The samba school Inocentes de Belford Roxo is putting all of their drummers into a Gay Robocop costume for their parade in the sambodromo on the Satruday of Rio carnival 2011.
The bateria is the most masculine of alas, and it has taken some persuading to get some of the 250 members to agree to wear this. There's a great article about this in the newspaper O Globo. Here's a summary in English.
The carnavelesco, Cristiano Bara, tells us that at first there was considerable resistance. Drummers complaints included 'How can I possibly return up the hill in the favela after the parade dressed as a Gay Robocop?' The hardest group of drummers to talk around was the cuica players, who parade right at the front of the bateria, and tend to be a bit older on average than the other drummers.
The carnavalesco has prepared some special choreography for the bateria members which seems to have helped. We won't know what this is until the the day; its being kept secret. It will involve the queen of the bateria, Isabella Picanco
Christiano explains that he hadn't originally intended for the Gay Robocop costume to be for the bateria. But in the expression of the theme through the parade, this was the ala that needed to wear it. The theme is about the famous Brazilian band Mamonas Assassinas, and the costume refers to one of their best known tracks.
But given time to get used to the idea, and some diplomacy, the members of the bateria have come around. Recently the mestre de bateria, Washington Paz (who will be dressed all in pink) has had drummers from other samba schools approaching him asking if there's any space in the bateria. If I get any pictures or video I'll post them here.
Innocentes will be the sixth samba school to parade in Rio's Grupo de Acesso on Saturday 5th March 2011.
Update: I saw this bateria on TV. Frankly I would never have guessed they were supposed to be gay robocops. They looked vaguely like spacemen. But the bateria directors did look good, in bright pink.
The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, paraded in the baterias of three samba schools in Rio Carnival 2011. He played to the three schools affected by the big fire in the City of Samba, Grande Rio, Uniao da Ilha and Portela. These schools have been made exempt from the competition this year. He explained that this way he couldn't prejudice anyone's marks, I saw him on Agogo in Portela and chocalho in Grande Rio and Ilha. He is not new to samba school parades; as a fan of Portela he has paraded in the sambadrome already, but I don't know if it was in the bateria.
Sympatia e quasi Amor, one of Rio's moost famous blocos, is being transmitted live online by globo, right now..
Follow this link http://g1.globo.com/videos/carnaval/v/transmissao-ao-vivo-g1/606348/
Carnival isnt here yet, but in Rio 75 street parades are scheduled ths weeked alone. On Friday the biggest will probably be Cordao da Bola Preta, Saturday sees Simpatia é Quase Amor, on of Rio's other really popular blocos, parading in the afternoon in Ipanema. On sunday here's anothe huge bloco, Suvaco da Christo, starting at 9am in a geerallu unsucessful attempt to discourage enormous crowds. For full details of these and many more blocos this weekend, visit our Rio carnival bloco schedule page.
Update - the press reckon the quarter of a million people participated in street blocos in Rio over the weekend - and carnival is still a week away!
I've posted up the start of the annual list of Rio carnival blocos, part 1. There are so many blocos this year that I'm having to do this in several sessions. Sorry it's so late; he list was published late (mid Jan) and I was away for the first two weeks of February. Even just concentrating on the blocos in the south of the city, the list is longer than ever. You can access it here:
I've posted up a schedule of the Rio samba schools technical rehearsals in the sambodromo in 2011.
Carnaval is really late this year, at the start of March, so the rehearsals start late too, in January. They are taking place every saturday and sunday night. Entrance to the sambadromo is free, and the rehearsals are always very popular so get there early to get a good seat. Usually theree is one samba school from Grupo A and two from Grupo Especial per night, followed by a show in front of sector 3. The samba schools parade without their carnival costumes or spectacular floats, but they usually have some treats for the crowd, and its actually easier to see the dancing and choreography without the visual overload of carnival itself.
The list of rehearsals is here: http://www.tdsounds.co.uk/rio-carnival/rio-carnival-2011/rio-samba-school-technical-rehearsals-2011.
Yesterday the order in which the top samba schols of the special group will be parading in Rio carnival 2011 wa announced by LIESA (the league of samba schools of Rio de Janeiro).
The school that was promoted up from Grupo do Acesso A always parades first on Sunday night, the worst spot. This year this dubious honour falls to Sao Clemente. Uniao da Ilha was already prearranged to be the first to parade on Monday. The other samba school positions were chosen by lottery, at an event held in the Cidade do Samba.
Sunday, March 6th 2011
1 - São Clemente
2 - Imperatriz
3 - Mocidade
4 - Tijuca
5 - Vila Isabel
6 - Mangueira
Monday, March 7th 2011
1 - União da Ilha
2 - Salgueiro
3 - Portela
4 - Grande Rio
5 - Porto da Pedra
6 - Beija-Flor
Riotur (the Rio de Janeiro state tourist office) has announced the prices of tourist tickets for Rio carnival 2011. These are the tickets for sector 9, which is reserved for tourists. However, you need to bear in mind that the prices below are face value prices, and to get them you would have to be in Brazil on the precise day that the tickets are released. In practice this is very unlikely to happen. These tickets are bought by tourist agency and tour organisers, who have to make a living. Expect to pay well above these prices if buying from an agency, whether online or in person in Rio.
Saturday - Grupo de Acesso - Arquibancadas (stands or bleachers) R$30. Frisas (private boxes) will R$800 per seat.
Sunday and Monday - Grupo Especial (the top group) tickets will cost between R$550 for the arquibancadas and R$5,800 for the frisas.
On the following Saturday, in the parade of Champions, tickets will cost R$350 for the arquibancadas and R$3,400 for the frisas.