Rio Carnaval Report
Rio Carnaval Report  presents  presents

This Page
Beija-Flor wins
Rio Mayor Cesar Maia
Street Carnival
Tijuca wins Gold Standard
Hitler banned
Going Global: Super Bowl, Samba Parade & Gisele
Queens of the Bateria  Media magnets known for their charisma, beauty and successful careers in the spotlight
Turning Japanese
Bottomless Ban
2009 Carnaval Saturday
Brazil Carnaval
Link List
Money & Stars
Final 2008 Special Samba School Results
Unidos da Tijuca
Next Page
Carnaval News
Rio Sambodromo
Parts of a Samba School
Rio CARNAVAL [main page w/ frame set]
Carnaval Events
Rio FOTOS || 2008
Street Carnival
Escola Rehearals

Rio CITY Guide

Gisele Bundchen
At the Sao Paulo Carnaval, where the parades similar to Rio's are held just prior on Friday and Saturday night, the samba group Vai-vai, or Go-go, snagged its 13th championship title in its 78-year history Tuesday
Image:Brazil State Amapa.svg
90 percent of the area - is the huge green of the Amazon Rainforest. Unexplored forests dominate 70 percent of its territory. The capital, Macapá, has a center of French culture, teaching French to almost 2.000 people. The reason is the proximity and relations that Amapá has with the bordering French Guyana, on the north of the State. Another attraction is the imaginary Equator line dividing the hemispheres North and South. The only way to reach Macapá is by boat or airplane. The state of Amapá will soon gain a new airport. Infraero will start work on the new Macapá International Airport, which will double capacity to serve 700 thousand passengers a year and open in 2010.
After 2006 and 2007, LIESA reduced the numbers of schools affiliated with it by 12. Therefore, in the Carnaval of 2008, the Access Group will return to the anterior ascension and fall: in the Access Group A, one will rise to the Special Group and two will fall to the Access Group B, then will rise two to Access Group A and three to Access Group C, then will rise three to Access Group B and fall three to Access Group D, then will rise three to Access Group C and descend three to Access Group E, then will rise three to Access Group D and the last placed will be eliminated from the Carnaval, remaining without parading during two or three years to wait for an avaliation of AESCRJ, to know if it could display the title of samba school or to parade hors concurs in its city of origin.
Estandarte_de Ouro by
Lucy Liu
Samba Enredo -Mangueira 2008
Samba Enredo -Mocidade 2008
PORTELA 2008-Samba de Ari do Cavaco,Ciraninho,
Diogo Nogueira
Samba Enredo -Salgueiro 2008
Samba Enredo -São Clemente 2008
Anúncio do samba campeão da Viradouro 2008!
Link List
"The space for poetry, for fun, for social and political criticism, or even for pure historical themes . . . has become minimal," wrote Aloy Jupiara, a journalist and Carnaval specialist. "Now most themes must have an appeal to the market."
Is it too commerical? by LA Times
Only Rio samba school web site to also be in  English

Rio Carnaval 2008
Celebrity watch 2008 Rio Carnaval @hello
Most popular youtube videos by
history of samba schools by tdSounds
In praise of Rio Mayor Cesar Maia @
ALAN CLENDENNING Writer for Associated Press was the most quoted of all English publications reporting on Rio Carnaval 2008
Brazilian modernism's time has come @ 9FEB09


Special Rio de Janeiro Carnaval 2008 Report

by reporter C.M. Collins

This is the greatest show on earth. It is better therapy than therapy. Many come to get their  groove and let the rhythms melt them into the movement. Life here is larger than life, and you can best know this through celebration. There is no greater annual celebration than Carnaval, and Rio de Janeiro is the Carnaval to which all others compare themselves.

This is the time we review those who took their moment to strut their stuff on a global stage before  getting lost in a kind of collective ecstasy while the carnival got fever-hot. There were more epic bacchanalian bashes than anyone could remember or forget. More people came to town and more people left town than ever before. The weather reports, with the exception of a very wet Carnaval Sunday, made all feel blessed when the sky was so blue.  There were also some whose achievements hereabouts which should be celebrated and remembered in this collective endeavor of being all you can be in the moment.

