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At carnival time in Brazil and especially in Rio, everyone, rich and poor, young and old, men and women, boys and girls can participate and indulge in their fantasies as the city becomes ever more joyful and colorful. The music, the pageantry, the costumes and the street dancing go on for several nights just prior to the beginning of Lent. Many thousands of people participate as each of more than two dozen Samba-Schools, each with several thousand members; entertain the city for eighty-two minutes in their turn as they are being judged by a panel of carnival experts. Samba-Schools like Mangueira, Imperio Serrano, Unidos da Tijuca, Beija-flor, Portela , Grande Rio, Mocidade, Viradouro,and others keep the samba alive for more than 80 years.
Our website is for the visitors, Brazilian or foreign tourists, to enhance their experience of the Carnival culture by knowing about its origins, traditions and structure. My youthful memories of the Carnival are vivid and represent extraordinary artistic creativity for me. I have never stopped being impressed over the years. I saw the images of love, joy, comedy and human drama represented in the massive floats, Samba School flag-bearers swirling in ballet, Brazilian Samba dancers with their grace, and drum sections with over 200 percussionists so that the Samba energy was palpable. In the 82 minutes allotted to each Samba School, up to 5000 school members parade in full harmony. The questions arose asking how did this come about, who was responsible for the choreography, how did the dancers practice and learn it all and who designed and made those fabulous costumes? I tried to answer these questions through library research and contact with and participation in the clubs and the parades.
BrazilCarnival.com.br also pays respect to the Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro who have kept the samba and carnival flame burning since 1930: Estação Primeira da Mangueira, Portela, Unidos da Tijuca, Salgueiro, Mocidade Independente, Império Serrano, Imperatriz Leopoldinense, Unidos de Vila Isabel, Estácio de Sá, Caprichosos de Pilares, União da Ilha, Beija-Flor, Unidos do Viradouro, São Clemente, Acadêmicos de Santa Cruz, Unidos da Ponte, Unidos do Tuiuti, Acadêmicos da Rocinha, Porto da Pedra, Renascer de Jacarepaguá and Inocentes de Belford Roxo.