Saturday, October 2, 2010

Samba dancers (IV)

Some of the sources:
Website: http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2010/02/15/rio-de-janeiro-carnival/naked-samba-dancing-at-brazil-street-parade-party.html

The world-famous street festival in Rio de Janeiro reached its first high point with half naked samba dancing and snogging on every street corner in 38-degree heat.

Around one million people, including hundreds of thousands of tourists, have come to enjoy Brazil’s spectacular Samba parades.



PHOTO: http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/576/japan0707ex2.jpg


Brazil’s spectacular Samba parades
Website: http://rio-carnival.net/samba_parade/samba_parade.php

The Samba Parade Guide
Information about the Rio Samba Parade in the Sambodromo also known as the Rio Carnival Parade.

The highlight of Rio Carnival is undoubtedly the Rio Carnival Parade called the Samba Parade or Samba Schools Parade, a totally unique event in the world.



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The Rio Samba Parade is the review of a fierce competition between the Rio samba schools. The judges and spectators watch the principal parades in the Sambodromo which was especially built for this event.

The Samba Parade is something everybody should experience at least once in their life. The event is broadcast live to several countries. Watching on TV is comfortable but not close to as much fun as being there. Definitely mingle with the crowds and watch the Brazilians and Cariocas (the people of Rio). For the best and full blown experience, you can even march with a samba school.



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The Rio Samba Parade is very distinctive from all other street parades held at some other places in the world. It started as street festivities with groups of people parading through the streets playing music and dancing. The Carnival parades in Rio developed into something special, a competition between the samba schools. The main competition was originally held downtown. Until the mid-1980s, bleachers for the spectators were simply assembled and disassembled every year on Av. Presidente Vargas, one of Rio's major arteries. Then the principal parades were moved to the Sambodromo, specially built for this event.



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Preparation for the Samba Parade starts months in advance, as each samba school mobilizes thousands of supporters who will create the various parts of the school's display.



PHOTO: http://carnaval2010.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/331.JPEG


First, the theme of the year is chosen. Then the school's samba song of the year is selected through competition, while the school's Carnival Designer creates the costumes and the floats. When ready, the sketches move into production. By December the rehearsals begin. In time for Christmas, the schools' annual samba songs are recorded and released to the record shops.



PHOTO: http://www.blackchamberlac.org/images/sambamora_main_80v2.jpg


The Rio Samba Parade is not a street happening where people move chaotically about as they like, but more of a highly orchestrated show of vast proportions. Every parader has a specific role and place according to his costume in a particular wing, of a particular section of the samba school he/she is parading in support of.



PHOTO: http://www.paulogualano.com/Samba_Dancers2.JPG

Each year each school chooses a different theme for the Samba Parade. It can be a celebration of a particular period, or, of famous figures of Brazilian history. It may highlight a special event or speak of anything that might move the spirit and imagination; like a special animal, or one of the elements; water or fire, etc. The school has to illustrate the chosen theme through all its work:
  • the samba tunes, which are especially written for that year
  • the richly decorated floats and costumes of their 3,000 to 5,000 parading members designed by the school's Carnival Designer (the so called Carnavalesco).


PHOTO: http://static.ibnlive.com/pix/slideshow/02-2009/brazil-carnival-bold/braz14_630.jpg


The parade of every school is highly organized and designed. They line up in a unique way to present their pageant. The schools are divided into a number of sections and each section has a number of wings of about 100 people wearing the same costume. Sometimes even 2 wings (app. 200 people) have the same costume.



PHOTO: http://static.ibnlive.com/pix/slideshow/02-2009/brazil-carnival-bold/braz5_630.jpg


In between the wings, there are about 8 Carnival floats, separating the sections. Most of them are pushed along by men from the School's community but some are motorized and have mechanical parts. The floats carry special guests along with some young and mesmerizing samba dancers in very elaborate, awe-inspiring costume creations.



PHOTO: http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2007/06/27/cmSAMBA_LARGE_wideweb__430x426,0.jpg


The costumes are extremely imaginative, colorful, elaborate and detailed. They are truly original, designed and made from scratch each year. They have mirrors, feathers, metallic cloth, silk and sometimes gems or coins. These costumes take months to make. The work starts roughly 8 months in advance.



PHOTO: http://g1.globo.com/Carnaval2008/foto/0,,12959589-EX,00.jpg


Each samba school has its own distinctive colors (of its flag) and costume style. The color scheme is reflected in many parts of their parade.



PHOTO: http://www.nycsummerblog.com/wp-content/gallery/Rio%20Carnival%202009/Rio%20Carnival%202009%20001.jpg


The biggest and most elaborate costumes are worn by the main floatees (destaques), members chosen with honor by the samba schools to wear these special costumes.



PHOTO: http://www.quepasamagazine.com/CARN00-1.jpg


Even though complete nudity is not officially allowed, sometimes floats carry topless or almost-naked beauties, male and female, wearing only body paint, lots of glitter and a smile.



