By Cristina F. Rosa

Brazilian our bodies, and their Choreographies of identity retraces the presence of a specific approach of swaying the physique that, in Brazil, is usually referred to as ginga . Cristina Rosa its presence throughout special and particular nation-states: samba-de-roda (samba-in-a-circle) dances, capoeira angola video games, and the repertoire of Grupo Corpo.

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The ginga aesthetic, this polycentric and polyrhythmic way of organizing bodies, objects, and ideas alike is a familiar pattern in Brazilian society. The ginga aesthetic is not the only system that has challenged the neutrality/normalcy of Western (embodied) epistemology; as an embodied knowledge, it is incorporated into the ways in which some, but certainly not all, people think and act in Brazil. However, over time, this structuring logic has “contaminated” different socio-cultural realms, from dance and games to music, visual arts, literature, architecture, urban planning, etc.

Middleware Having established the aesthetic elements associated with the ginga aesthetic, it is fair to assume that most people who grew up in Brazil have, to a certain extent, been exposed to and familiarized with these bodily dynamics. Am I saying that all Brazilians know how to swing their hips as professional samba dancers do? No, but ginga is a very popular and widespread concept within Brazilian culture. At the same time, is it possible to learn to discipline one’s body to swagger like Brazilian footballers do?

In fact, the Decoding the Ginga Aesthetic 43 syncopated cadence of Jobim’s side-to-side leitmotif (a mixture of samba, jazz, and other musical traditions) acts as a cartography over which the swaying hips of Moraes’ idealized muse glides through with a sensual ebb and flow. Since both sound and movement resonate with the coming and going of Ipanema’s waves and tides,20 together Jobim and Moraes construct a triangular network of metaphoric relations, where syncopation is considered at the same time to be beautiful (the girl’s swayed-walk), ephemeral (passing by), and sublime (Ipanema Beach).

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