Carnival Experience: Ellen Roche
started to parade in 2000 at the Brazilian Carnival
and believes this grandiose festivity is an excellent way to maintain her body, soul and spirit. The Brazilian muse
established herself in São Paulo entertainment business and for this reason decided to participate at the São Paulo carnival
, with Rosas de Ouro Samba School
Above, a pose of Roche Ellen
At first, she would dance just like any regular merry-maker, on “the ground.” Then, the celebrity and model was invited in 2006 to become the Queen of Drums
, one of the most disputed posts within a very traditional Samba-School of Sao Paulo
This goddess of Samba
was always enchanted by the luxurious samba costumes
, the vibes and energy of the Carnival spirit.
Roche Ellen states
: "It is important to enjoy and give the deserved value to the good things in life. Of course it is essential to have responsibility, but it is also important to live for today without thinking too much about tomorrow.” She also emphasizes the importance of having a true connection with the percussionists and the samba-school community
as a whole.
When asked to reveal some of her tricks to shine at Carnival, the Brazilian goddess
recommends a “balanced diet and exercises”. She says the entire carnival dance routine
is ideal way to lose weight, since samba-dancing
is very energy consuming. She also told us another secret to help maintain her dazzling beauty and avoid toxins: She drinks two cups of purple grape juice every day, one in the morning and one at night.
is a perfect example as to how Carnival can also be of great help in developing a healthy and enjoyable life. Muse Roche, Ellen> is truly a master on how dance samba should be! Way to go!
Short Biography: Ellen Roche
is another beautiful Brazilian actress
and model also present at the Carnival festivity
. She was born in Ibaté, July 19th 1979 and started her career as a TV show host assistant, called “Qual é a Música”, from a major TV channel and network called SBT in 1999. She instantly became novelty in TV especially due to her impacting beauty, charming smile and specially her “American look”, very different from the typical Brazilian women who are mainly brunette. In 2001, Roche, Ellen
would then gain national exposure and star o
n a reality show based on the Dutch Big Brother, called “Casa dos Artistas”. At this show, which title could be translated as “House of Artists”, famous artists like models, musicians, actresses, would be locked together in a mansion and eventually voted out by the public?
Because of her symmetrical measures, blue eyes and slim body, model Roche, Ellen
personified Lara Croft´s Tomb Raider in several promotional events of the computer game in Brazil. In 2002, Roche Ellen was elected the “World´s Most Sensual Woman
”, by VIP Magazine in Brazil. She is married with actor Ricardo Macchi. She participated in the following shows and star on theater plays:
* 2003 - A Turma do Didi – Globo TV Network - Elfei
* 2004 - Metamorphoses - Kelly Madeira
* 2006 - Um Menino Muito Maluquinho - Fada Madrinha do Consumo
* 2007 - A Turma do Didi - Globo TV Network - Lena
* 2007 - Zorra Total – Globo TV Network - ET
* 2008 - Beleza Pura - Globo TV Network - Gleyce
* 2008 - Ciranda de Pedra - Teodora
* 2008 - Dicas de Um Sedutor - Globo TV Network - Sabrina
* 2008 - Faça sua História - Stefany
* 2008 - Malhação - Globo TV Network - Juju
* 2008 - Negócio da China - Globo TV Network - Laura
Another close up of the Rosas de Ouro Muse Roche, Ellen
Giovanna da Silva Justo, or simply Giovanna Justo
, as she is known in samba world, was born and raised in Morro da Mangueira, which gives the name to the most traditional and important samba school from Rio de Janeiro
. She is Orlendi Justo and Djair da Silva’s daughter. Orlendi was Mangueira’s vice-president in the 90’s, and Mrs. Djair dedicated herself to her husband and to their kids.
