Come with us on a tour around the Carnival backstage
It’s mid-April. If you are not too voracious, there are still some remnants of Easter chocolat delicacies at home. That means Carnival is as far as it can be, right?! Not at all! Carnival 2019 has already started! Actually, a month before you even thought of eating chocolat, samba schools were making their moves to hire new talents for their ranks as well as researching themes. For those of you interested in the greatest show on Earth bookmark this blog and come back often to know what is happening in the world of samba schools so that you can start planning your trip to Rio.
For starters, it’s relevant to know Carnival 2019 will have 28 samba schools parading at the Sambadrome if you count the two divisions, the Special Group and the Access Group. Since there were no relegated schools at the main parade two years in a row, it was decided that no samba school would be relegated in the Access Group either. That way, we will have 14 samba schools in each division. The last time the Special Group had 14 contestants was in 2006. All that means you will have more presentations to watch at the Sambadrome. <3
Even before the end of Carnival 2018, samba schools start negotiating to hire new talents for their ranks in order to be stronger competitors on next year’s parade. The head artistic creator (carnavalesco) Paulo Barros left Vila Isabel samba school for Viradouro, which is coming back to the main parade after four years. Despite the fact he is one of the most famous creators, his performance at Vila was not remarkable. Viradouro’s former creator, Edson Pereira will take his place at Vila. Another important change took place at this year’s great champion Beija-Flor. Its head creator Laía left after some quarreling with other directors. He is one of the most experienced professionals with many wins in his carreer and will reinforce Unidos da Tijuca in 2019.
Imperatriz wants to follow the money
After a very modest result in Carnival 2018, the 8-time-champion green and white samba school let its head creator Cahê Rodrigues go. Imperatriz hired Mario and Kaká Monteiro to prepare its 2019 parade. During the year Mario is a set decorator at Globo TV, Brazil’s main network. He swiftly announced what next year’s theme would be: “Give me the money”. The parade will tell the history of currency, what men are able to do to become richer, how ambitious we can get. Also there will be some space to criticize Brazil’s long corrupt tradition, a very contemporary subject, especially after the country’s former president Lula was arrested on charges of money loundering.
Trying to repeat the result
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?! That’s why Jack Vasconcelos, the most acclaimed carnavalesco of 2018 after granting Paraíso do Tuiuti a historic second place at the main parade decided to keep the critic line of themes. For 2019 the samba school will talk about the most famous billy-goat of Ceara, a Brazilian state located at the Northeast of the country. You read it right and that’s a great story. In the first half of last century there was a goat that had the habit to “walk” around the squares and streets of Fortaleza, Ceara’s capital. The animal even had the habit of taking the tram. Its fame made the people vote for the billy goat giving it enough ballot to get elected for the City Council. It was not the last time it happened something like this in Brazil. Some decades later a Rhinocerus was voted for governor of São Paulo state and in the 1980’s a gorilla “got elected” for Rio de Janeiro’s city council. It’s coming some more witty and harsh critic to Brazilian politicians, showing it’s not exactly new the trend of not trusting them.
Portela samba school is celebrating this April its 95th anniversary. A series of events are being held around Rio to praise the oldest samba school stilll active and also the greatest winner with 22 trophies. The programming includes shows, movie exhibitions and debates. Portela was founded on April 11th 1923.