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Documentary showcases cultural heritage of capoeria and kung fu

By Liu Xuan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-09-18 15:51
Masters of capoeira and tai chi are "dancing" together. [Photo provided to China Daily]

What would happen when Chinese kung fu meets Brazilian martial art capoeira?

As a part of the Open Digital Library on Traditional Games, the documentary Capoeira meets Chinese Martial Arts was screened on Monday in Beijing and showed the sparks between the two traditional cultures.

The 10-minute film, co-produced by the embassy of Brazil and Flow Creative Content, in partnership with UNESCO and Tencent, presents the meeting of Brazilian capoeira masters with Chinese martial arts masters in Beijing and Hangzhou.

In the video, masters from both sides discuss how traditional cultures can thrive in modern society and still help people relate to others and understand themselves by exploring the differences and the similarities between their arts.

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music. It was developed in Brazil at the beginning of the 16th century. It is known for its quick and complex maneuvers, predominantly using power, speed, and leverage across a wide variety of kicks, spins, and other techniques.

Although originating in Africa, capoeira also is integrated into the cultural characteristics of indigenous Brazilians. Therefore, it is considered to be one of the most important local cultural symbols and national skills in Brazil. It was granted a special protected status as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2014.

The product is part of the Creation of an Open Digital Library on Traditional Games, a global project launched in 2015 by UNESCO with the support of Tencent, aiming to preserve and promote traditional and unique sports and games to safeguard living heritage, as well as pass it down to future generations.

In 2016, the project team went on a research visit to collect data and audio-visual materials, including valuable interviews with professional players and the communities, such as practitioners, trainers, and guardians of the knowledge of traditional Brazilian games.

As one of the most representative and unique traditional games of Brazil, capoeira also was documented into the digital library, so that people from all over the world can learn about it and how to practice it.

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