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2013 Rio Carnival: color, music, dance and skin

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2013 Rio Carnival: color, music, dance and skin

The 2013 Rio Carnival, the most famous festival in the world, delivered quite the show, through the flamboyant parades which included over the top floats, sparkly costumes and, oh God, those beautiful people!

Dancer at Rio de Janeiro Carnival in flamboyant green costume
Dancer from the Vila Isabel samba school at the 2013 Rio Carnival

It was that time of the year again: the time of continuous partying, loud music, dance galore and almost nude bodies. No, I’m not talking about your average students partying on Spring Break (check the calendar, it’s still winter), but about the most expected samba carnival of the year: the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, to be more exact, which started on February 9 and ended on February 12.

The Party you don’t want to miss

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the most famous dance celebration in the world. A tradition that dates back all the way to 1723, this enormous street fest gathers millions of locals and visitors all over the city, with a high concentration around the Sambadrome parade.

The Carnival is the place where some of Rio’s many samba schools compete in an all-inclusive spectacle that takes months to prepare, in order to deliver the perfect performance. An important figure is the Carnival Designer, who is in charge with choosing the theme, designing the costumes and the float, producing and directing the school’s performance.
The festival officially opens with the dance of “Momo”, the Carnival King who is given the key of the city. After he dances, everybody starts dancing along, including the flag carrying couple, the baianas, the queen of drummers and the samba dancers. They are just some of the characters present in the parade of each school. An important figure of the festival is The Queen of Carnival, chosen on criteria such as beauty, expressiveness and dancing skills.

Celebrating Samba in 2013

Flamboyant float surrounded by people, at Rio Carnival
Revelers of Portela samba school performing during the Carnival parade

This year, a total of 12 schools competed for the title of Carnival champion. The parade opened with the performance of the Inocentes de Belford Roxo, who paid an homage to Korean culture, with a theme called “the Seven confluences of the Han River”.  The other schools kept the spirit alive, with bold costumes and floats. The Unidos da Tijuca samba school, for example, featured dancers performing on top of huge glasses of beer. Others paid a tribute to music icons, such as Stevie Wonder or the legendary band Queen.

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2013 Rio Carnival: color, music, dance and skin