Giovanna started her life in the samba world in the 80’s, when she used to parade in Mangueira’s children wings, which was managed by the late Dona Neuma
. Throughout the years, she became interested in the art of being a true porta bandeira- Flag- Bearer
. This is when she started having classes with the legendary instructor Dalmo José. In the end of the 80’s, Giovanna started to parade in Mangueira’s Samba-School
junior mestre-sala and porta-bandeira wing
, which comprised of 15 young couples.
After having an important role at the junior porta-bandeira´s
wing, in 1994 she had her first invitation to parade as <Estação Primeira de Mangueira
’s first porta-bandeira - Flag-Bearer
, the one of the most legendary posts in a samba-school parade. Next year, in 1995, she had her first parade with excellent results and top parading scores. She became then Estação Primeira de Mangueira’s official porta-bandeira or Flag-Bearer
, in English.
Below, Flag Bearer ( Porta Bandeira
) Giovanna Justo , Marquinhos and Fernando Costa at a Bacalhoada from Tijuca:
After many years having the best scores, several invitations from other schools came up, recognizing her bright career. However, it was only 2004 that she had her greatest acknowledgement in her carrier until then. The Porta-Bandeira
was honored to receive the famous award in samba world in Rio de Janeiro, called Estandarte de Ouro (Golden Flag Award), which took her to the limelight of the samba world in Brazil.
Above a the first couple from Unidos da Tijuca
in action; Pictures from Alexandre Vidal
In 2009, she had a major shift in her life. Giovanna Porta-bandeira
was invited by another large and traditional samba school from Rio de Janeiro - Unidos da Tijuca
Samba-school. The invitation was made by its president Fernando Horta and after intense negotiations, Giovanna decided it was time to pursue new challenges.
She would now carry the blue and yellow pavilion from Unidos da Tijuca Samba-School along with Mestre-Sala Marquinhos
with great pride. They will represent the Samba-School founded in 1936, for the 2010 Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro
Congratulations Giovanna Flag Bearer
for such a devoted, passionate and brilliant samba career.
Yesterday we wrote a post about the Rio carnival parades themes of the Special Group. The carnival themes we translated were from the samba schools that will parade on the first day of the Official Carnival-Parade
, Sunday. Today we will post the second part of the 2009 Carnival Themes
for the Rio de Janeiro samba schools. For those who don’t know the definition of the enredos
in the Brazilian Carnival, they are essentially the themes- plots samba schools develop every year.
See below the translation of the names of the parade themes for the Monday show in Rio de Janeiro. The logos of the
>Monday, Feb 23rd Carnaval Parade Themes Rio de Janeiro – Samba Schools
1 ) Unidos do Porto da Pedra Samba School
2009 Porto da Pedra Carnaval Theme: “Não Me Proíbam Criar. Pois Preciso Curiar! Sou o País do Futuro e Tenho Muito a Inventar!”
Porto da Pedra Parade Theme Translated: “Don’t forbid me to Create, since I need to Curiar! I am the Country of the Future and have many Things to Invent!
2009 Porto da Pedra Producer: Max Lopes
2) Acadêmicos do Salgueiro Samba School
2009 Salgueiro Theme Name in Portuguese: “Tambor”
Salgueiro 2009 Carnival Parade Theme Translated: “Drums”
Salgueiro Producer: Renato Lage
See below Salgueiro Theme Logo
3) Imperatriz Leopoldinense Samba-School
2009 Imperatriz Leopoldinense Theme: “ Imperatriz... Só Quer Mostrar Que Faz Samba Também!”
Imperatriz Carnival Parade Theme Translated: “Imperatriz…Only Wants to Show it makes Samba too!”
2009 Imperatriz Art Producer Rosa Magalhães
4) Portela Samba School
2009 Portela Carnival Theme: “E Por Falar em Amor, Onde Anda Você?”
Portela Carnaval Parade Theme Translated: “And Talking about Love, Where have you been?”
