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17

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Brazil is responsible for several major trends in recent years: teeny bikinis, cachaça cocktails, and, of course, that It-Girl-From-Horizontina, Gisele Bundchen. Wonder if Gisele plays capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian game that blends martial arts, dance, spirituality, and live music, and is yet another export: Two players, called capoeiristas, play at the center of a roda, or circle, formed by other players, musicians, and spectators. The two players mirror one another in a rocking, side-to-side step called the ginga while executing various strikes, defenses, and acrobatic movements. Today’s Batizado and Brazilian Day features a student roda, a mestre (teacher) roda, and the Batizado (baptism), a capoeira rite of passage where amateurs must face more experienced capoeiristas and take a good old-fashioned beatdown. Vem jogar, vem festejar! The beatings begin at 1 p.m. at Centro de Arte, 1470 Irving St. NW. $7. (703) 362-7735. (Sarah Godfrey)