Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is unforgettable. The city explodes in joy and music. There are hundreds of street festivities and bands everywhere, but nothing compares to the gigantic party at the sambodrome parade.
The Sambodrome Parade is the most important event in Rio de Janeiro, and probably the biggest expression of Brazilian popular culture. The parade is broadcast live to more than 100 countries, showing the world the best of Brazil.
Rio Carnival 2017 Dates:
From Feb. 24th (friday) to March 1st (Wednesday) of 2017
Rio de Janeiro houses hundreds of different samba schools, organized into a number of interconnected leagues. The major league is called “Grupo Especial”. A Samba School starts by choosing a theme. Past themes have focused on a historical or present event, myths, political or artistic personalities, earth, animals. ..
The Samba Schools perform a specific style of Samba called Samba-Enredo (story samba), which narrates the story of the chosen theme for that year. It is important that the lyrics, costumes and floats support the chosen theme. A Samba School has from 60 to 75 minutes to pass through the runway. It is an intense, exciting experience of action and joy that does not stop until one reaches the other side.
The entire time of their passage, the schools are judged by an official jury. Amongst the considerations, the costumes and the musical presentation are considered seriously: the song, rhythm and how the dancers move to the beat. The samba schools are also judged on how much joy and fun they present during their parade, which is an important component to the Carnival spirit.
Samba Schools can have anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 members in their parade including 8 to 15 extraordinary floats. Everyone is decked-out in colorful costumes, dancing around or riding on those gigantic carnival cars. It is amazing how much time and effort go into the creation of the theme for these schools.
Luxuriously dressed in heavy and extravagant costumes, leading the samba school proudly are the Porta Bandeira and Mestre-Sala. The Porta Bandeira is responsible for bearing the Samba School’s flag. This Queen-like character keeps the flag flying high and open while she spins and dances in the parade. The Mestra-Sala is always by her side with the responsibility of taking care of his lady. He is known for executing some of the most amazingly complicated samba steps. Occasionally, this royal couple will stop to greet the crowd along the run-way earning favoritism from the audience.
One of the best parts of the presentation is the Alegorical Cars. Those big, extravagantly decorated floats are heavily flavored with the theme of the Samba School, as well as the individual, costumed dancers, constantly in motion as the float moves down the runway. Some of them are at least 45 feet tall.. The Abre-Alas Car opens the parade, colorfully decorated in costumes and marching ahead of the rest of the school. At the end, the floats are evaluated by their decoration and faithfulness to the chosen theme.
The Bateria is one of the most important parts of a Samba School. They are a group of Sambistas with percussion instruments. The percussion section can number up to 300 or more players. They set the rhythm for the school participants, dancing, singing and musical accompaniment. It is a massive sound that pulls everyone into the moment. You can’t help but move, sing, dance and clap along with the school as they pass down the runway. The bateria also has a queen called "Rainha da Bateria" (percussion queen).
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Rio Turismo Radical was created in 2001 as an alternative option of entertainment in Rio de Janeiro. The idea of taking foreign tourists to practice extreme sports in Rio was quite new at that time, and very challenging. For more than 15 years we have worked hard trying to make people have their best time in our beloved city.