By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Sunday, February 11th, Grande Rio samba school will be the fifth from Grupo Especial to walk on the Sambódromo. Expected to parade at 1:35 AM (already on Monday), the Duque de Caxias-born school is hoping to thrill the audience with a samba that pays tribute to Chacrinha, one of the most unique TV presenters Brazil has ever had.
Grande Rio participates in the Grupo Especial – the most prestigious samba school league – since 1992, after winning the first place at Série A (Second League) in the 1991 Carnival. In its 24 years as a member of Grupo Especial, Grande Rio was three times the second placed, in the championships of 2006, 2007 and 2010.
One of the youngest schools of Grupo Especial, Grande Rio was founded in 1988, in Duque de Caxias, municipality in Baixada Fluminense (region in the South of Rio’s State).
Originally born from Carnival bloco Lambe Corpo, from Caxias’ neighborhood of Prainha, Grande Rio has already brought to Sapucaí “samba enredos” (thematic samba compositions) that portrayed the African diaspora, Brazil’s historic characters, the Amazon, and even Rio’s oil royalties.
This Carnival, Grande Rio will present the samba enredo “Vai Para o Trono ou Não Vai?”. Composed by Edispuma, Licinho JR., JL Escafura, Marcelinho Santos, Gylnei Bueno and Hélio Oliveira, the samba will pay tribute to Chacrinha, the great icon of Brazil’s television.
Famous for his extravagant outfits, peculiar slangs and unique sense of humor, Pernambuco-born Chacrinha (the artistic name of José Abelardo Barbosa), also known as “Velho Guerreiro” (Old Warrior), is a true reference when it comes to the Brazilian audiovisual scene from the 1960s and 1970s.
The former medicine student’s debut in the radio happened already in the early 1940s, when he became the broadcaster of a radio from Niterói, in a program about Carnival “marchinhas” (traditional Carnival songs).
One of the greatest entertainers Brazil has ever known, Chacrinha’s fame takes off for good when he starts to run a program at TV Tupi (Brazil’s first great TV station). In 1967, the entertainer consolidates his career in the Brazilian television, presenting two programs at Rede Globo.
Among the highlights of Grande Rio’s parade for Carnival 2018 are its costumes, which will allude to the most memorable moments of Chacrinha’s TV programs. What’s more, some of the “alas” (groups) walking on the Sambódromo will pay homage to artists that were “discovered” by Chacrinha. The one called “Eu Nasci Há Dez Mil Anos Atrás” will be dedicated to the namesake song by renowned singer and composer Raul Seixas.
Those interested in participating in Carnival 2018 still have the opportunity to walk on the Sambódromo with Grande Rio samba school. In order to purchase a costume, one must contact the school through the email address email@example.com, or through the numbers: (21) 96426-5176, (21) 96426-5178 or (21) 2673-1761.
Be sure to stay with The Rio Times to learn more about the other competing schools, winners and additional events during this year’s Carnival.