Thursday, 18 February 2010

Sambodromo, Carnaval and blocos.


These Brazilians are crazy, as Asterix would say. Despite being present in some of the final preparations and rehearsal before the final three days I did not expect what came on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Saturday we were at the Sambodromo for the first night of the parade. I'd seen it on the telly before but this was something else. First of all the loudness and the power of Samba blows your socks off! I literally could not stay still, seriously. I was photographing outside of it earlier on for hours but when I went in I was on a different planet. Despite being the first night with not the best schools that compete for the top award, it was so passionate and exciting I'm wondering how it could be topped! Four hours of non stop dance they were and they felt like minutes.
 Sunday and Monday we were back at the Sambodromo on two occasions, one of which was at 5 in the morning, right as Beija Flor was finishing. That being the Samba school we visited at their final rehearsal I was obviously a bit partisan. At that time in the morning, still dark but the sunrise only minutes away, dancers in all imaginable colours, exhausted and overwhelmed, were fleeing the Sambodromo in waves. More than 4000 per School that is. There was so much going on, with so many people dropping costumes everywhere, floats and statues, accessories, headgear and some pretty funny horse and ant-shaped costumes lying around and the ever present street vendors on their last push of the day that I thought I was in a real battlefield, albeit in Middle Earth or something. And before I could gather myself together and take it all in, it was dawn and most people were gone, like ghosts that disappear in daytime and all was left was their armory. On the way back after 7, the previous night's blocos were just about finishing in Lapa and some new ones were just being set up in Ipanema. Bodies everywhere. There were more battles to be won I thought.
They are crazy these Brazilians.