 2018) in capoeira Angola, the Afro-Brazilian music-movement form. For many Black players in Bahia, Brazil, moving in the capoeira circle summons powerful sensations of “ancestrality” and visceral images of a lived past under enslavement. This calls them to imagine and fight for a better future, one in which Black lives have value. White practitioners also claim to sense ancestrality while playing capoeira, suggesting that the affective experience of moving together may foster cross-racial belonging. However, despite the commonality of sensing ancestrality, ethnographic interviews and participant-observation revealed that interpretations of this experience diverged along racial lines. 

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Speaker Information
Esther Viola Kurtz, Assistant Professor of Music, Washington University in St. Louis
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