Mestre Jelon Viera is the founder of Capoeira Luanda and the founder/artistic director of DanceBrazil. He has earned much acclaim as a world renowned master and teacher of capoeira. Born in Bahia, Brazil, Mestre Jelon studied capoeira with the famous Mestres Bimba, Eziquiel, and Bobo.
Since his arrival in the US in 1975, he has catalyzed the growing interest in and understanding of Brazilian culture while simultaneously developing his own choreographic style that blends tradition Afro-Brazilian dance and North American modern dance. In 1976 he formed the Capoeiras of Bahia with Loremil Machado. Then, in 1977, Mr. Vieira founded DanceBrazil, and for the last 20 years has guided the company through breathtaking performances of capoeira and Afro-Brazilian dance. Mestre Jelon has taught in many residency workshops and has been a guest instructor at Yale University’s African-American Studies Department for 12 years with Dr. Robert Ferris Thompson.
In 1993, after a decade of collaboration between The Capoeira Foundation and the Carver Cultural Community Center, Mestre Jelon and Carver Center Director Jo Long decided to create Ilê Bahia de San Antonio, the House of African-Brazilian Arts.