 Beija-Flor wins Best Samba School 2008

Champions for 5 of last 6 years!

Rio de Janeiro,  The school of samba Beija-Flor (hummingbird) of Nilopolis won at Rio de Janeiro Carnival with 399.3 possible points of 400 on  the Marques de Sapucai Avenue, or Sambodromo. Since they also won in 2007, this represents the eleventh occasion of being winner at Rio de Janeiro Carnaval, taking five titles in the last six years.

The group's headquarters in the Nilopolis suburb of Rio de Janeiro burst with joy when the result was known.

Beija-Flor closed out the largest Carnival in the world early in the morning of February 5, 2008 with the history of the city of Macapa, capital of the Brazilian State of Amapa, located near the opening of the Amazon river.

Macapa: solar equinox, fantastic trip; included a magnificent incandescent allegory with a red giant hummingbird flapping its wings above 50 smaller diverse and beautiful forms of creatures. The large samba school needed almost its full 80 minutes to cover the 800-metre parade route before the crowd of 80,000 and millions more watching on TV.

Fire on the water:
The opening floats evoked fire with prevailing colors of red, orange and yellow quickly followed by hundreds of dancers dressed extravagantly as large billowing waves of water. The school's, enredo or theme song, told of an encounter of the blue hummingbird of Nilopolis with one from Macapa, called fire brightness.

Other floats and music groups simulated fish and foam and represented the encounter of the Amazon River and the deepest darkest jungle on the planet, where adventure is the only certainty.

Here on the Marques de Sapucai the joy is tempered by the knowledge that the 40 Sambadromo judges are closely evaluating your presentation. On Ash Wednesday, the main event is no longer the priest placing ashes on your forehead but hearing the verdict of judges. Four of the 40 judges grade each samba group in 10 categories, ranging from their floats and costumes to how well they move thousands of dancers through the half-mile Sambadrome stadium parade ground.

"They tried to stain our title last year. Our club does not need to do anything irregular to win a Carnival," said Laila, the Beija-Flor director who goes by one name. Beija Flor's reputation has been marred by accusations that directors conspired to steal last year's championship by intimidating judges. An investigation by a municipal parliamentary commission of inquiry, or CPI, into the accusations yielded an inconclusive report.

Laila, the Beija-Flor director

Proving it on the streets is an ancient Carnaval tradition, and jeers gave way to applause as the group impressed the population of Rio de Janeiro crowd with not only its usual opulent floats, ornate costumes, and scantily clad radiant beauty queens which all the top schools have, but also with the most enthusiastic and well-choreographed costumed singers and dancers anyone could remember. Carnaval is as much a feeling as anything, and feelings are communicable. The strategy worked, as the talk among the locals or Cariocas in the days that followed was more about how Beija-Flor has an extra Carnaval gear than anyting else.

Salgueiro came forward with the most entertaining and witty show, and took second place (398); third place was Grande Rio (396.9), whose floats portraying the primeval world of the jungle as far back as dinosaurs will long be remembered. The rest of the winners were  Portela (396.8), Tijuca (396.5), Imperatriz (396.5), Vidadouro (396), Mocidade (395.1), Vila Isabel (394.6) and Mangueira (393.9).

Samba schools are beginning to think more globally, as a float  by 2008 award school finisher,  Portela, drew raucous cheers from the crowds as it displayed a float with a giant model of a starving baby, representing man's tendency to squander the gifts of nature.

 Rio de Janeiro Mayor Cesar Maia;
 making friends through Carnaval in Portugal & France

The May of Rio officially opened the carnival on Tuesday,
cesar_maia.jpg a few days earlier than its traditional Friday afternoon ceremony, by giving the key to King Momo. He was soon on a jet to France for a working vacation.

The Mayor later called for samba schools to adopt 2009 themes honoring France. The Empire Serrano, returning to join the other 11 Special Schools of Samba in 2009, is beginning to examine this plot for the next year. The Rio Mayor  announced City Council financial support of the theme "The France in Brazil" for the first schools to parade in the epic show on Carnaval Sunday and Monday in 2009. "First, it was the year of Brazil in France (in 2005). Now, it will be the opposite," he said.