Portela Producer: Lane Santana e Jorge Caribé
5) Estação Primeira de Mangueira Samba School
2009 Mangueira Parade Theme Name: “A Mangueira Traz os Brasis do Brasil Mostrando a Formação do Povo Brasileiro”
Mangueira Parade Theme Translated: “Mangueira brings the Brazils of Brazil, Showing the Formation of Brazilian People”
Above, a picture of the famous Mangueira flag...
2009 Mangueira Producer : Roberto Szaniecki
See below Mangueira Theme Logo
6) Unidos do Viradouro Samba -School
2009 Unidos do Viradouro Theme: “Vira-Bahia, Pura Energia!”
Unidos do Viradouro Carnival Parade Theme Translated: “Vira-Bahia, Pure Energy!”
Viradouro 2009 Producer Milton Cunha
See above Viraodouro Theme Logo
Below, we reproduced a small summary of the Brazilian_ Carnaval:
The Brazilian_Carnaval is an annual celebration in Brazil held 40 days before Easter and marking the start of Lent. During Lent, Roman Catholics, which constitute the majority in Brazil, are to abstain from bodily pleasures.
Brazilian_Carnaval as a whole exhibits some differences with its counterparts in Europe and other parts of the world, and within Brazil it has distinct regional manifestations.
The Brazilian citizens used to riot the Carnaval until it was accepted by the government as an expression of culture. The modern Brazilian Carnaval finds its roots in Rio-de-Janeiro in the 1830s, when the city’s bourgeoisie imported the practice of holding balls and masquerade parties from Paris. It originally mimicked the European form of the festival, over time acquiring elements derived from African and Amerindian cultures.
In the late 19th century, the cordões (literally laces in Portuguese) were introduced in Rio-de-Janeiro. These were groups of people who would parade through the streets playing music and dancing. Today they are known as blocos (blocks), consisting of a group of people who dress in costumes according to certain themes or to celebrate the Carnaval in specific ways. Blocos are generally associated with particular neighbourhoods or suburbs and include both a percussion or music group and an entourage of revellers.
Carnaval in Rio-de-Janeiro is known worldwide for the elaborate parades staged by the city’s major samba schools in the Sambadrome and is one of the world’s major tourist attractions.
Samba-schools are very large, well-financed organizations that labor year round in preparation for the great festivity. Parading in the Sambadrome runs over four entire nights and is part of an official competition, divided into seven divisions, in which a single samba school will be declared that year’s winner. Blocos deriving from the samba schools also hold street parties in their respective suburbs, through which they parade along with their followers.
Belavista Carnival Brazil will once again help foreign readers to get acquainted with the 2009 Carnival of Brazil. Belavista Blog will post the Rio 2009 “enredos” for the major samba schools part of the “Special Group”. “Enredos”, which could be freely translated into “parade themes or plot”, are in essence the theme of a Brazilian carnival parade. These are usually lofty, poetic descriptions of a subject that interest Brazilian such a politics, the environment, a famous person, etc. For every year, every samba school chooses a theme on which its parades are based upon. It could be an important event, a famous person, a significant era in history, critics to the society and so forth.
The carnival parade themes for Rio´s Carnival seen below were outlined by the order in which they will parade on Rio´s 2009 Sambadrome. We also included the Samba School´s Carnavalesco, who are the artistic director / designer which signs the carnival parade. (This person usually designs the concept of the costumes, floats, and sequence of groups in the carnival parade.) Finally we included the logo / image of the Carnival parade themes. Now a days, most of the samba schools also design themes logo into their sites that visually summarizes the concept of the parade. Good research and have fun!
Sunday, Feb 22nd Carnival Parade Rio de Janeiro – Samba Schools
1) Império Serrano Samba School
Império Serrano Carnival Theme: “A Lendas das Sereias e os Mistérios do Mar”( re-edited from the 1976 parade theme )
Império Serrano Carnival Parade Theme Translated: “The Legend of the Mermaids and the Mysteries of the Sea”
Império Serrano Carnival Producer: Márcia Lávia
See below Logo for The Legend of the Mermaids and the Mysteries of the Sea” Theme:
2) Acadêmicos do Grande Rio Samba School
2009 Grande Rio Carnival Theme : “Voilá, Caxias! Para Sempre Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Merci Beaucoup, Brésil! Não Tem de Quê!”
