Capoeira is a mixture of martial art, dance, acrobatics and music. Sometimes it is playful, sometimes it a becomes a serious trial of strengh or a dancing dialogue.
You can never be sure and that's why capoeiristas prepare for all those elements: they train defense and attack techniques, acrobatics and a fluent way of moving, they learn to sing and play instruments.
Professores Filósofo and Lezim during a capoeira roda at Unimontes Montes Claros August 2011
The roots of capoeira can be found in the games, dances and fights brought to Brazil by slaves from several regions in Africa, so it has already a long history. Nowadays capoeira groups can be found everywhere in the world, as capoeira masters travel a lot to teach their art.
Typical for capoeira is the swinging basic step, the "ginga". Capoeira is played in a circle (the "roda") of musicians and capoeiristas, who take their turn in playing the game, the music and song.