Showing posts with label sambadrome. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sambadrome. Show all posts

Monday, February 20, 2023

Night of Carnival

I was slightly fearful of creating this particular unforgettable experience. I spoke with a psychologist about going to Rio de Janeiro for carnival, explaining I knew how hedonistic the trip could be and how my nature was sort of wild with some chaos thrown in to the mix. He smiled, confirming what we both knew. I booked my trip and went to South America for three weeks, including a night of carnival in the sambadrome February 14, 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rio indeed becomes quite a swirl of exuberant activity during carnival. Millions take to the streets and of course the main event is samba parades in the sambadrome. Five nights of parades.The parade starts at 9:30pm and it goes until 5-6am. Each of the six Samba Groups have 82 minutes to parade. Each group includes up to 3000 participants. 

There are also balls preceding the samba events. Each ball is based on a theme. The one I attended was called Red & Black, the colors of a favorite Brazilian soccer team. I had paid my fee before leaving the US, so had time to shop for clothes that were red and black. In particular, I found an awesome black shirt with red lightning designs.

The ball began at 11 PM and went until dawn. I took a cab from my hotel and arrived as other international people were stepping into the cavernous ballroom; dressed in red and black of course. The music and dancing was incredible, and because people were also getting inebriated the floor swirled with bumping and grinding. I got in the middle of it all, just feet from the stage where along with the band playing salsa and samba, scantily clad girls made shimmering ripples with their bodies . . . I had never seen flesh quiver like that.

The sambadrome holds perhaps 90,000 people and some carnival nights include higher ranked samba groups. I went on one of the best nights: Sunday. I also paid for one of the best spots to sit. The most I will ever pay. Not saying how much . . . but it got me an incredible view where I took pictures all evening and morning until my battery gave out just before dawn.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Carnival in Rio

This time of year, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,  excitement builds in anticipation of the start of carnival. The annual event is huge, and world famous. Visitors from across the globe flock to witness parades in the sambadrome, the venue built especially for the samba parades. The samba groups prepare all year long for one night of show and an opportunity to be listed among the best. The events begin on a Thursday night with novice groups, culminating on Saturday and Sunday night with the best groups—winners from previous years. The samba schools that comprise the groups number in the thousands, so that in one evening, over fifty thousand costumed people, walking, singing, dancing or on fabulous decorated floats, will have paraded.

The Sunday night that I went, I took the subway from my hotel, and it was packed. When I arrived near the sambadrome, I walked with the stream of people through the street until I arrived at the gates and was directed to my section. I had paid a high sum to be seated close to the action. Inside, the crowd swelled until about 8:30 PM, when the first group began their long march down the avenue, under the floodlights, amidst blaring samba music. The march starts at one end of the sambadrome, and finishes about ¼ mile at the other end. I was near the end . . . a good vantage point.

All night, the groups flowed past and orgasmic throbbing never stopped. The happiness level was at a high pitch. In fact, the groups are judged partly for the enthusiasm they display, as well as for creativity, skill and artistry. I took hundreds of pictures until dawn, when my camera battery died. The parades were not done, but after ten hours of witnessing the spectacle to end all spectacles, I had my fill.

Enjoy this:  My Carnival show on YouTube