About Denis Chiaramonte
Originally from Jundiaí, São Paulo, Brazil, Mestre Denis Chiaramonte is a teaching artist, performer, and choreographer with more than 35 years of experience in the art and culture of Capoeira. In April 2013 he was accepted by Mestre João Grande to be part of the Capoeira Angola Center, a worldwide organization dedicated to the preservation and teaching of Capoeira Angola. In December of 2023, Denis received the title ‘Mestre’ from Mestre João Grande in recognition of his many years of dedication and hard work to preserve and teach the art of Capoeira Angola. Mestre Denis is one of only three teachers worldwide to have received such an honor.
He has taught alongside and assisted Mestre João Grande around the world in France, Israel, Serbia, Italy, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, England, Japan, Chile and Mexico. Mestre Denis also provides frequent group instruction and educational workshops in the region in collaboration with the Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Purdue University, Monmouth University, Denison University, University of Illinois Chicago, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and the Unit 4 School District.
Mestre Denis has been a visiting lecturer and capoeira instructor at the University of Illinois at Urbana’s Dance Department since 2004. During this time he has also served as the RSO faculty advisor for the UIUC Capoeira Club, which has hosted several International Capoeira Conferences at the University of Illinois at Urbana. Mestre Denis’ approach to teaching is heavily influenced by the traditional style passed down to him from his teacher which was developed over many generations in Bahia, Brazil.
Students in Mestre Denis’ classes are immersed in the fluid movements and rhythmic music of Capoeira, but also the cultural, historical, and linguistic influences at the heart of Brazilian culture in an inclusive and affirming environment for all ages, body types, and abilities. He also creates opportunities for interdisciplinary exploration through the integration of other Afro-Brazilian traditions (maculelé, puxada de rede, and samba) into a holistic and culturally relevant experience that emphasizes creativity, mastery of technique, and awareness.