Last month we were informed that one of the Top Carnival Queens of Rio de Janeiro, Shayene Cesario, would not represent the tradtional Estacio de Sa Samba School for the 2012 Carnival. As you will read below, Shayene was an excellent queen and was authentically born and raised in the Estacio Community. Her family as well, was raised there. Her mother represented the school in the early days, as a passistas too.
We are sure Shayene, who is finishing her Law Degree, will find new opportunities both because of her charisma and also because of her great Carnival and samba skills. As homage to Shayene, we will reproduce below two videos of Shayene, so carnival lovers can see her again. The horizons for this beautiful Brazilian are open wide and she deserves all the success possible to her personal and professional life.
We send our best wishes to the new 2012 Carnival Queen for Estacio de Sá, Vania Love, which is also a devoted samba lover and dancer.
Let´s get to know this Carnival Goddess a bit more: Shayene Cesário is a 27 years old model and law student born in Rio de Janeiro. The lovely Brazilian brunette has indigenous, European, and Afro-Brazilian roots, which clearly constructed that extraordinary look.
The Carnaval Goddess was raised in the traditional São Carlos neighborhood and started to parade at the early age of 8 with Estácio de Sá Samba School in Rio. Last year, after being considered a muse for the soccer team “Botafogo”, one of her other passions, Shayene Cesário found about Carnival Rio Girls Queen and Princess Contest promoted by RIOTUR, by a friend. Shayene rightfully enrolled at the conquest since she knew she had a good “samba dance routine” and loved carnival too.
When the Official Rio de Janeiro Queen and Princess Contest was over, Shayene Cesário could never imagine she would be crowned the Official Rio de Janeiro Carnival Queen, winning over 12 other contenders. The decision was made by a judging panel that considered several attributes for the final scores, including samba dance, overall charisma, sympathy, body elegance and facial expressions.
In 2011, Shayene became the official Estacio de Sa Queen of Carnival Drums, which lasted for one year.
Since the launch of this Blog, about 3 years ago, many question me about the differences between samba and Brazilian carnival costumes. Many think a true samba dance costume is the same as a carnival parade costume, or vice versa. Others don´t understand what there is such a difference in the prices of carnival and samba costumes, and their purposes. The objective of this post is to explain basically 2 types ofBrazilian Carnival costumes, the samba dance costumes, and the parade carnival costume. Foreigners may think Rio and Brazil carnival costumes “are all the same”, with the bikini look or “lots of feathers”. There are huge differences within these costumes, and the main reason for the difference is its use and purpose.
Below we see a true samba dancer costume, but because of its luxurious materials like pheasant feathers, Swarovski Crystals, it can also be used for shows. If this costume had less feathers and ornaments, it could be a became a simple "passista" costume.
True samba dance costumes, are worn by the famous “passistas”, ( see definition in link) , professional samba dancers that devote their lives all year long for samba dancing profession. These in general are subdivided into two categories: lighter type samba costumes, made specifically for a parade, and the “show-girl” samba dancer costume, as the name implies, made for samba dance shows. The latter, the “show girl samba dancer” type, is supposed to be much more resistant, since they will be used over and over. Samba dance shows, just like a theater play, may be scheduled for a tour and go on for months. For this reason, this kind of samba dance costumes, must be resistant, normally with feathers, but overall comfortable so as to make sure the “passistas” use all their skills on the show.
The first kind, the lighter one we mentioned earlier, are normally used once or twice, during a specific event. These costumes may have less clothing, to make possible open air performances, and have a different kind of assembly. They are usually not made with materials made to last innumerous parades. This is not to say they are supposed to “fall apart” after a few performances, obviously. What both have in common, ( described above ) samba dancer costume, again, is that they have less clothing, where made to aid the samba dancing ( which is different then parading ) and therefore proportionally cheaper than full Carnival costumes, for the simples models without luxurious pheasant feathers, for example.
Now Rio or Brazil Carnival costumes make part of a whole new kind of category: These where made basically for “normal” revelers, members of a samba school. They were not made for dancers and the strict sense of the meaning. They were made to aid the Carnival Art Director, the Carnavalesco ( see definition ), build his plot for a parade. Normally, these kinds of costumes have even a name, since they are attached or part of a specific wing within a samba school parade. Generally, these costumes are larger, fancier, and heavier. These costumes normally have shoulder pads for example, called “esplendor” in Portuguese, many feathers all around the costume, and much more of clothing overall.
These “parade costumes” also use prime materials, but are generally heavier than samba dance costumes. Revelers who use the traditional “parade costumes”, normally don´t dance at the parade, they “parade” within their wing, or have a special choreography determined by its Wing Director or Carnival Art Designer. Of course, prices within parade costumes can also vary dramatically: The more quality materials used like pheasant feathers, silk, embroidery (hand-made ) work, can make these costumes very expensive, but also built to last if treated with care.