Grande Rio Carnival Parade Theme Translated: “Voilá Caxias! Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Merci Beaucoup, Brésil!"
2009 Grande Rio Carnival Producer Renato Lage
See below "Voilá, Caxias! Para Sempre Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Merci Beaucoup, Brésil! Não Tem de Quê" Theme Logo Image:
3) Unidos de Vila Isabel Samba School
Unidos da Vila Carnival Theme: “Neste Palco da Folia, Minha Vila Anuncia: Theatro Municipal, o Centenário Maravilha”
Unidos da Vila Carnival Parade Theme translated: “In the Joyful Stage, My Vila Announces Municipal Theatre, and the Wonderful Centennial”.
4) Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel Samba-School
2009 Mocidade Carnival Theme: “Mocidade Apresenta: Clube Literário - Machado de Assis e Guimarães Rosa... Estrelas em Poesia!”
Mocidade Carnival Parade Theme Translated: “Mocidade Presents: Literature Club – Machado de Assis and Guimarães Rosa...Stars in Poetry!”
Mocidade Independente Carnival Producer: Cláudio Cavalcante (Cebola)
See below Mocidade Theme´s Logo - Image:
5) Beija-Flor de Nilópolis Samba-School
Beija-Flor 2009 Parade Theme: “No Chuveiro da Alegria, Quem Banha o Corpo, Lava a Alma na Folia”
Beija-Flor Parade Theme Translated: “At the Happiness Shower, those who bathes the Body, Washes the Soul at the Folia”
Beija-Flor Carnival Producer: Carnival Commission
See below Beija Flor Carnival Theme Logo
6) Unidos da Tijuca Samba-School
Unidos da Tijuca Carnival Theme: “Tijuca 2009: Uma Odisséia Sobre o Espaço”
Unidos da Tijuca Carnival Parade Theme Translated: “Tijuca 2009: One Space Odyssey”
Unidos da Tijuca 2009 Carnival Producer: Luiz Carlos Bruno
See below Unidos da Tijuca Carnival Theme Logo:
Also, all of the Rio 2009 Samba Schools links and websites were provided above.
Below, we reproduced a small summary of the Brazilian Carnival:
The Brazilian Carnival (Portuguese: Carnaval) is an annual celebration in Brazil held 40 days before Easter and marking the start of Lent. During Lent, Roman Catholics, which constitute the majority in Brazil, are to abstain from bodily pleasures.
Brazilian Carnival as a whole exhibits some differences with its counterparts in Europe and other parts of the world, and within Brazil it has distinct regional manifestations.
Rio de Janeiro Carnival:
The Brazilian citizens used to riot the Carnival until it was accepted by the government as an expression of culture. The modern Brazilian Carnival finds its roots in Rio de Janeiro in the 1830s, when the city’s bourgeoisie imported the practice of holding balls and masquerade parties from Paris. It originally mimicked the European form of the festival, over time acquiring elements derived from African and Amerindian cultures.
In the late 19th century, the cordões (literally laces in Portuguese) were introduced in Rio de Janeiro. These were groups of people who would parade through the streets playing music and dancing. Today they are known as blocos (blocks), consisting of a group of people who dress in costumes according to certain themes or to celebrate the Carnival in specific ways. Blocos are generally associated with particular neighbourhoods or suburbs and include both a percussion or music group and an entourage of revellers.
During the Carnival, a fat man is elected to represent the role of Rei Momo, the "king" of Carnival.
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is known worldwide for the elaborate parades staged by the city’s major samba schools in the Sambadrome and is one of the world’s major tourist attractions.