For the firs time, France will host the 28th Carnival City Congress in the City of Ploerme in May 2008. France's role in elevating beauty as a cultural organizing principle and particularly as a dominant Carnaval aesthetic throughout the world has been particularly powerful in the evolution of Rio de Janeiro's Carnaval as the world's best.

Two schools who accepted the similar proposal honoring the 200th year of the Portuguese monarchy in Brazil in 2008 did not fare so well, with Mocidade, despite being critically acclaimed, finishing 8th and Sao Clemente being demoted to the Access League after finishing 12th.

Mocidade showed an impressive float which carried 1,500 litres of water, decorated with thousands of shells and sculptured half-naked women, to represent one of the legends about Don Sebastian, a Portuguese king of the 12th century. According to the legend, the monarch - who dreamed of turning Portugal into the fifth universal empire - disappeared in Africa to see his kingdom re-emerge 'magically' on Brazilian soil.

However, the group Imperatriz Leopoldinense, the winner of four editions of the Rio Carnival, displaying little flesh in extravagant costume designs by longtime Carnavalesco Rosa Magalhaes remembered the Brazilian trip of the Portuguese court. One float represented the 'real movements' of an 11-metre-long whale, symbolizing the arrival of King Joao VI on Brazilian territory.

BLOCOS:  the Success of the Street Carnival brings crowds issues

Mayor Cesar Maia called Rio's Carnival "Earth's biggest party" and said the festival was growing bigger and more spontaneous every year

"Never before have I received so many e-mails complaining of the number of street parties ... . It means there are more and more people in the streets, more spectators, more peopleGigantes_da_Lira.jpg having a good time, enjoying the soul of Rio," Maia said during the ceremony where he turns over the keys of the City to Carnaval King Momo.

Some blocos complain they have become overwhelmed by the huge crowds, who drown out the music and slow down their parades. Some have started keeping the time and location of the parades a secret.

Sunday After Carnaval: Meanwhile, one of the best known bandas joined to expand the days of Carnaval to the following weekend by adding a second and final parade to the Sunday after Carnaval. MonoBlocom, with over 150 percussionists, does a Salvador style trio-electrico parade which begins close to 9am at Arapodor Point and parades up Copacabana's Avenida Atlântica to just before the famous Copacabana Hotel. Then, at about 4pm along Impanema Beach on Av. Vieira Souto, the gay Queens of Banda Impanema hold court. This year there was also a bride in a see-through dress, and a swarm of mosquito men who delighted in poking their probiscises in the crowd and police escorts while waving a sign reading: "Free injections -- but only in the backside."

Unidos da Tijuca wins
the  Gold Standard

Estandarte de Ouro

The 2008 jury composed of Adelzon Alves, Argeu Affonso, Aloy Jupiara, Bernardo Araújo, Dorina, Felipe Ferreira, Haroldo Costa, Helena Theodoro, Luiz Felipe de Lima, Lygia Santos, Marcelo Mello e Maria Augusta.

 for the best school of the Special Group 2008.

a coveted & respected award since 1972
"I want, my mania is worth gold. I Tijuca, bring the art collecting my treasure ",Tijuca Carnavelesco Luiz Carlos Bruno, speaks of a habit attributed to mankind since the earliest days of its known existence.

"This award is great because it involves everyone. Who built the school, who worked beside me and the four thousand stars now to do the show," said carnavalesco Luiz Carlos Bruno in Portuguese to RJTV 1 st edition.

 The school with the most awards was the Mocidade \ best interpreter, Bruno Ribas; best wing of the baianas; best committee of front; better passista, Evandro, and better teacher-room, for Rogerinho

  Imperatriz won three standards: best samba-plot  and best plot evolution, which went to master Marcone, who commanded a battery of the school. The plot speaks of the amount of Marias who crossed the life of Portuguese ruler Dom João VI in the most different degrees of kinship.  

