HISTORY OF GROUP SENZALA
Capoeira – Immaterial Heritage of Brazilian Culture
Group Senzala’s history begins in 1963 in Rio de Janeiro. With 36 Masters (so far there have been 53 red cords in its history, within Group Senzala the graduation of red cord means that the bearer will be recognized as a master in the community of capoeira) and many teachers in Brazil and throughout the world, Group Senzala became one of the most important groups in Capoeira’s modern history. Most major capoeira groups of today have been influenced by the organization and teaching methodology developed by Group Senzala, which began training, teaching and spreading capoeira in Laranjeiras in 1963, at UFRJ (Ilha do Fundão), PUC, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro in 1967.
The group won first place in the Berimbau de Ouro tournament in Feira da Providencia, Rio de Janeiro in 1967, 1968 and 1969. This led capoeira to the classic halls such as the Teatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro and Sala Cecilia Meireles in 1968. The group performed on television shows like Bibi Ferreira (1969) and Hebe Camargo (1969). Group Senzala started teaching capoeira in Europe in the mid-80s and organized the First European Meeting of capoeira in Paris in 1987. Since then, the Masters of Group Senzala have done an annual circuit in Europe and the United States in order to support the established centres in those regions, they have also organized international festivals and events of Capoeira and Brazilian Popular Culture in Rio de Janeiro as well as abroad.
Capoeira is part of the Patrimonio Imaterial Cultural Brasileiro ( Intangible Heritage of Brazilian Culture). Intangible Cultural Heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. Of the 25 assets recorded as Brazilian Cultural Heritage, capoeira is represented by two assets recorded by IPHAN on 21/10/2008. Bem Cultural Ofício dos Mestres de Capoeira no Livro dos Saberes (Well Culture Office: the Mestres of Capoeira in the Book of Knowledge) and also Bem Cultural Roda de Capoeira no Livro de Formas de Expressão (Well Culture: the Roda of Capoeira in the Book of Forms of Expression).
Taken from http://www.senzala50anos.com/en/