Samba schools are very large, well-financed organizations that labor year round in preparation for Carnival. Parading in the Sambadrome runs over four entire nights and is part of an official competition, divided into seven divisions, in which a single samba school will be declared that year’s winner. Blocos deriving from the samba schools also hold street parties in their respective suburbs, through which they parade along with their followers.
You have finally decided to come to Rio, but do you know what to do? There are inumerous interesting things to do in Rio,
like the Corcovado- Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, and the Ipanema and Copacabana beaches
. But what about Samba after carnival is over? Now Carnival in Rio is never over: Read below a recent "invention" within the tourist industry in Rio:
Samba City in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
, became one of the most looked after tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro. It occupies an area of 114.000 sq. meters, built in the port district by the City Hall, at Rua Rivadavia Correa 60, Gamboa, a district neighboring downtown.
Even the choice of its location was carefully planned for the thematic city: The area where the Samba City was built was considered to be a "Sacred Ground
" in the beginning of the century, since the Carioca samba was originally born there.
The triangle, which includes the districts of Saúde, Santo Cristo and Gamboa has a great concentration of the City´s popular culture, notably the personalities and entities, linked to the Carioca Carnaval
The design of Samba City forms a geometrical figure
, with factories surrounding the main square. They seem like parts of a group, linking hands, forming a large circle. It is as if the world of the samba were embracing its ancestors, who were around here during the 17th and 18th centuries, bringing the art of African dance and music, to be incorporated today to Brazilian
The thematic city will transform Samba School activities into a permanent practice. More than a tourist attraction, Samba City has become a production center of genuine Brazilian art.
SOME OF THE NUMBERS OF SAMBA FACTORY
. gates measuring 10m wide by 7.5m high allow the passage of the allegoric floats fully assembled.
. Sewing ateliers, hat fashioning room, adornment room and the workshops for polystyrene and fiber glass modeling are located on the highest floor of 2.700m2
. A cargo elevator services all four stories.
. The 12m high ceiling ( void ) assure that the allegories can be assembled in their real size.
. From an outside sidewalk, the visitor will go through all factories, watching the allegories construction from an 8m high balcony.
PERMANENT CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
There are varied activities during the week at the Samba City.
If you need more infomation, please call the phones: (21) 2213-2503 or (21) 2213-2546 or access their site at www.cidadedosambarj.com.br.
We are sure you will have lot´s of fun visiting this magical world of Samba in Rio.
Belavista Brazil Carnival is a non-commercial blog devoted to wonders of Rio de Janeiro, with a focus to the Brazilian Carnival. Our sole objective is to describe how Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is magically created, its artists, dancers and musicians that make up the world’s largest show. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns
Now we understand the origins and costumes of Mestre Sala
, Master of Ceremonies and Samba Flag Bearer
, we will finish to explain some of their main attributions.
The main function of Flag Bearer - porta-bandeira
[porta bandayeera] is to present to the crowd, judges and press, the Samba Schools Flag. Every Samba-School has a distinctive flag and color, by which their community is represented.
Mangueira Samba School for example has as its traditional colors the green and pink. During the parading in the Rio Sambadrome
, the Porta-bandeira waves and swirl the banner unfurling it in graceful gestures and reverence, while the Mestre- Sala offers his protection.
For this gesture, the judges will give notes of between 3 and 6 for their presentation and between 2 and 4 for their costumes. The couple do not dance samba but lead with grace and lightness the flag, rapidly spinning around each other in systematic swirls and paces combined with casual and elegant gestures. The Flag-bearer earns points for her lightness, her grace and her noble and presumptuous attitude. Also, during the parade, she kisses the Samba School Flag, in a sign of respect and pride.
, also known as Samba Master of Ceremonies
, whilst courting and presenting his flag-bearing partner protects and exhibits proudly the banner of his samba school. Another attribution of the Mestre-sala is to draw everyone’s attention to `his queen´ and make sure the School Flag attracts photographers´ and media attention. Another interesting aspect of the couple is their samba steps. Unlike other samba dancers, their choreography is refined and delicate, resembling the court dances of France aristocratic palaces. She should “slide” and not dance a true samba, while parading as experts note.