Salgueiro won two gold standard awards: best costume section or ala which was "Era of the radio" and the coveted best bateria  led by Mestre Pulpit:

The best school of the Access group according to the  Gold standard  was the Império Serrano. Here the distinguished committee of Carnaval experts was in accordance with the judges, and Serrano will be joining the Special Group in 2009. The committee in charge of the production elevated the characters Zé Carioca and the Carmen Miranda. Best Bateria Mestre in Grupo A was Átila A

2009 Carnaval Saturday at the Sambadrome

 Porto da Pedra had two personalities receive awards in the special group, but their 12th place finish means you will need to look for them in the Sambadrome on Carnaval Saturday : Mestre Louro and porta-bandeira, Ana Paula.

 The Niterói  samba school Acadêmicos do Cubango  was awarded best samba-plot of Grupo Access. The enredo was entitled "Mercedes Baptista: de passo a passo, um passo", sobre a primeira bailarina negra do Teatro Municipal or plot "Mercedes Baptista: step by step, a step," about the first black dancer of the Municipal Theater.

Source URL @ Adopted from 2008 Ash Wednesday -  front page headline awarding Best Samba School to Unidos Tijuca based upon a panel of twenty distinguished Carnaval authorities.
Unidos da Tijuca expanding the art form of Rio Carnaval
 The Unidos da Tijuca savors its reputation as an innovative and bold Samba School. Historically the school was the first to use cars and costume wings in the evolution of the world's greatest parade. In this first decade of the 21st century, Unidos da Tijuca, Grand Rio and powerhouse Beija-Flor have been expanding the artform of Carnaval with innovations which delight the imagination.

In addition, there are the roots of G.R.E.S Unidos da Tijuca as the third oldest Samba School of the Brazil - only Mociadade and Estacio de Sa [successor to Deixa Falar] are older. The founders of Unidos da Tijuca’s wished to defend traditional Brazilian Folklore and also fight the good fight for important causes. The school emerged when 4 Carnival blocos came together on December 31st. of 1931, at 130 Saint Miguel Street in the mountainous chain of Tijuca north of central Rio.

Unidos da Tijuca
Founded in: 31/12/1931   Colours: Blue and Yellow\Azul e Amarelo
Symbol: Indian Blue Peacock .

Much acclaimed Carnavelesco Luiz Carlos Bruno is a long-time member of Tijuca who first joined in 1981. His first leadership position came in 1987 when he became  President of Cobras e Lagartos [Snakes and Lizards] in 1988, a position he continues to hold today. His presence as a major Carnaval figure was first felt by the general public in 2002. Today the 44 year old is both designer and director of the Carnaval for Unidos da Tijuca.

In 2000, the school returned to the special group with a great parade achieving 5th place - its first trip of their many to the Parade of Champions in the 21st century, where the top 6 schools do an encore on the Saturday following Carnaval Tuesday.

Unidos da Tijuca has won considerable acclaim in both the public and the press for innovation that delights and inspires. Much of the credit has been given to the designer of the clever floats or  carros alegóricos (allegorical carts or wagons) which appear more often by far than any other in newspapers all over the world. It is a rare but highly sought talent to be able to evoke amazement and surprise in this intensely competitive art form. Mr. Bruno has brought himself much acclaim and notoriety in the Rio de Janeiro Carnaval culture, yet the top prize continues to allude his Samba School. Still, his genius has guaranteed his school a top place among the elite schools and much respect and recognition for all the many elements that make up a successful presentation in the world of samba.

Going forward, Unidos da Tijuca continues with much determination to restructure and solidify itself for the next appearance on the Avenue da Sapucai.  Nowadays the school is one of the most awaited and closely covered by the press.  However, the applause accorded to the champion of Carnival will have to wait till the future.

Tijuca took 4th place in 2007, and once again generated the largest sensation
by re-creating Nick Ut's Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnam War photograph of 9-year-old Kim Phuc being burned by napalm. A dancer in a bodysuit played Kim, while dancers in bright-orange flame costumes swirled around her.

 Prior to this, Bruno's creativity was subject to review by the Carnaval director Paul Barros, who as the 2008 Carnavalesco for Viradouro created the biggest media sensation since the Catholic Church successfully prevented a condom promotion. [more]

The 6th place in 2008 comes with Luis Carlos Bruno as both the Director of the Carnaval and the Carnavalelesco in charge of creative decisions. For 2008, Bruno designed the Carnaval, including the selection of the theme : our tendency to pursue collections of objects and the historical and cultural importance of the collections and collectors.

