About Us

Amazonas Arts is a community association based in Brighton and Hove.

We were founded in 2015 by a group of volunteers who have spent many years studying and practising Capoeira. We have a strong belief in the positive impact this practice has had on our lives and our vision is to share this with others.
 

Our team contribute knowledge and experience from various backgrounds including community, health, social care, education and business. This gives us a strong base for collaborative community working in response to locally-defined wants and needs.

What is

CAPOEIRA?

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form combining music, dance and martial art. It was born on the slave plantations of Brazil in the 1600s as a form of recreation and resistance.


Capoeira is a 'game' between two players. In that game, the players engage in an improvised conversation of body movements. Each tries to charm, trick and outwit the other using their repertoire of steps, kicks, defences and acrobatics. 

 

The Capoeira game takes place within a circle of people with live music. Percussion instruments accompany traditional songs which drive the pace and mood of the game. There is no substitute for attending a live Capoeira circle to experience the excitement and energy that is generated.

 

WHAT WE Do

We bring the transformative art of Capoeira to you. At an Amazonas Arts session, you will awaken your body exploring its physicality and musicality. 

You will try movements which develop balance, agility, strength and coordination. You will also be invited to sing, and play Brazilian percussion instruments to create ensemble music. We dip into traditional Afro-Brazilian stories, which tell of other times, peoples and places but which may well speak to your own life experiences.

 

We encourage you to let go of your outside roles and responsibilities in order to play, make music and have fun together. 

 

BENEFITS

Through physical movement, music and cultural engagement capoeira can enhance both your physical and mental health as well as help to foster a real sense of community.

  • Multiple physical and mental health benefits

  • Increase in self confidence

  • Team building and group work

  • Self discipline and respect of boundaries

  • Communication skills 

Together, the facilitators and participants create a safe, supportive yet playful environment in which it is possible to face challenges and explore personal limits. 

 

Meet The Team

Boneco De Sousa

Boneco started training Capoeira in Brazil at the age of 5 years old. He lives and breathes Capoeira through most aspects of his daily life. He has been running a Capoeira school in Brighton for over 15 years teaching adults and children. Boneco works at Elm Grove primary school and St Luke's School in Break fast clubs, is also an associate lecturer at Chichester University
teaching Dramatic Combat.

Joana Monjardino

Jo was born in London to Portuguese parents and first got captivated by Capoeira when travelling in Brazil in 1997. She is a wife and mum of two boys and a full-time GP in Sussex but has maintained her Capoeira training over the years because of the balance (fun, fitness, music, friends) it gives to her life. She is the Secretary of Amazonas Arts.

Sarah Lamb

Sarah has worked for charities in international development and health in the UK and Africa, primarily on grant management. She has practised capoeira in different places since 2009 and sees its potential within global issues of health, empowerment and community development. Sarah is keen for others to benefit from the positive influence it has had on her life.

Laura Vivas

Laura acts as a treasurer. She fell in love with Brazilian culture when travelling to Brazil in 2009 and has been a student of Boneco's capoeira group since then. Currently studying AAT Level 4, Laura helps with Amazonas Arts finances.

Sarah Lamb

Sarah Lamb

Sarah has worked for charities in international development and health in the UK and Africa, primarily on grant management. She has practised capoeira in different places since 2009 and sees its potential within global issues of health, empowerment and community development. Sarah is keen for others to benefit from the positive influence it has had on her life. She is the Chair of Amazonas Arts.

Laura Broadbent

Laura has been involved with capoeira for ten years and loves the all-encompassing benefits it offers to everyone. She is an educational writer and believes sharing skills and knowledge is a vital part of life. She helps deliver Amazonas Arts programmes and events.

Laura Vivas

Laura acts as a treasurer. She fell in love with Brazilian culture when travelling to Brazil in 2009 and has been a student of Boneco's capoeira group since then. Currently studying AAT Level 4, Laura helps with Amazonas Arts finances.

Elle Sorridente

Elle assists with the delivery of our programmes, as well as providing advice on social media, website management, maintenance and design. She has been involved in capoeira for eight years and is dedicated to bringing capoeira and its benefits to others.  

Ben Ligado

Ben Ligado has been practising capoeira for ten years and is passionate about the benefits it brings to others and sharing it with the wider community. He has been running his own business for five and provides business development and support for Amazonas Arts.

TESTIMONIALS

"A huge thank you to Amazonas Arts for their fantastic teaching display at our centre for children with learning difficulties in Chiswick. With great skill and sensitivity, our children were fully engaged with learning about capoeira and responded brilliantly to using the instruments and practising some of the moves. It was a revelation to see some of our shyest and least confident students feel so empowered. An experience described by one of our children as ‘brilliant….one of the best things I’ve ever done’.

We highly recommend them!"

Laidlaw Education / London

"The children loved how interactive the workshop was with a good mixture of music, acrobatics and performance. Every child was encouraged to join in and there was a good mixture of team performance and individual performance too. I liked how they also explained to the children the history of the dance and the Portuguese for all the different instruments. The team were really passionate about the dance and this fed through to the children. It was a lovely work shop!
Thank you"

St Martins Primary School / Brighton

"Thank you for coming along to Brighton Youth Centre and giving the young people a brilliant taster session. It was really inspiring to see the way you both interacted with the kids and so exciting to see how inspired and engaged they were."

South East Dance / Brighton