Let’s recap some interesting samba school themes in the last 3 years
The theme is the essence of a samba school parade. It’s the story that will be told by the costumes, floats and the music. Many of them are original creations of the carnavalescos, sort of showrunners of the presentation. These themes reveal traditions, characters and legends of Brazilian and even international cultures. For the past three years the economic crisis in Brazil reduced the investments on sponsoring parades. Less money fuels more creativity. Let’s rememeber some presentations from the last three years that remained in our minds.
5. São Clemente 2015
The gold and black samba school praised the so called patron of every “carnavalesco”. Fernando Pamplona was a teacher at National School of Fine Arts in Rio. He changed the aesthetics of the parades visually and theme-wise. After his work in Salgueiro, schools started to tell more stories about their origins: African characters, religion, and mithology. São Clemente got the 7th place a result considered unfair by many who ranked the school higher. Others even praised it as the best of the year.
4. Salgueiro 2016
The Opera of Malandro based on a book by writer and music composer Chico Buarque talked about one of the most peculiar characters in Rio’s popular history. Malandro means a guy who is not a privileged person who learned how to survive staging some stunts here and there but also in a fancy outfit and in a soft voice that tricked everyone.
3. Império Serrano 2017
The green and white samba school managed to return to the Carnival’s elite after praising the life and work of a Brazilian poet named Manoel de Barros. The parade showed his characters and the environment that served as background, Brazilian Pantanal, an area of rich diversity.
2. Portela 2016
One of the most famous showrunners of today’s Carnival made his debut in the blue and white samba school. He put its symbol, the Eagle, to travel around the world. Ships fighting storms, pyramids, archeologists, dinossaurs, Gulliver appeared before our eyes. There was fun for every one. The public was enthusiastic about the presentation but the judges saw some flaws that prevented Portela to win the title, coming in 3rd.
1. Mangueira 2017
After winning in 2016 after prasing a Brazilian singer, Mangueira invoked godly help to try to win again. The theme was the religions, superstitions and faiths of the Brazilian people. A very original point of view that deserved many positive reviews from the critics.