You might be lucky enough to catch a group of young Cariocas gyrating acrobatically around each other on a street corner, accompanied by a musician twanging the single-stringed berimbau (a musical bow). This is capoeira, a martial art that African slaves are thought to have brought to Brazil in the 18th or 19th century. It now attracts growing fan base from around the world, drawn by its skilful blend of athleticism and hypnotic grace. Participants should get close but not quite touch each other. Capoeira schools have sprung up all over Rio, offering courses for all ages. One of the most reputable and long-standing is Capoeira Senzala (tel: (21) 9431 5914; www.capoeirasenzala.net), based in Copacabana.