01 - Império Da Tijuca 02 - Viradouro 03 - Imperio. Serrano 04 - Estácio 05 - Rocinha 06 - Caprichosos 07 - Padre Miguel 08 - Renascer 09 - Porto Da Pedra 10 - Santa Cruz 11 - Cubango 12 - Curicica 13 - Tuiuti 15 - U. Jacarepaguá 14 - Alegria Zona Suls 16 - Tradição 17 - Sereno 18 - Jacarezinho 19 - Vila Santa Tereza
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.
Rio carnival judges are hard to source. The league of samba schools has to select people with the expertise to judge the various categories of the Rio Carnival parade, but who have absolutely no connection with any of the samba schools. Even a friendship with a samba school member is enough to disqualify a candidate. The judges then have to go on a course run by the league, to learn about the carnival. You get theatre and dress designers, sculptors, writers, classical musicians.
During the carnival parades themselves, the judges aren't allowed to talk to anyone. There's excellent and copious food and drink in the judges' boxes - and air conditioning - but it's still a marathon. The parades go on for 7 or 8 hours. The judges are encouraged to take notes, and these notes and the marks are taken and sealed immediately after each parade. The marks are unsealed and read out, one mark at a time, during the results ceremony on the wednesday after carnival. Nobody knows which school will win until the last marks are read out. The notes are published on the league of samba schools' website several weeks after carnival (when fans' tempers have had time to cool).
It's a marathon, but some judges have to work much harder than others. The judges of the samba enredo (song) and the enredo (theme) can do much of their judging before the carnival even starts. The judges of bateria, commisao da frente, and mestre sala / porta bandeira, are only allowed to judge what happens when these sections are directly in front of their judges' box. But pity the poor harmonia, evolucao and conjunto judges. They have to keep judging during the entire parade. And if they miss anything, you can be sure there will be hordes of disgruntled fans complaining on the internet within minutes of their marks being announced.
Just been looking at a wonderful new documentary about Rio carnival. Made by National Geographic, and focussing on the preparations for carnival. A really thorough look at what goes in to making the Rio carnival the greatest show on earth. You can watch it online at the link below, but I'm hoping to buy a copy.