Adriano Oliveira

Capoeira and Afro-Fusion

Classes

Minimum age: 16

Tuesday: Capoeira

  • Level: General
  • Time: 20:00-21:30
  • Fee: £12

Wednesday: Afro-Fusion

  • Level: General
  • Time: 20:00-21:30pm
  • Fee: £14

Classes bookable HERE from one week ahead.

Biography

From Porto Seguro, Bahia, Adriano Oliveira has since traveled far from where Brazil was first discovered. Following his training in both traditional African and Afro-Brazilian dance, he entered the dance company “Axè Odara” known across all of Brazil especially for its experimental research in Afro-Brazilian culture. In this same period, Adriano sought to broaden his training further and attended courses in Capoeira at the Capoeira Sul Da Bahia Academy and ballet.

He also dedicated his time to leading community projects in areas of Porto Seguro for children, adults and senior citizens in dance and capoeira. In 2001 Adriano came to Europe via Paris before spending time in Berlin where he turned to studying modern dance with Wibke Janssen and Sabina Ferenc and also performing with Joao Carlos Ramos’s samba jazz company “Brazilian Follies Show”.

Adriano then moved to Italy where he decided to concentrate more time on teaching. In 2003 he began work with several cultural associations with whom he travelled to Burkina Faso in Africa to deepen his knowledge and training in traditional west-African rhythms and percussion. That experience began a long-standing connection and relationship with Burkina Faso which sees Adriano regularly return to the country not only to refresh his training but also to share his own dance training with local artists.

Adriano remained in Milan until October 2016 where he ran several dance, movement and fitness courses including Afro Fusion, Afro Contemporary, Afro House, Afro Fit, Forrò, Samba, Samba Reggae and Dynamic Gym.

Adriano is now based in London where he teaches at Danceworks and until the first lockdown, Mountview.  Since moving to London, he has been involved in three Arts Council funded projects as an invited artist and choreographer for Bambas Afro-Brazilian Festival, Afro Xplosion and Tambores Livres for Notting Hill Carnival.  He also organised a non-funded Afro-Brazilian Arts & Dance Weekend VONTADE with the presence of members of the local community inviting external teachers and musicians and an African dance weekend festival in Milan ‘African Rhythms of the World’.

Adriano has taught at Kingston University as a visiting lecturer specialising in African Dance and with foundation students at Mountview Academy.

Since the onset of Covid, Adriano has continued to lead classes online of Capoeira and Dynamic Gym and in the summer months last year, he offered weekly Sunday Afro-Brazilian Fusion dance workshops with live drummers in Greenwich Park which is a project he will continue again this Summer, location TBC.

Class Description

Afro-Fusion

The Brazilian descendants of Africa may have forgotten their original language, but their bodies still pass down through the generations the universal language of rhythm. Africa re-lived and recalled at a distance as an ancestral base in every melody and in every graceful movement. Forget positions of the body which encourage conventional posture and let yourselves go to the rhythm of the drums which move the soul and can’t help but vibrate your body. Think powerful flexing and pulsing of the torso, pelvic thrusts, and shoulder rolls juxtaposed with undulations of the vertebrae and sensual body isolations.

Adriano takes you back through time treasuring every experience and every journey which has contributed to his unique style and training. He mixes different genres and styles of dance such as contemporary, modern, and traditional west-African but he is always faithful to his Afro-Brazilian roots.

Adriano’s main focus and objective are that his students feel the freedom to let go and connect with the music. He isn’t interested in perfect, classical technique but rather that individual expression and interpretation of movement is evident from each student and most of all that they enjoy the most basic of gifts that each of us possesses within…DANCE!

Capoeira

Monitor Adriano is the only representative of Capoeira Sul Da Bahia in the UK under the supervision of Mestrando Pedro, Capoeira Sul Da Bahia Milan and Mestre Railson, Capoeira Sul Da Bahia, Arraial D’Ajuda.

What is Capoeira? Capoeira is a martial art, a dance, a game, music, history, culture, art…Capoeira is all of the above and more.

Why is it important and how is it relevant? Capoeira is physically a very complete activity. Training gives you a full body workout with no equipment necessary, just yourself combined with determination and stamina! Strength, agility, flexibility, stamina, and coordination are all worked and improved by this unique art form.

Beyond the physical benefits, Capoeira teaches respect, collaboration, teamwork, builds self-confidence, musicality, rhythm and you also learn a new language along the way – Portuguese!

Capoeira is a martial art originating from African slaves.

Imported to Brazil from the mid-15th century, forced into slave labour, they were however allowed to practice their religious traditions and rituals.

Motivated by a desire to rebel, the slaves developed a form of combat which they masked as a dance as they trained.  This combat artform in time allowed the slaves to escape. In the following centuries, the integration of these newly-freed slaves (in 1888 slavery was abolished) proved difficult and Capoeira continued to change based on the transformations in society until now when it is recognised as a sport.

Capoeira’s laborious history carries with it the benefits of the different cultures it came across on its journey. Ethical and moral direction; a great example of resilience; dance; song; combat which co-exist in a sole practice.

Today Capoeira is practiced in pairs within a circle of people (la roda) who can take turns to enter the circle and take part. A collection of traditional capoeira instruments complete the circle accompanied by the two participants. Traditionally there is no winner or loser and the two participants take turns until the roda finishes (usually whoever is playing the lead instrument) by stopping the music.