Samba historians say the “Maçu” was the first official Master of Ceremonies In Rio carnaval. He learned the dance steps and movements with Hilário Jovino Ferreira, Getúlio Marinho and Teodoro, legendary samba dancers from the past. Another curiosity of samba history is that many of the first Porta-Bandeiras in early days were men. It was only later on that women picked up that post. Other samba historians point Ubaldo from Portela as the first Mestre- Sala.
In modern days carnival, Selminha Sorriso
from Beija Flor< can be considered as one of the best Flag Bearers ever. She has won for several years the maximum number of points possible during the contest: 10 points.
Below we see the couple from Rocinha Samba School in 2008.
Finally, it is worthwhile noting that in common with the Samba School Drum Queen, both posts confers high status to participants. Young kids in the samba communities strive to reach these posts. This couple is so important in a Samba-School that in a parade, there are more than one Mestre-Sala and Porta Bandeira couples. Some schools have 3 couples during one parade.
Today we are going to explain another key element that composes a major samba school in Rio de Janeiro carnival: the Master of Ceremonies & Flag-bearer or “Mestre Sala and Porta-Bandeira” in Portuguese.
We will explain their origins, responsibilities, their dance and costumes. In a second post, we will name a few famous couples that became legendary Master of Ceremonies & Flag-bearers at Portela, Mangueira, Beija-flor, and some other major samba schools in Rio.
Master of Ceremonies & Flag-bearer figures in Rio´s carnival have several theories of their origins that go back all the way to Africa and Colonial Brazil
. Some researchers say the origins of the pair dance were part of marriage rituals practiced by young African girls and boys, when of the preparation for the marriage disputes. Dancing abilities would be a status index selection criterion. Other theories point to burial rituals in colonial Africa, where colored fragments of cloths would be tied to a wooden mast to identify the tribe whom the dead man came from. Later on, by the 18th century, the slaves started to imitate the elegant dancing balls imported from French courts, made by the Portuguese in Brazil Colony days. Experts say the couples were formally introduced in the Samba parade in Rio de Janeiro by mid 1930´s.
Below we see costume design sketch of a Master of Ceremony used in Rio’s Carnival in 2007.
The origins of the Master of Ceremonies & Flag-bearer also helps to understand better the nature of their costumes. More than any other segment or wing within the a samba school, the couples costumes are obligatorily luxurious and very meticulous. Both members’ costumes are made with lots of silk, plumes and even velvet. Samba historians say that the reason for this type of fabric choice was a strategic one in the early days: Flag-bearers were disputed with pocketknives, and rival school Master of Ceremony´s objective was to to steal or rip the competitors’ flag or post (
The legend says knives are unable to rip silk easily). The Master of Ceremonies additionally wear wigs, long socks, handkerchiefs and fans. This exuberant clothing reemphasized their responsibility both to court and protect the Porta Bandeira, as well as impress the crowd.
Tomorrow we will post part II of this post, explaining the couples roles and responsibilities. We will also name a few of the most famous “Mestre-Salas” and “Porta Bandeiras” from the past.
Below we see a picture of a typical sketch of a Flag-bearer in Rio´s Carnival. The carnival dressmakers use these kinds of drawings made by carnival fashion designers as a model for making the real parade costumes.
This is a non-commercial blog devoted to wonders of Rio de Janeiro, with a focus to the Brazilian Carnival. Our sole objective is to describe how Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is magically created, its artists, dancers and musicians that make up the world’s largest show. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
We are going start a new series within Belavista Carnival Brazil Blog
. Following a suggestion of several friends, we decided to publish a glossary of terms of Brazilian Samba. We believe if our readers understand the meaning of some of the expressions, slang, and concepts of the Brazilian samba, the carnival experience can be much more enriching and exciting.
