Stephen Surlin

3D Printing, AfroFuturism, Audio, Film, MaxMSP, Open Source, Wearable Technology

Mexe: Capoeira X Wearable Technology

Mexe: Capoeira X Wearable Technology


The crippling sound of rusted chains. Haunted ships crashing through Atlantic whitecaps. The divine echo of the berimbau.

Gather around a 360 degree stage (roda) in Shaw Park to move through a live soundscape that traces Capoeira from its African roots to its oppression in colonial Brazil via the transatlantic slave trade, and finally to the transnational, multiethnic phenomenon it has become today. Bring your headphones for an immersive experience into a spontaneous soundscape mapped to the motion input of sensors (i.e. gyroscopes, accelerometers) worn by performers.

Mexe (pronounced /mesh/ Portuguese for move) is a contemporary dance performance inspired by the Afro-Brazilian dance and martial art, capoeira. Mexe aims to traces the roots of capoeira from Angola to colonial Brazil and finally to the international phenomenon it has become today in Toronto.
-Text from MaziArt,


My work on Mexe: Capoeira X Wearable Technology consisted of audio engineering, hardware sensor to computer interface design, 3D printing and live performance of audio. An in depth look into the process can be seen on my page, The making of Mexe: Capoeira X Wearable Tech.

Mexe: Capoeira X Wearable Technology was created for SummerWorks Festival in August 2015, Toronto, during the 25th Anniversary of the festival.



In the press

Globe and Mail review of Mexe: Capoeira X Wearable Technology, click here.

>African and Brazilian music, rain and waves, clanking chains, voice recordings and other sounds would flow from one channel in the headphones to another, depending on the timing and location of the performers.
-LAURA BEESTON, SummerWorks’ Mexe melds traditional dance with new tech

Mooney On Theatre Review Mexe: Capoeira X Wearable Technology, click here.

The performance traces the history of capoeira from its roots in Africa to being oppressed in colonial Brazil through slave trade and finally as it stands today as an international phenomenon that spans cultures and age.


The Orishas Video Series

In the Yoruban religion, Orixas/Orishas are spirits that reflect one of the many manifestations of God.

He is a hunter. A wizard. He knows how to get out of tough situations. Meet the boy character in MEXE. He is guided by Oxossi, Orisha of the hunt.

A woman, travelling across generations from Angola to Brazil to Toronto with the guidance of Iemanja, the mother of all Orishas

A man, travelling across generations from Angola to Brazil to Toronto with the guidance of Oxalá (or Obatala), the father of all Orishas

A girl, travelling across generations from Angola to Brazil to Toronto with the guidance of Oxum, the Orisha of love.

Meet the final character in #MEXEshow. He is a trickster. Neither here nor there. He is guided by Exu, a powerful Orisha, who opens the door between worlds.

Photos from (



Photos by Dahlia Katz for SummerWorks Festival 2015.
Click here for more photos by Dahlia Katz.



Original Concept & Creative Director – Maziar Ghaderi
Technical Director – Stephen Surlin
Producer – Patricia Marcoccia
Choreographer – Newton Moraes Dance Theatre
Associate Producer – Axé Capoeira Toronto
Website – Stephen McMahon
Performers – Nathan Pruitt, Kimya Hypolite, Ibo Benna, Lesley Waldron, Jafari Moore
Video – Patricia Marcoccia (Holding Space Media Productions)
Sound – Stephen Surlin
Sponsors – SmartRay Inc., Moog Audio, Toronto Arts Council, IGNITE – Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am
Games, R. Hiscott Beauty & Theatrical Supplies
More info at