folk dance popular in the Brazilian northeast. It was brought to Brazil by slaves from Angola. Capoeira was originally a deadly sport in which the participants, often with blades strapped to their ankles, swung their legs high in attack, somersaulted, and passed within a hairsbreadth of their opponent's knees, head, groin, or stomach. Flexibility and rapidity of movement were more important than sheer muscular strength. In the modern dance the same quick, graceful movements are employed in dance; usually two men face each other, emulating the blows and parries of "the fight" in time with the rhythms of the berimbau, or musical bow. Clubs in Bahia and Rio de Janeiro train dancers in the arts of precise kicking and passing
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