A few posts ago, we explained the function and attributes of the samba schools Drum Queens
, or “Rainha de Bateria
”, who has a very strategic role in marketing the samba school parade. Today we will explain the function of the most important flank within any Samba School in Rio: the “Baianas
” wing. Below we see the picture of a typical Baiana from the Portela
Samba School in 2008.
Many of the experts in Samba agrees that the Baianas, a “group of elderly ladies the dance in circles in the parade”, has its roots in the “aunts” of early 20th century Rio de Janeiro. These “aunts” came from the State of Bahia and came to Rio de Janeiro to live neighborhoods like Cidade Nova, Catumbi, Gamboa
, and Santo Cristo
. They would host and gather musicians in a “sarau”
– a cultural and musical event, in which people reunite to express themselves artistically. These old ladies would offer drinks and tasteful foods to composers and musicians. This magical environment would then naturally create the conditions for the development of the first samba rhythms. These old ladies would be much respected for their spiritual knowledge. These ladies would probably be descendants from African tribes like the Nagô, Ioruba, Fula, Mina
The baianas wings in the modern samba schools incorporated the soul of these legendary aunts or “tias”, representing the female power within the samba world. Due to their spiritual authority, generally baianas are older, experienced women. They also have another distinguishing characteristic, which are their traditional marking costumes. Baianas wear multi-layered full “balloon” dresses, lace-trimmed blouses, and stiffened petticoats
in addition to thick necklaces, ear-rings, metal armbands. Because of their age, they normally use low sandals.
Another emblematic particularity of the baianas wing is the way they samba. Unlike any another wing or section within the samba school, they dance in spins, rotating their dresses in order to create a unique visual effect. The baianas wing also rehearses to synchronize their spiral movements. One of the most magical moments in all samba parade is exactly when all of the components of the baianas wing simultaneously swirl in a coordinated choreography
. This breathtaking climax is closely looked by everyone involved in the parade. Next time in Rio´s Sambadrome,
don´t miss the opportunity to participate in the ultimate parade highlight.
This is a non-commercial blog devoted to wonders of Rio de Janeiro, with a focus in Brazilian Carnival. Our sole objective is to describe how Carnival in Brazil is magically created, its artists, dancers and musicians that make up the world’s largest show. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Last post we described the function of the glittering Drum Queens
, in the Brazilian Carnival. We tried to explain her importance within the Samba school and the energy she must inspire during the parade.
But many foreigners would always ask me how these marvelous Brazlian Carnival Muses
are chosen? What are the criteria they have to go through? Who decides each year, who would be the Drum Queen for each samba school? Is there any competition for this position?
First, let´s talk about the attributes a true Drum Queen
must present. She is generally young (between 18-45), and very physical. This is so, since she needs to have all the energy to dance during the rehearsals and the parade itself. Apart from being young and physical, she also has to be very attractive. This criterion is especially important, since she will be representing the school in several events.
These Carnival Muses
are invited to VIP parties and TV shows, where they are frequently interviewed. With a Samba School t-shirt, or with their colors, she will be photographed all year long. All of this exposure adds popularity and glamour to the final show of the samba school during the carnival parade. The next quality for a Brazilian Samba Queen
is probably the most decisive one. Charisma. A Queen of Drums
should be extremely charismatic, being able to drive empathy for the samba school audience, and also within the school. She should be very popular, so that drummers and percussionists maintain their enthusiasm and pride about their show and school.
, a famous TV actress in Brazil
is a Drum Queen for Viradouro Samba School, shown below at the picture. She surely has all qualities and attributes, and is notorious for her sympathy and grace.
