Last night we went to the Vai Vai Samba School rehearsal for Carnaval. It was great fun to see. But once again, what I had in my head didn’t exactly match up with reality.
I guess I though it was going to be more like what Rede Globo has been promoting on television:
But it wasn’t.
First, the event took place outside on the street. That makes sense since it is difficult to have a parade inside. It was as chaotic as anything I’d seen in Brazil. Thank goodness I had a guide – my husband.
The only costumes I saw were the ones inside the school on display.
My husband explained that the costumes are made for exactly one wear – the night of Carnaval. So it wasn’t a dress rehearsal. Ok, no problem.
I think what (pleasantly) surprised me the most is how much of a community event this is. I really had gotten the impression the whole display would be a bunch of women dancing and jumping around (thanks to Rede Global and the animated film “Rio”). There were, in fact, quite a lot of senior citizens involved.
First, the Baianas.
This is the once hot crowd of women who had danced the Samba in skimpy costumes (or probably less in their day) in the 60’s and 70’s and who have now earned the respected title of Baiana.
In the beginning, they acted in a crowd control capacity, all the while dancing and swaying to the drums.
The senior men folk marched.
Followed by the kids, followed by seemingly random people with sticks.
Then came the flag dancers.
Then came the mulatas.
I’m not just making a racial observation here. That is what this portion of the parade participants is called. The Mulatas. I’m guessing they will be the ones wearing the costumes during Carnaval (or lack there of.)
Ok, I’m not the best videographer. I was also trying to hold a cocktail and film at the same time. But did you notice there doesn’t seem to be any real choreography to this?
And they marched and danced and marched and danced and marched and danced to the same song over and over and over again. Again, it was rather chaotic, especially considering they will be performing in about a week. But the energy was amazing. Can’t wait to see them perform for Carnaval… on television.