Greetings from Brazil

I have been wondering what my first post should be about: the art work I make and other forms of art I am interested in, or my personal life. Hard to decide… but, as a good Brazilian, I decided to talk about Carnaval, and my experience parading with a Brazilian Samba School.

Mainly, Brazilians celebrate Carnaval in one of 2 ways: you either go out on the streets and dance after an adapted truck turned into a mobile stage where musicians play, or you parade in a Samba School, which is a group between 3,500 and 5,000 people dressed up in costumes that represent a theme. This is the way I picked!

The Samba Schools participate in a championship with awards for the best Schools of the year, with each School choosing its own theme. In Brazil, we root for Samba Schools like Americans root for their NFL team of choice, or Europeans root for soccer teams (well, we root for soccer teams too). The top league has around 15 Samba Schools competing for the top award and, if you do the math, you see that… yes, around 50,000 people are involved, only in this one league, in this one city. Huge, hum?

My School was “Rosas de Ouro” (Golden Roses), a very traditional Samba School in Sao Paulo. It hasn’t won the championship since 1994 and, well, this wasn’t their year, either. Not my fault!

It is an exhilarating experience, singing the theme song with 3,500 more people, at the sound of a 200 people drums band, and seeing the crowd get up from their seats and dance with you. I will never forget.

I will never forget how my feet (darn, my whole body!) felt at the end of the parade, either. You have to put this huge costume on 1hour or so before the parade starts. You have no place to sit, and the costume wouldn’t allow you to sit anyway. If I had to parade 1 more meter, I would die right there!

Well, all in all, “Rosas de Ouro”, you wait for me in 2010. I just feel that will be our year!

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