So, to recap, a true Queen of Drums
should be young, beautiful, graceful and charismatic. She would also add a few points to herself if she would know how to dance some samba. ( Although there were many first timers that didn’t dance samba until their very first show. )
Now we know the main attributes a Rio Drum Queen
should present, let´s explain how they are chosen. Samba Schools in Brazil have power structure similar to a corporation, in the sense they have a president, directors, support staff, etc. At the end of each carnival, the board of directors together with the president, start planning for this position for next year. If a Drum Queen "defended" the samba school colors with energy, empathy, and focus, and if she somehow met expectations, she may be qualified to repeat the parade next year. But all of this is very sensitive and subjective.
As we explained in the last post, since this position has a high visibility, and there are only 12 spots (considering the "first league), we can imagine how serious this dispute may turn out. People connected to the Samba Schools are always trying to influence the president and the board. Although, these Carnival Muses
are not paid by the school for the post, there is a lot of interest in the position.
To be a celebrity sometimes helps. This year we saw Natália Guimarães
, last year Miss Brazil
, become an official Queen of Drums
for <i>Vila Isabel Samba School
in Rio de Janeiro. Prior to this carnival, she had never paraded in a major samba school. As soon as she was officially invited (see below during the rehearsals and during the parade this year, at the Sambadrome), the carnival Muse drove a lot of attention from the media.
After the decision is made, the Samba-School throws a "crowning party", where the Samba school presents the muse to press, to the drum director and samba school components. She then pledges her love and commitment to the school flag. Her ruling period starts and is valid at least for one year.
Further, we will elect the most vibrant and glossy Goddesses of Brazil Carnival
in Rio in 2008.
This is a non-commercial blog devoted to wonders of Rio de Janeiro, with a focus in Brazilian Carnival. Our objective is to describe how Carnival in Brazil is magically created, its artists, dancers and musicians that make up the world’s largest show. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Finally Ashes Day in Rio-de-Janeiro!! So much going on that I had to take some time to rest. The street parties blocos de rua and its charming bands and groups can be quite energy consuming!
Today I decided to explain, or better say, to try to express the real local concept or definition for the famous muses of Rio Carnival that can be called by these names: Drum Queens, Queen of the Drums
Queen of the Bateria, or even Percussion Queens
, as I have heard some of the translations given for Brazil's Carnival "Rainha de Bateria
To fully understand the concept of the carnival Queen of Drum Section
, Drums Queen, not only in Rio-de-Janeiro, but all over Brazil´s Carnival, we have know that every samba school
necessarily has a large drum section (drum battery, percussion) or Bateria
in Portuguese. Drum section is the core component of the samba school, since it produces all the rhythm. The drum queen or muse
, would have as its official attributes or functions to draw the attention from the crowd and introduce the percussion/drum section to the audience during the parade.
But there a lot more to it
, as we will see. Much more!!
Drum Queens are muses
, and since she positions herself naturally in front of the drums (she literally has her own "private space"), the occupant of this position is always in the limelight of the parade and is subject to fierce competition all year long. This Brazil Muse
is the one that photographers always look after, give interviews, is invited to V.I.P. parties and are pampered as celebrities. For this reason there can only be one and only one drum queen for each samba school>, each year.
A samba- queen
for one year? Aren’t nobility titles awarded for lifetime? Not in samba! Once the rainha de bateria
is elected for a samba school parade for a given year, there is no is guarantee she will hold the position for the next year…How is that? So once elected, aren't they automatically re-elected? A drums queen
at Rio de Janeiro's
carnival is almost a full time job, as we will continue to explore tomorrow.
For today, let’s now look at some of these Goddesses of Carnaval
and try to grasp a little of their royal energy! We will continue to describe how muses are chosen, what are their musts and credentials, the criteria the samba schools
decide upon, and what are the paths a contestant must trace to at least try to be considered.
This is a non-commercial blog devoted to wonders of Rio-de-Janeiro
with a focus in Brazilian Carnival. Our sole objective is to describe how Carnival in Brazil
is magically created, its artists, dancers and musicians that make up the world’s largest show. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.