By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Carnival season may not officially start until February 4th, but festivities are already arriving in Rio de Janeiro. This week, the city is getting ready with pre-Carnival blocos and rehearsals scheduled in various parts of the city.
Bloco Noites do Norte will kick off this week’s blocos, with a public rehearsal scheduled to take place at Pedra do Leme tonight, Wednesday January 25th, from 7PM.
Normally a popular but small bloco, the group takes its musical influences from Pará and Caribbean guitar music. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.
At samba school Acadêmicos da Rocinha’s rehearsal this Friday, January 27th, Bloco Chame Gente will also make an appearance. Starting from 10PM and expected to last until approximately 5AM, visitors will enjoy rehearsals from both the bloco and the samba school.
On Saturday, January 28th, Rio’s residents have the chance to attend four bloco events, happening across the city from late afternoon and continuing into the evening. From 3PM until 6PM, Carimbloco will be at the Parque do Flamengo’s Coreta Modernista, while between 4PM and 8PM blocos Bicho Solto and Desculpa Pra Beber will be at Cobal da Humaita in Botafogo.
Also from 4PM on Saturday, Spanta Nénem will perform again at the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, where their rehearsal will last until midnight. Potential attendees should note that tickets to see Spanta Nénem are available online.
Beginning later on Saturday night at 10PM, bar Jazz In’ will host Bloco Dinossauras Nacionais. Entrance costs R$30, but a discounted price of R$15-20 is available to women and men who show up in 80s-themed fancy dress. Jazz In’ can be found on Rua Sacadura Cabral 63, Saúde.
On Sunday, January 28th, Tambores de Olokun will take to the Aterro do Flamengo for another public rehearsal from 4PM. The group was Rio’s first public bloco rehearsal to take place this year, taking to the Aterro on Sunday, January 15th.
“The best of Carnival for me is the [weeks] before. It’s like a preparation, but with less people and more alternative blocos,” said Débora Zukeran, an architect from Rio who will miss this year’s Carnival to continue her Masters studies in Germany.
“It’s a little different to the days of Carnival. There are less people … I think it’s only those who really like Carnival,” she added. “It’s a good way to feel the excitement in the city, the shops selling costumes and glitter.”
Those wishing to attend blocos announced this week should keep an eye on the Facebook pages for outdoor events (linked above where available) for any changes due to weather.