The Carnaval de Rio de Janeiro (Carnival of Rio Janeiro) is an annual celebration in Brazil. The main parade of Carnaval de Rio is at the Sambodrome, a massive concrete stadium, built along Avenida Marques de Sapucai front of a live audience of 70,000. The Carnaval is a four-day celebration, happening from Saturday through Tuesday. It is usually in February, sometimes in March.
Carnaval focuses on the competition between the 12 samba schools, each with its own theme or argument representative. The lyrics, the music itself, the costumes of the figurants, the papier-mâché figures and paintings of the allegoric car, all must accord with the selected theme. The themes may be very diverse: they can be a myth, a historical, present event, a political or artistic personality, etc. Every school presentation is a result of months of preparation.
Each samba school is trying to win favor with the spectators in a frenzy of singing and dancing. A panel of 40 judges at strategic points along the carnival route qualifies the contestants on everything from enthusiasm, fidelity to the theme, discipline and costume to rhythm and dance. The classification defines not only celebrity, fame and joy for the samba school, but also public money for their activities.
Each samba school exhibition includes a fixed set of components like:
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