An enthusiast of martial arts since childhood, Washington Porto (ContraMestre Esquilo) developed an interest in capoeira as a teenager when he began studying with Mestre Jelon Vieira in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Mr. Porto has devoted his life to capoeira and the instruction of this unique art.
He was a visiting artist with Ilê Bahia de San Antonio, of San Antonio, Texas, where he taught Capoeira classes for all age and skill levels. Mr. Porto has organized and directed several annual international Capoeira events, and he has also given numerous Capoeira workshops in New York, New York; Denver, Colorado, Fresno, California; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Salvador, Brazil, Saint Louis, Missouri; San Antonio and Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Bethel and Anchorage, Alaska; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Gainesville, Florida; Hartford, Connecticut; and Trenton, New Jersey. Between 1996 and 1998, he served as an assistant to Mestre Jelon for beginning level students in Salvador. In 1997 and 2001, Mr. Porto also toured with the internationally acclaimed African-Brazilian dance company DanceBrazil, performing and choreographing in Phoenix, Arizona; New York City and San Antonio, Texas. Other performances include ESPN’s Global X-Games & Asian New Year’s Festival in San Antonio, TX, and the Off-Broadway production of “Rio” in New York, where he both choreographed and performed, and a performing tour in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan in 2001. He also choreographed Capoeira fight scenes for the Off-Broadway Musical “Miracle Brothers” written by Kristen Childs and directed by Tina Laudau