Essay -Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

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The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the largest carnival in the world, attracting two million people per day. Samba schools, which are composed of local neighbors with a common background, compete in the parade with floats, costumes, and music to portray their chosen theme. The parade consists of a special order, starting with the comissao de frente, followed by the first float called abre-alas, the porta-bandeira, mestre-sala, floatees, main destaque, and ala das baianas. The carnival is a significant part of the samba school environment and culture, with the competition being the climax of the festival.

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Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723. Samba schools A Samba school parades in the Sambadrome in the 2004 Carnival.

The typical Rio carnival parade is filled with revelers, floats and adornments from numerous samba school which are located in Rio (more than 200 approximately, divided into 5 leagues/ divisions) A samba school is composed of a collaboration of local neighbours that want to attend carnival together, with some kind of regional, geographical common background.

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The Top League, called the “Special Group” of Samba schools in 2012 include:Unidos da Tijuca,2012 Champion, Mocidade Independente, GRES Imperatriz Leopoldinense, GRES Uniao da Ilha do Governador, GRES Academicos do Salgueiro, Portela, who?s origin remounts to the single first samba group in Rio, GRES Sao Clemente, the traditional GRES Estacao Primeira de Mangueira, founded by Cartola, samba composer and singer and Fluminense Football Club famous fan, GRES Academicos do Grande Rio, located atDuque de Caxias city, GRES Unidos de Vila Isabel, Beija-Flor de Nilopolis. 2] and finally Inocentes de Belford Roxo, which won the Access Division in 2012 Rio Carnival contest. One of the many main purposes of the Rio carnival parade is for samba schools to compete with fellow rival (they are called co-sisters) samba-schools; this competition is the climax of the whole carnival festival in this city, related to the samba-schools environment. [3] Each school chooses a theme to try and portray in their entry. 4]

The samba schools work to build the best floats,costumes, lyrics, aesthetics, to represent their themes ( in Carnival terminology called “enredo”), and to include the best music they can from their drumming band called the bateria. [5] There are many parts to each school’s entry including the six to eight floats and up to 4,000 ( four thousand revelers per the Samba-schools of the so called Special group). [6] There is a special order that every school has to follow with their parade entries.

Each school begins with the “comissao de frente”, which is the first wing. The “comissao de frente” is made up of ten to fifteen people only, and they are the ones who introduce the school and set the mood. These people have choreographic dances in fancy costumes that usually tell a short story. Following the “comissao de frente”, Opening Wing, in English is the first float of the samba school, called “abre-alas”. Some of the important roles include the porta-bandeira and mestre-sala.

The porta-bandeira is a very important lady who is in charge of the samba school flag, including making sure to not allow the flag to roll. She is accompanied by the mestre-sala, who is supposed to draw everyone’s attention to “his queen”, the porta-bandeira. Floatees, who are also important, are the people who populate the floats, also known as destaques. The floatees have the most luxurious and expensive costumes that can be extremely heavy. Along with all the floatees is one main floatee that is located at the top of each float.

The main destaque dances and sings for the entire time that the float is on the runway. One other aspect that is mandatory is the presence of the ala das baianas. This is a wing of the samba school entry that includes at least 100 females only. These women along with many other people do not ride on the floats as many others do, instead they are passistas, the people who belong to the samba school that do the marching alongside and between the floats.

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