Starting on the Carnival Saturday the different Samba schools of Rio begin to compete in the samba parade stadium Sambódromo. On Sunday and Monday the 12 best schools parade, starting in the evening and finishing early in the morning.
Each Samba school will have around 20 sections or alas, each member of these wear a costume combining with the schools particular theme (enredo) for that year. The combination of colors and shapes is dazzling to the eye.
The Queen of the Battery or Rainha da Bateria is an image spread all over the world. Dressed in fantastic peacock like outfits they lead the close to 300 strong drum section through Sambódromo.
In the “open” sections everyone can buy a Carnival costume and participate in the parade. It is a fantastic experience to be able to enter this ocean of creativity and color.
Starting from August you can go to rehearsal parties of the more famous Samba schools. There you can experience the powerful sound of the drum section and also see how the Samba school actually is a community with most people from the favelas.
Being selected for the more difficult roles in the parade is a great honour. Here you can see how some girls are trying to win the approval of the judges in Salgueiro Samba School. You´ll never see hips move any faster!
Each school also have the right to have a certain number of cars or floats, these elaborate constructions probably form the most spectacular elements in the parade. This DNA car became the talk of the town because of it´s inventiveness 2005.
Images of Rio Carnival girls wearing almost no clothes are getting less common. The parade has turned less touristy and nowadays it is almost only the so called passistas you will see like this.
All schools are proud of their legacy and here are two members of the Velha Guarda of the very famous Portela Samba School. Members of this “Old Guard” are honorary members chosen for their contributions.