The first in a two-volume series on capoeira, Volume One traces the origins of the popular martial art and dance form from the beginning of the slave trade in the Americas in the 1500s to the early years of the Brazilian Republic in the 20th century. Focusing on the people and events that shaped the art form in Brazil prior to the "academy" period of the last century, Capoeira: The Jogo de Angola from Luanda to Cyberspace explores the subject from many vantage points. Author Gerard Taylor explains how the fighting techniques of African forces laid the groundwork for capoeira movements. He shows how work songs, religion, and various percussive traditions and instruments shaped capoeira music over the years. Drawing on archival sources and historical accounts, the book paints a vivid picture of capoeira's dramatic evolution from the sugar plantations of Pernambuco through the brutal backstreets of Rio and the Minas Gerais goldmines on its way to becoming a world-class practice.
Gerard Taylor studied capoeira in the 1980s and 1990s with Master Sylvia Bazzarelli and Contra Master Marcos Dos Santos of the London School of Capoeira Heran a. After graduating as an instructor, he co-founded the Oslo Capoeira Klubb Heran a with Professora Agnes Folkestad. This organization now has 200 members. Gerard has previously worked as a journalist and copywriter. He has written and edited numerous publications, mainly in the "In House Publishing" field. He was a PR copy writer for the Foundation for African Arts in London in the late 1980s, and Northern Ireland Editor for the Black Voice newspaper in London. He has also written scripts for various theatre companies. Recently Gerard was employed by Apple Records to write publicity and text for their award-winning Beatles1 website.