The first float in 2008 was the the symbol of the school, the peacock, and it came in style. The gold allegory is 27 meters in length (only 11 of that is the body), eight meters wide and with 86 components that opened its fans in the choreography, creating a large tail. It incorprated, in Bruno's signature style, a body skin made up of synchronized dancing feathers played by members of the Tijuca cast.

Puxador do samba: Wantuir
Presidente: Fernando Horta

Quadra: Clube dos Portuários - Av. Francisco Bicalho, 47
Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Sede: Rua São Miguel, 430, Tijuca
Rio de Janeiro, RJ - CEP 20530-420
Barracão: Cidade do Samba (Barracão 12) - Rua Rivadávia Correa, nº 60
Gamboa - CEP: 20.220-290
Telefone: (21) 2263-9836/ 2516-2749

Actress and TV host Adriane Galisteu has headed the Tijuca bateria drum corps since 2006. This 2008 costume, designed by Henrique Filho, represents the "forest guardian," a mix of human and animal. 2008 is her 14th year of appearing on the Rua Marquês de Sapucaí, and she says it is about time for tijuca to lift the trophy. Despite living in Sao Paulo, she attends rehearsals often, singing the school's song. She describes her role as being a warrior queen for the Samba school, while attracting the media.

"We will show in Avenida how the people preserve their memories through collections of objects. It is the information being saved for posterity," explains Luiz Carlos Bruno,

As in previous years, he says he wants to preserve an easy reading of the plot by the public.

The second sector of the school will be dedicated to children, with stuffed toys like plush blue bears with big bellies and carts of joy from our childhood.

The baianas of Borel will represent cloth dolls. One of the 7 floats will  represents the  dreams of girls, including a dollhouse. "Let's build a real house of dolls, with more than a hundred people fantasiadas of dolls," said the Carnavelesco.

Tijuca continues to maintain their formula of hard work and dedication for all their members, which has yielded significant success since 2004. All members are encouraged to attend every practice, and missing too many can have consequences. Besides the spectacular and amazing floats, the large contingent of members practice some choreography in the alas and go out with the feeling that the entire stadium should enthusiastically be joining them as they sing and dance their collective story for the next Carnaval.

Hitler banned from Rio Carnaval

"goose bumps" hits a big bump

On Sunday night, all the buzz was over the Rio samba group Viradouro, which had a float featuring naked Holocaust victims and a dancing Hitler. However, after Jewish leaders took the issue to court, the float was banned by a local judge under the penalty of tens of thousands of dollars in fines. A spokesman said the federation decided to sue after discovering that the school planned to have an Adolf Hitler impersonator along with the pile of "corpses." The group instead paraded with a float (covered with people wearing gags) devoted to free expression.

Carnavalesco Paul Barros had other ideas put forth to convey his theme of "goose bumps" including 28 people tied upside down to crucifixes and dancers in cockroach costumes.

Viradouro said it was designed to remind carnival-goers of past horrors to prevent them from happening again.

"This an extremely serious work, and people think we're mocking," Barros said, tears streaming from his eyes as workers dismantled the float. "We're going to speak now of the right to freedom."

Rio de Janeiro state Judge Juliana Kalichszteim called the float a "clear trivialization of barbaric events."

According to Kalichszteim's decision, the group would face fines of $113,000 if it ignored her order by parading with the mannequins and $28,000 for each dancer dressed as Hitler.

News of the float drew worldwide attention. Earlier this week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group, issued a statement of protest.

On Wednesday, a second-division samba group agreed to remove swastikas from dancers' costumes following complaints from the Rio Jewish federation. The group, Estacio de Sa, also agreed to drop a section of the parade named after Hitler.

"I think it's in terribly bad taste," said sociologist and carnaval scholar Roberto DaMatta. But it makes sense, considering the festival's sacrilegious origins, he told the Associated Press.

Past carnival groups have had to change floats because of the Roman Catholic Church, which doesn't want depictions of the Virgin Mary or Christ.

