Centro Cultural Dendê Do Recife opened its doors in 2013 in Ottawa's Sandy Hill neighbourhood. It is home to Ottawa's oldest and largest capoeira group launched by Mestre Fabinho (Fabio Nascimento) in 1999.  The centre offers classes for adults and children of all levels in capoeira, Brazilian dance and music, specialized fitness and various events. 


Mestre Fabinho has been practicing the Afro-Brazilian art form capoeira for about 30 years. His training began in the Northeastern city of Recife in 1986 under the leadership of Mestre Corisco, who has been developing the art form in Recife for several decades. Mestre Fabinho began teaching Capoeira in 1997 in Recife as a Professor, since then he has participated in many events, festivals, and batizados across Brazil, Europe, and Canada . 

From his arrival in Canada in 1999 until today, Mestre Fabinho has focussed on developing and expanding the capoeira school in the Nation's capital,  as well as  maintaining close ties with various community groups enriching Ottawa's cultural milieu.  Through fundraising at the community level, he has made it possible to bring different mestres and leaders from capoeira and its related art forms to give workshops and attend annual events. This significant accomplishment allows students to develop well-rounded knowledge, understanding and proficiency in the art. 

The capoeira group Dendê do Recife was created by Mestre Fabinho and Mestre Azeitona both of whom are committed to educate and pass on their deep knowledge of capoeira and its culture in Ottawa and Halifax, where they are based, as well as across Canada. Although Mestre Fabinho still sees capoeira in Canada as being young and new to this part of the world, he sees much potential for the growth and expansion of this art form.

In 2012, Mestre Fabinho joined MASC in order to continue promoting capoeira and its benefits to children and youth across Ontario and Quebec. MASC is an organization “that brings the arts and culture alive for over 100,000 children, youth, teachers and seniors each year. With a passionate commitment to provide schools and communities with experiences of artistic excellence and creative process, MASC proudly represents a roster of over 60 professional artists. All MASC artists have undergone Vulnerable Sector Screening.Working out of diverse cultural traditions, MASC artists offer workshops, performances, artist-in-residence programs and professional development in music, dance, drama, literary, media and visual arts. MASC programs are delivered in English and French, throughout Eastern Ontario and Western Québec to students in Kindergarten to Grade 12, and to youths and adults in a variety of community settings (daycares, museums, NCC, festivals and seniors venues.)” www.masconline.ca


Known in the capoeira community as Professora Sereia, Chrysandre Courchene has studied under the tutelage of Mestre Fabinho, founder of Grupo De Capoeira and Centro Cultural Dendê do Recife in Ottawa, since 2002.  She has traveled across North America, Europe and Brazil to participate in capoeira events and International Encounters representing her school and emphasizing the importance of women in the art form.

The Ottawa native began her teaching career in 2008 assisting Mestre Fabinho with adult capoeira classes, some of which she leads today. The two launched the first kids class in 2009, now a successful youth program for students between the ages of 3 to 15. While she continues to focus on the development of Dendê do Recife’s youth programs, Instrutora Sereia has recently established a women’s capoeira class, as well as a strength, conditioning and flexibility fitness program for women called Corpo Fitness.  

Although capoeira has been the main focus of her training the past several years, Instrutora Sereia has been involved and dedicated to sports and fitness for over 20 years.  She was a competitive soccer player for several years, trained Brazilian dance abroad and is now an avid runner, regularly seen on Ottawa’s back trails and at marathons.  With a strong background in strength and flexibility training, she continues to invest her focus and attention on the art of movement.