Capoeira is a martial art that blends dance, music, singing and acrobatics. While some people argue that it originated in Africa, others claim that capoeira developed three to four hundred years ago in Brazil. Slaves were not allowed to practice any form of combat or defense, so they eliminated direct contact between opponents and made their movements look more like dancing. As a result, modern capoeiristas jump, flip, turn and lunge to try to catch their partners off guard.

Kuchipudi guru Vedantam Lakshminarayana Sastry (1880 1957) is credited with supplying a performance manual for each one of the compositions that he set to choreography, almost like a word-to-word description of the performance. His disciples thus learnt how to choreograph a given text. This method of learning to understand the text in terms of the performance leading to choreography, helped in turn in making them able teachers as well. ("Vedantam Laxminarayana Sastry: His Life, times and achievement" by M Nagabhushana Sarma, Nartanam Vol II, #2, Apr June 2002, page 22)

The word dervish calls to mind the phrases howling dervish and whirling dervish. Certainly there are dervishes whose religious exercises include making loud howling noises or whirling rapidly to induce a dizzy, mystical state. But a dervish is really the Muslim equivalent of a monk or friar, for the Persian word darvesh, the ultimate source of dervish, means "religious mendicant." The word is first recorded in English in 1585.

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