Monday, February 22, 2010

Carnaval 2010

We survived our 3rd year of Carnaval here in Brazil.

It was a long, blistering week. We attended the parade last Monday night. In contrast to other years, we only stayed for half of the parade this year. Instead of crawling into bed at 7:30 am, we were tucked in at a much more respectable hour this year: 3 am. We were totally refreshed the next day, comparatively speaking.

Another difference was that this year, we didn't have front row seats; we had 2nd row seats. Having front row seats that last two years kind-of made me a Carnaval snob. Since I don't drink* (ever) and I only attempt to fake samba occasionally, taking pictures is what I really enjoy doing at the parade and it was much harder from the second row. After a few frustrating minutes of getting other people's heads in my shots, I handed over the camera to Gaupo who's a good 10 inches taller than me. (Here are the Carnaval posts from 2009, and 2008. Just in case you're interested.)

*That reminds me of a random story from the evening. We shared our box with a customer of Guapo's company. As she was opening her second beer for the evening, she offered me one and I declined; she looked at me oddly and asked if I ever drank and I said, "no" and she said, "Never?" and I said, "Never." Then she said, "Me neither," and continued to drink her beer. ???

These were the people who were sitting in my seat (the nerve!):


I love seeing the happy, festive participants all decked out in their amazing carnaval costumes. Here are some of my favorite shots of the night (that Gaupo took while I was feeling serious pressure to bust a move since I wasn't hiding behind the camera):

"Have faith, buy your spot in paradise":

Awesome street sweeper/samba dancer:

Everyone got really excited about this famous woman, we have no clue who she is. Fabiola?

Big cat:

My least favorite float of the night:

See that silver "arm" on the right side of the photo? It belonged to a robot that looked like it was about to check her cervix.


The dancers were "pregnant" with plastic fetuses:


This girl's platform wasn't secure, so she chose to just sit down for her own safety. This was, of course, totally unacceptable. (does she not know that you must be samba-ing and singing the entire 80 minutes?)

As the float was approached the final judges' station, this guy went out on the float and basically forced her to stand up and dance.

He then proceeded to supported her fanny with his face to keep her up.

Oh, the sacrifices people make for Carnaval.

This lady's name is Maria das Dores Rodrigues, she was the flag bearer of the first championship of her samba school, Portela, in 1935. 1935. Can you believe that? 75 years ago?

Pretty cool.

If you ever have the chance to go to the parade, I highly recommend it. Of course, if you're going to come all this way, I'd suggest the front row if you can manage it. :)


Janice said...

I'll be honest, I never thought I would see a float like that. Never even imagined a float like that.

Stephanie said...

i second the ew on that baby float!!

how do we get tickets to the parades? it's my goal to make it to carnaval one year!

Lucy said...

That pregnancy float is just wrong.

There is this really fast samba on an exercise video I have, but I can't do it. It looks like really good exercise! Is that how they all stay so thin?

I've probably asked you this before, but have you seen the 1959 Black Orpheus?

nikko said...

I'd like to have been a fly on the wall while they were planning that pregnancy float. What in the world were they thinking? Plastic babies? Giant plastic pregnant woman? Clear plastic "lab coats"?


Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

um- could really live without the the preggo float- what was the message they were trying to portray?

That aside- I would love to experience that ONCE- maybe- since I am not a crowd person, but kuddos to Guapo for some great pictures!

Good grief- my word verification is platic- at first glance it looks like plastic- as in back to the float topic

Kari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kari said...

Wow--the bright and elaborate costumes have amazed me, all 3 years you've posted! Fantastic.

Can't quite figure out the pregnant float...seems like they could choose some other costumes to "celebrate life?"

Anyway. The greatest accomplishment is to keep your family awake until 3 a.m.! What a night!

Fabiola said...

You are becoming a little snob when it comes to Carnaval, aren't you?? I am kidding. I haven't seen one of those parades personally. It is TOOOO expensive for Brazilian standards.

I am SO sorry to tell you that I have no clue who that lady was. She must be some kind of Brazilian Celebrity, but I don't know her.

I will be in Rio next week. I do hope the crazy weather gets better.

Maine Mom said...

I always enjoy the Carnaval pictures you post. The parade looks like such a fun event! Sorry you didn't get front row seats this year. :-)

That cat is huge!

The pregnant float is freaky. What were they thinking???

Jules said...

I can't believe you have lived in Rio for so long.
Creepy pregnant float. Yikes!