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You may think of the whole event as a tropical opera or rather like several operas happening on one night. It is beautiful to watch and the experience for the paraders themselves is so intense that the memories last for a lifetime.



PHOTO: http://photogallery.indiatimes.com/news/events/samba-dancers-strip-for-carnival/Samba-dancers-strip-for-Carnival/photo/5580136/Samba-dancers-strip-for-Carnival.jpg


How is the Samba Parade judged
The Samba Parade is a really glorious competition for which the scores are given by the judges. Just like sports it offers entertainment while it has its rigid rules.



PHOTO: http://www.carnaval.org/street/images/pagemaster/ThatianaPagungFantasia.jpg

The schools are judged in 10 categories. There are 4 judges of every category (altogether 40 of them). Every judge gives his scores on a scale of 5-10 (with fractions), 10 being the best. They are counted and announced on Ash Wednesday, just after Carnival. The judges' booths are spread along the Samba Avenue (most of them in Sector 2, opposite Sector 7) and are clearly marked with a banner reading "Julgadores".



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The 10 categories in which the samba schools are judge
  • Percussion Band
  • Samba Song
  • Harmony
  • Flow and Spirit
  • Theme of the Year
  • Overall Impression
  • Floats and Props
  • Costumes
  • Vanguard Group
  • The Flag Bearer



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Percussion Band
The percussions should keep up the rhythm during the entire parade. All paraders should be singing and dancing in the rhythm set by the group. The 4 judges are looking for regularity and continuity of the beat, a consistently firm and precise beat from the big surdo drums, and an effective overall and well balanced sound of all the instruments. The rhythm should be varied and diverse but should be maintained perfectly, especially when the instruments restart after a break. The tempo should be maintained at all times. The group's versatility is vital. It is forbidden to use wind or brass instruments.



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Samba Song
It must contain the essence of the central theme which the School is presenting through their parade that year. The lyrics must fit the music, as it is also judged by its artistic credentials. This is the only category where the judges subdivide their marks, giving some marks for the lyrics and some for the melody.



PHOTO: http://www.propertyinvesting.net/cgi-script/csNews/image_upload/specialreports_2edb.rio-samba-dance.jpg

Harmony
It is judged by the musical, acoustical and visual harmony of the School's parade. To score high in this category, the music, rhythm and singing should meld seamlessly with the choreography and dance of the School's members. Marks can be lost through feeble singing.



PHOTO: http://www.marysecasol.com/uploads/Quebra-Brazil-Samba-Dancers-Time-Supper-Club-Casol-Fashion-Show.jpg

Flow an Spirit of the Participants
Consistency and compatibility are appraised on the participants' movements and dance with the rhythm. The procession must keep a steady flow while being spontaneous and creative at the same time, expressing passion, agility and vigor of the participants. Penalty points are incurred if gaps open up between the paraders or the wings.



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Theme of the Year
This is the central theme the school has chosen and written and is represented through all parts of its entire parade. It is an artistic literary creation, in written form. The judges consider, amongst other factors, the strength of the idea as a whole and the development of this idea through the various wings and floats. It should be possible to easily understand the theme and the central idea behind the show. The theme could also have some foreign references. Penalty points are incurred however if any form of advertising is involved.



PHOTO: http://img.metro.co.uk/i/pix/2010/02/15/article-1266226418763-0848ADB3000005DC-789518_636x506.jpg


Overall Impression
This is judged freely without any technical criteria where the general impact of the school's parade is considered. It is the most subjective category and as such very controversial.

Floats and Props
This category judges the visual expression of the theme, the originality and quality of the artistic work such as; the movements, colors and visual effects involved. The judges look at the floats and all props being used in the parade. The judges consider how effective the floats and props deliver the theme and how their design supports the theme's ideas. The costumes of the destaques (the most lavish costumes on top of the floats and elsewhere in the parade) are also judged in this category.



PHOTO: http://www.carnaval.org/photos/2008/promo2008-7.jpg

Costumes
The costumes' creativity, originality, an overall 'good taste' and their color schemes are evaluated in this category. Judges look at the individual costumes and their overall effect as a whole. Diversity is important just as much as the costumes' suitability to deliver the idea they stand for. Most costumes are considered in this category including all the commercial wings, the samba dancers, the percussionists and the Whirling Ladies.



PHOTO: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/photo/2007-01/08/xin_050104080634165256402.jpg


Vanguard Commission
In this category all aspects are judged of the School's opening wing. Judges consider the choreography and costumes and how the show serves the main purpose of introducing the School to the the public.



PHOTO: http://bellydancingdiva.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/raza.jpg

The Flag Bearer and her Escort
The first dancing master and the partner, the flag carrier lady, are considered in this category. The judges look at their dance, elegance, grace and agility; at the flexibility and variety of their movements, and judge the symbolic protection of the Flag. Coordination in between the two as a couple is also important.

From Source Website: http://rio-carnival.net/samba_parade/samba_parade.php



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