Tuesday, November 20, 2018
 
Meet Us
BBAC Founder & Master teacher of Capoeira Regional
 

Almiro Aquilino
President 

Almiro is a master of Capoeira Regional. In 1983, he received his Mestre certification at the Academia do Bimba- the first recognized Capoeira school in Brazil and the heart of Capoeira Regional- in his hometown of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. He headed the school until 1986 when he was invited to come to the United States to teach Capoeira and related music courses at Portland State University (PSU) in Portland, Oregon. Portland welcomed Almiro and the exciting new art he brought with him. He fell in love with the city, as well, and decided to emigrate, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1994.

Shortly after his arrival in the summer of 1986, he presented three master classes at local high schools and performed on 15 separate occasions at local community events. Mestre Almiro has also been a participant in the Portland Public Schools Neighborhood Arts Program, sponsored by the Regional Arts and Cultural Commission (RACC) who provide education and cultural enhancement programs to secondary school audiences.

Over the past two decades Mestre Almiro has given or participated in many Capoeira workshops in Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, Eugene, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Vancouver BC. He has also organized cultural exchange trips to Brazil for his students and others interested in observing or taking Capoeira classes in his native city of Salvador, Bahia and learning about Bahian culture and history.

In 2004, Mestre Almiro founded the Bahia Brazil Art Center (formerly the Cultural Awareness Foundation), a non-profit organization, as a means to share Brazilian culture with the citizens of Portland through movement, music and art. Almiro had a greater vision of making an impact on the welfare and education of youth here in Portland and in Salvador, just as he had experienced through educational projects as a youth. He also recognized the need in all communities for intercultural understanding and interaction, particularly in this modern era, as well as providing basic skills and motivation to become "prestativo" (versatile/flexible/capable) and develop oneself as a valuable, contributing, discerning member of society.  

As the founder and executive director of the Bahia Brazil Art Center, Almiro continues to provide leadership and hands-on management of the BBAC and its cultural exchange programs designed to bring Brazilian culture and art from the country of his birth to the U.S. Almiro currently teaches Brazilian arts classes related to Capoeira Regional at the Bahia Brazil Art Center. These ongoing classes are open to the general public and include training in martial arts, musical instruments, dance and song.

 

Valdizia Aquilina
Vice President & Artistic Director

Valdizia is head of BBAC operations in Bahia, Brazil and is the sister of Mestre Almiro. Valdizia had her frist experience with expression through movement at the age of seven. She has since pursued a life of expression through dance. Currently, Valdizia has a degree in dance and choreography, but is pursuing further education in both areas. She has also utilized both practical and theoretical research as well as simple, truthful observations as a means to acquire knowledge about the culture of Bahia and Brazil.

Valdizia's teaching methods are intended to awaken interest in corporeal movement through the symbolism of the Orixas. Her style incorporates a stylized vision through music. The objectives of her classes are to provide training for students ranging from beginner dance levels up to advanced. Her students work their mind, body and spirit. 

Today, Valdizia's goals have become a reality through the BBAC. The Brasiba Performance Group, created by Valdizia and administered by Mestre Almiro, has begun to share the culture and traditions of Bahia and Brazil with Portland.
 


Leadership Team

 

Pete Mallord
Director

Pete started training with Mestre Almiro in September 2008 to reconnect with community within a vibrant and expressive culture. In the process he continues to discover the beautiful art form of Capoeira Regional. Pete is inspired by the transformational potential within Capoeira and the richness of its heritage as expressed through our Mestre. Pete serves the BBAC as a Board Member and Director since 2009 and is committed to helping the organization illuminate Portland communities and enrich peoples’ lives. Pete also works full time as the executive director of a software development project office and enjoys movement, art, and beauty. Axé Mestre Almiro and Axé Bahia Brazil Art Center!

 

Raja Afrika Web Outreach Bahia Brazil Art Center Capoeira Regional in Portland, OR

Raja Afrika
Web Coordinator/ Marketing

Raja manages the web team, marketing efforts and the BBAC's presence on facebook. He has trained off and on with Mestre Almiro since 2007. Raja Afrika is the founder of WorldLightASP a web promotions system for Yoga Teachers and Holistic Professionals. Please visit the Bahia Brazil Art Center's Facebook group!


Ro Jane Prideaux
Website/ Email Communications

Ro Jane manages the website and email communications with the public for the BBAC. She discovered Capoeira Regional while studying in Japan (where there is a large Brazilian population) and began training with Mestre Almiro in 2008. She is passionate about social justice, opportunities for youth, education, art, music, dance, self defense, movement, community, intercultural exchange... all making capoeira a natural fit! She works as a substitute teacher at The International School here in Portland, as well as a ceramic artist and Spanish-English interpreter. Ro Jane loves how traditional arts naturally develop an individual's self control, self esteem, confidence, respect for ones environment, empathy and commeraderie with others, a sense of purpose, identity and community, and greater understanding of history.



Batinah Dawdy Marketing and PR for Bahia Brazil Art Center Capoeira Regional in Portland, ORBatinah Dawdy
Outreach/ Support

 Batinah has been training Capoeira Regional with Mestre Almiro since 2009 and feels very fortunate to have discovered his studio. She works full-time as a child and family therapist in the local area and especially appreciates any physical or artistic pursuit that helps improve peoples’ mental and emotional states. Having personally experienced the transformative power of Capoeira and other Brazilian arts at the Bahia Brazil Art Center, she got involved with the non-profit the same year she started training, with the hopes that more people in Portland would have access to this little-known gem. A main reason for her involvement in the BBAC is to help underserved populations and youth gain better access to their programs.


Advisors

  
Brian Davis

Pink Martini (drummer)
Lions of Batucada (creator)
 


Sheyla Mattos
Instr
uctor and performer of Brazilian dance





Kayla Scrivner
Dance choreographer,
Theater tech, Dancer




Michael Callier
Lawer, Entrepreneur


 

 

Kamau Sadiki
Civil Engineer,
Black Studies scholar,

Contra Mestre
 (under Mestre Almiro)

 

(Click on name for bio)
 
Almiro Aquilino
President/
Master Teacher

Valdizia Aquilina
Vice President/
Artistic Director

Leadership Team:

Pete Mallord
Director

Raja Afrika
Web Coordinator/ Marketing

Ro Jane Prideaux
Website/
Email Communications 

Batinah Dawdy
Outreach/Support


Advisors:

Brian Davis
Pink Martini (drummer)
Lions of Batucada (creator)

Sheyla Mattos
Instr
uctor and performer of Brazilian dance

Kayla Scrivner
Dance choreographer,
Theater tech, Dancer

Michael Callier
Lawer, Entrepreneur

Kamau Sadiki
Civil Engineer,
Black Studies scholar,

Contra Mestre

      (under Mestre Almiro)