Below, another example of a traditional samba-school wing parade costume, or Brazilian carnival costume. As you can see, here the reveler represents Cleopatra Costume in Egypt Style.
We hope we could help you understand a little bit more of the nuances of the Brazilian Carnival costumes and samba wear. All the best!
Did you know Brazil Carnival Costumes are in true vogue right now. Brazilian Carnival Festivities once restricted to the Rio, now expanded all throughout Brazil and especially worldwide. I am going to support your with real data so can see this is no marketing fluff. This culture which stated on the early 30´s in Rio, now can be seen in diverse countries as Japan, Finland, Germany, England, United States, Sweden, and even in Australia, to mention a few. There are organizations of samba in many of these countries too! Incredible!
But to buy authentic Brazilian samba wear is not as simples as it make seem. Careful buyers have to make sure the materials and design have the appropriate look, quality and style. You would not like to have your Brazil Carnival costumes made with cheap materials, would you? The reason is simple; costumes made with unaccredited producers most certainly fall apart after a few presentations.
Brazil Samba-show girls costumes, for example, must be built to last. They need to have a special kind of crafting built for endurance, since many of these samba dancers performs sometimes 4-5 days a week, and sometimes more than 1 presentation per day. Feathers are not supposed to fall apart, iron structures are not supposed to hurt the samba dancer or impede her movements, and general outfit must maintain its elegance.
Below we present three different kinds of Brazil Carnival Costumes in Videos: A traditional samba-show luxury costume, a Brazilian Carnival Art Costume, and a Halloween or Brazil Carnival Celebrity Costume.
Important to note each has its appropriate audience and destination.
Brazil Carnival, and specially Rio Carnival 2011 was a huge success! Mayor officials and tourism representatives where expecting 2.5 million tourists and 5 showed up!! Street Carnival Marching Bands, the famous "blocos" where all over, ( ok, they caused some trouble to the transit system ) and to some trees, due to the lack of enough mobile bathrooms...but all in all no major negative events, deaths, fights, or robbery.
With respect to the Rio Samba-Schools, despite the fire that involved 3 samba-schools; Grande Rio ( 90 % of its carnival ), Portela ( 60 % ) of its production, and União da Ilha do Governador Samba School ( 20 % ) of its facilities, they were able to recuperate and overachieve. Many of its co-sisters samba-schools, governments, businessmen, and even the common people made a supreme effort and worked straight 40 days & night non-stop to make sure they would look beautiful. And that is what happened: a great spectacle, although they were impeded to participate at the official competition.
Regarding results, it was a tough dispute between Unidos da Tijuca Samba School and Beija-Flor Samba School, that eventually won its 12th title. Salgueiro Samba school had a marvelous parade, in my opinion equally as vibrating as Beija-Flor, but was penalized due to a problem with its gigantic "King Kong" float, which could not enter the parade and therefore, made impossible wings behind evolve. Until this situation was settled, Salgueiro lost important minutes and at the end of the parade had to "run" to the finish line. Even so, they surpassed the 82 minutes limit , adding an extra 10 minutes to the parade. This unfortunate accident maybe cost their championship.
Vila Isabel , Mocidade , Mangueira, and even smaller Sao Clemente Samba Schoolpresented very good parades: Vila Isabel with the best floats in my opinion, Mocidade with the best drumming, Mangueira with a great singing and emotion, and Sao Clemente with light and colorful parade. Not to forget to mention the perfect Opening Wing of Unidos da Tijuca, coordinated by Priscilla Motta and Rodrigo Neri, which literally made heads "disssapear" at their Opening Wing, using a illusionist technique.
As a tradition Belavista in Partnership wth Brazil Carnival Ooah, publishes the list of the 2011 top “blocos de rua” – Rio Street Carnival marching bands in English so visitors from all over the world can easily follow. The hours were translated, so the gathering points, in order to facilitate understanding. Prepare your costume or no costume and join in!
Everything is free, except for the beers of course!
Spirits are high in Rio de Janeiro. The city Hotels already have close to its full capacity for the 2011 Brazilian Carnival Festivity.
And Last weekend, Rio de Janeiro had the chance to see a few more technical rehearsals by important samba-schools. Since these rehearsals are for free, more than 60,000 people went to Rio´s Sambadrome to check them out. Traditional Samba Schools like Império Serrano, Império da Tijuca, São Clemente, Mangueira, Estácio de Sá were some of these that had a second chance to practice for the official parade that happens in March 6th, and March 7th. ( Sunday and Monday).
Rio Carnival 2011: Check out some videos of the Technical Rehearsals:
The Samba Dance of São Clemente Queen of Drums Bruna Almeida
The Rio 2011 Official Carnival Court - Queens & Princesses
Below, the first time ever ritual of the Cleansing of Evil Spirit by the Baianas at the Sambadrome
The beauty and samba dance of Alessandra Mattos - Super Muse of Imperio da Tijuca Samba-School
The creativity of the Opening Wing of São Clemente Samba School