In Soul of Suw the books/scripts are known as albums, chapters are called tracks, muzik is a spiritual substance and to battle is to dance. Ginga is a Portuguese term describing a back & forth movement commonly used in the fighting stance of the Brazilian martial art Capoeira. Capoeira was developed by slaves during Portuguese colonial rule of Brazil as a way to train and fight against slaveholders. The fighting style is rhythmic in nature and resembles dancing which was used to hide the true purpose of Capoeira. It was/is an effective and popular martial art still practiced across the world today.
The concept of ginga permeates every aspect of Brazilian culture especially their famed football (soccer) style Jogo Bonito. When Brazilians play the Beautiful Game, it is like a dance as their samba like joyful spirit comes out in their play. The ball becomes a creative tool as they do not merely dribble the ball but they dance with it across the field and through defenders. At its heart, football is a game of artistry and passion.
This concept of ginga resonated with me because in Soul of Suw, the protagonist is able to turn an ordinary pen into a sword called the Artisan. When he wields the sword he is able to dance with the Artisan. In the story, dancing and fighting are interchangeable terms so when two characters are fighting against each other they are also considered to be dancing. After understanding the meaning and origins of ginga, I quickly decided to integrate the word/idea into my story. So in Soul of Suw ginga became the name of the dancing style used to achieve liberation from the world of darkness. The term ginga literally translates as dance of liberation.
Ginga/Capoeira also resonated with me in another way. The arena in which Capoeira is practiced and performed is known as a roda, in Portuguese roda means wheel or circle. In Brazil, roda’s were crowds who encircled samba dancers/Capoeira practitioners. The spectators in the roda would clap, sing or play instruments to create a rhythm for the dancers to move to which determined the tempo and motion of the fighters within the roda.
Roda’s remind me of cyphers created for lyricists or b-boys performing/battling at parks and on the street corners. Cyphers are an integral part of hip-hop culture as the audience and performers create one body sharing in one energy. Just like the Griots of African culture utilizing songs, rhymes and call & response to engage and incorporate their audience, roda’s had to become a part of my story because they reflect the soul and intention of making the audience a part of the art not spectators to the art. That is one of the essential goals of Soul of Suw, self-discovery, life education and integrating/engaging moviegoers through the power of music.
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