By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The first night of Carnival performances at the Marques de Sapucaí Sambódromo was tainted by mistakes and delays from the performing Access Group samba schools. The biggest hiccup was some of the performers from Vila de Santa Tereza danced down the venue without their costumes because they did not arrive in time for the big night.

Escola Unidos da Vila Santa Tereza, Carnival 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Escola Unidos da Vila Santa Tereza performed well despite part of the parade without costume, photo by Tata Barreto/Riotur.

Performers of Unidos do Jacarezinho struggled to get to the venue on time because of traffic, and many arrived just in time to perform. They also had sound issues that left their parade lacking.

Unidos do Viradouro also had sound problems and Estácio de Sá had to run to finish their parade because a float was stuck in the middle of the Sambódromo – unfortunately, their performance was over the allocated time, which they will be penalized for by the judges.

Despite all the hiccups, Unidos do Viradouro managed to get their message across. They were paying homage to sixty years of Salgueiro (another samba school in the Special Group), and their Samba-Enredo (Theme Song) was about the luxury of Brazilian music: “Not better, or worse, it’s never out of my mind. Inspiration for my samba, I am different too.”

The sound issues meant the whole school had to sing without any help from a recording for three straight minutes, which inspired the public and the president of the Liga das Escolas de Samba do Rio de Janeiro (League of Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro) Déo Pessoa, who declared Unidos do Viradouro will not be penalized for the mistake.

“The judges are told to evaluate the schools with care, in case there are problems like this. I am sure the technical issue will not damage the school, actually it did the opposite, they excited the public,” he said to TV Globo.

In an original and good humored parade, Rocinha’s samba enredo was all about Brazilian music, with a theme entitled “A mix of flavors and races: a Brazilian feijoada”. The song mentioned x-bacon, sundae, fast food and podrão, that were also depicted by floats and costumes throughout the performance.

The commissáo de frente was based on the idea that street barbecues are made of cat meat (churrasquinho de gato), as people dressed as cats were chased by a barbecue grill down the avenue.

Before performing, the Carnavalesco (Carnival Director) Luiz Carlo Bruno told TV Globo: “This will be the Rocinha parade, very fun. We will play and the environment will be very light, but also with the seriousness of depicting our theme.”

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


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