CARNIVAL IN RIO: The Greatest Show on Earth

February 15
2:32 PM 2010

CARNIVAL IN RIO: The Greatest Show on Earth

The three biggest nights are Sunday, Monday and Saturday(20th)with the the Samba Schools parade , with a cast of 40.000 performers. These performances are considered the greatest open air musical shows in the whole world. Each one of the Samba Schools presents a plot through music, dance, costumes and floats.


Modern Brazilian Carnival originated in Rio de Janeiro in 1640, when the city's bourgeoisie imported the practice of holding balls and masquerade parties from Paris. Later, a rhythm called SAMBA was developed by African descendents and the Samba Schools were created, absorbing elements derived from Native Brazilians and African cultures.

Samba schools are very large groups of performers, who work year round in preparation for the Carnival. Samba Schools perform in the Sambodromo,an open air theatre created only for this purpose. The Sambodromo is located close to the City Center. In the city of Rio, the parades start on 20:00 or 21:00 (depending on the date) and ends around 5:00 in the morning. The Rio de Janeiro subway, operates 24 hours during the main parade days.

Samba Schools take part of an official competition, divided into twelve groups, in which a single school is declared the winner, according to costume, flow, theme, and band music quality and performance.

But the Carnival is comemorated not only in Rio: rhythm, participation, and costumes vary from one region of Brazil to another. São Paulo, has a parade led by Samba Schools, too. Minor groups (called "blocos") allowing public participation can be found in Rio, São Paulo as well as in other cities. The northeastern cities of Salvador, Porto Seguro and Recife have organized groups parading through streets and the people interacts directly with them. Crowds follow the "trio elétricos" floats through the city streets. Also in northeast, Olinda carnival features unique characteristics, part influenced by Venice Carnival mixed with cultural despections of local folklore.

Nota: devido à natureza do tema esta coluna está sendo publicada excepcionalmente em Ingles.





Brazil THEATER Stories | Shows

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Paulo Afonso De Lima Paulo Afonso de Lima lives in Rio de Janeiro,Brazil,where he has been

for more than thirty years a recognized Theatre Director and Drama

Teacher. Mr. Lima has directed more than seventy plays and musicals in

his Country, including HAMLET, FAUSTO by Goethe, THE DRESSER by Ronald

Harwood, HUGHIE by O'Neill, SONDHEIM TONIGHT (the first time the work

of Stephen Sondhein was presented to a Brazilian audience),FRED AND


- a theatrical adaptation of Dostoievsky work, AMERIKA ( a musical

piece on Kafka famous book with music of George Gershwin and Scott

Joplin), LES MISERABLES ( not the musical but the staight adaptation

of Victor Hugo work by French playwright Guy LaForret, with more than

seventy actors. This production was also staged by Mr. Lima in

Portugal with a Portuguese cast), A FALECIDA by Nelson Rodrigues (the

most important Brazilian playwright), OEDIPUS by Sophocles, as well as

university productions of CABARET, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, STEEL PIER,

DANCING IN THE DARK ( a musical approach for the stage of Lars Von

Thiers motion picture - music by Björk),THE BLUE ANGEL by Pam Gems and

recently, SWEENEY TODD (among many others), all of them at CAL, the

most famous drama school in Brazil. Mr Lima is recipient of many

Brazilian theatre awards in his career and in 1983 was invited by the

U.S. Government to visit during one year many American theatre

centers. About the staging of THE DRESSER, Mr Harwood (in Rio de

Janeiro for the opening night) declared to Brazilian newspapers : "Mr.

Lima approach to my play has a theatricality that, in more than fifty

productions worldwide, I have never expected to find. Bravo!". Paulo

Afonso de Lima is a contant researcher of the evolution of the Musical

Theatre in America, in his Country and in the whole world. His book A

BROADWAY É AQUI (Broadway is Here) about the amazing increase of the

American Musical Theatre among Brazilian audience, will reach

Brazilian bookstores later this year.


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