Capoeira News Online recently spoke to Carlos Melcon, a.k.a. Prancha, of Capoeira Malês in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Prancha reached out to us to share his short film Capoeira me Chama and we were anxious to learn more about him and his video! Enjoy.
Tell us about yourself, as a capoeirista and videographer.
My name is Carlos Melcon, and my apelido is Prancha, what means surfboard in Portuguese. You know they usually give you the apelido based on one of your characteristics. Mine was given because of my big feet!
I have been practicing capoeira for the last 10 years, it has been full of ups and downs along the way, long breaks and intense periods of training. I started in Madrid, Spain, where I am originally from. Due to the relocation of some of my teachers, I had the opportunity of practicing with different instructors and professors. Since I moved to Toronto, Canada, I started training with Capoeira Malês where everybody made me feel very welcome since I jumped in to the academy.
I majored in Film & TV Production some years ago, and even if I am not currently working full-time as a cinematographer or video editor, I always do some freelance projects when I have the chance.
What inspired you to make this video?
Capoeira and video are my passions, so why don’t put them together? I have had the idea of making this video for years, but you need to find the right time.
Who are the capoeiristas in the video and why were they chosen?
They are Fogo and Tropa from group Capoeira Malês Toronto. They are ones of the training buddies who I train more often with. I think they are awesome capoeirsitas and represent the group very good. They also get along really well, and it is something you can see on camera when you are filming.
As usual in non-profit making projects or with a low budget, we didn’t have a lot of time to create the sequence before the shooting but we were in touch with some ideas. I also had to deceive someone to wake up at 6am on their day off, and they were chosen!
What message or emotion were you trying to convey with the video?
When I think about the meaning of capoeira, it comes to my mind the word: friendliness. It is something that it isn’t in every sport or martial art. This is why we refer to a game instead a fight. “Capoeira me Chama” was born as an idea of showing the beauty of this art for everyone.
People who don’t practice capoeira may think it is just an aggressive and violent sport based on different videos they watch online. I would have liked to show capoeira as something more than a sport, including more images of capoeiristas playing instruments or singing, what makes capoeira more similar to an art than just a sport, improving not just your physical fitness but mental wellness and music skills too. I guess I will need to make a sequel in the near future tho.
One of the main ideas was to make a generic capoeira video focus just on the art, not making promotion of any school this time. At the end of the day, everyone playing capoeira is moved from the same feelings.
Tell us about your current group or who you consider to be your teachers and Mestre.
I currently train with Mestre Lua from Capoeira Malês Toronto. I joined Malês group after I arrived to Toronto almost 2 years ago, and I am really happy, and enjoying the current moment I am living on my capoeira journey. I admire Mestre Lua’s motivation, creativity and experience, creating an environment that make you feel as a part of a second family.
Almost all the different groups get along really well in the city, getting together to play rodas and doing workshops, so you can always learn new points of view.
Where can our audience learn more about you and your work?