Portela fans are up in arms. The league of samba schools has decreed that the three schools affected by the fire in the city of samba will be neither judged or demoted. But a large and vociferous portion of Portela participants want their samba school to be judged this year, despite the fire.
Portela has won more carnivals than any other samba school. They're also one of the oldest, and in 80 - odd years of paticipation, they have never failed to be judged. Fans point out that the destruction in the barracao should only affect the marks for the floats and costumes. The other 8 sets of marks should be unaffected.
Thousands of people have been working on their performances for months. Bateria, porta bandeira and mestre sala, and the comissao da frente have been perfecting their routines - which will be the same even with simpler costumes. The Samba enredo (song) is unaffected. The theme can still be expressed and the harmony and evolution of the school during the parade is not affected. If anything, people may be able to show more energy in the parade without the big, heavy costumes.
The alas of dancers have spent months learning the song and practicing their parade steps. Many of them want this work to be judged. The president of the league of saba schools says that some of the judges can take notes which will be published, but this is informal.