In 2004, the Grande Rio group had to alter a float depicting Adam and Eve having sex and another featuring sexy scenes from Hinduism's Kama Sutra after the Catholic Church sued over the parade advocating condom use. They eventually fired their acclaimed Carnavelesco, João Trinta to cleanly resolve the matter but the floats also ran protesting the censorship.

Going Global: Super Bowl, Samba Parade & Gisele
Gisele-RioInverno06.jpgAs the moon waxes so does the date for Carnaval
 ... and this year Brazil was globally recognized on the same date for both events.  On Sunday February 4th, arguably the world's most celebrated athlete, Tom Brady of the undefeated Boston Patriots led his undefeated [15-0] team against the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. His domestic partner, Gisele Bunchen, the top international model and a frequent representative of Brazil was no doubt disappointed his team was upset. In most recent years, she has been found on Carnaval Sunday in Brazil, helping to make the Carnaval the planet's most international event.
Queens or Rainhas da bateria no carnaval 2008:
São Clemente - Bruna Almeida not Viviane Castro
Mocidade - Thatiana Pagung
Porto da Pedra - (indefinida) not Angela Bismarchi
Unidos da Tijuca - Adriane Galisteu
Salgueiro - Viviane Araújo
Imperatriz - Luiza Brunet
Portela - (indefinida)
Vila Isabel - Natália Guimarães
Mangueira - (indefinida)
Grande Rio - Grazieli Massafera
Viradouro - Juliana Paes
Beija-Flor - Raissa

Turning Japanese

"For me, recognition is the biggest reward."

Porto da Pedra -  featured model and lingerie designer Angela Bismarchi caused a stir, inserting nylon wires into her eyes in order to look more oriental for a parade honoring 100 years of Japanese immigration to Brazil.

Her plastic-surgeon husband, Wagner Moraes, ran wires from the outside corners of her eyes under the skin of her temples to staples in front of her ears. Minutes before the parade Sunday, he'll tighten the wires to elongate her eyes further.

"We're all trying to draw the most attention," Bismarchi said. "For me, recognition is the biggest reward."

It was the 42nd plastic surgery for Bismarchi, who is seeking to set the world's record for most surgeries, which currently stands at 47.

Bottomless Ban
While most of the top 6 groups appearing in the Parade of Champions had topless dancers, the judges drew the line at going bottomless, apparently penalizing perennial special group contender Sao Clemente for breaking a rule against display of genitalia during its 80-minute parade.

Viviane Castro, 25, a model and dancer, had lost her original "tapasexo" -- a small triangle 1.6-inch patch,of glitter used to cover the most intimate parts of her body. An improvised substitute glued between her legs right before the show also fell off on the parade strip.

Brazil Carnaval 2008
The government has taken steps to tone down this year's carnival, with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva calling on the public "to have fun responsibly."

The sale of alcohol has been banned on federal roads, and nearly 20 million free condoms were being distributed. The northern city of Recife also overcame opposition by the Catholic Church to hand out morning-after pills.
[More about the Church & Carnaval in Brazil on our News Page]



What does money buy after all?

Perhaps the stars can show you something about that

Image:1realII 2.jpg

As of Carnaval 2008, the dollar is at a seven year low against the real, having lost close to 20% during 2007 alone.
 1 United States Dollars
are worth
1.77 Brazilian Reais

An estimated 705,000 tourists will visit Rio for Carnaval 2008, up about 2 percent from last year, authorities said. They will discover their money, particularly dollars, no longer goes as far but is still a great value compared to popular destinations in Europe, Asia and North America.

At its introduction in June, 1994, the exchange rate of the real was close to par with the US dollar. Since then, it has fluctuated widely and at one point, in mid August, 2000, dropped as low as R$ 4.03 = USD$ 1.00. However, since then, the Brazilian real has made the most impressive gains against the US dollar of any currency in the world.

CruxAll Brazilian Coins feature the Southern Cross constellation. Unless you made a special point in your education or were blessed with a wise mentor you may not appreciate the importance of stars to both your fate and to the oldest celebration --- Carnaval!
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