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This weeks Photo of the Week:

"Rio prepares itself for Carnaval"

As promised, this week a little inside view of the preparations taking place
in anticipation to the famous Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

foto van de week 80

[40mm f/4.0 1/200s ISO 800]
1. Blocos
No less than 450 'blocks' are being organized in the four weeks before Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. A 'block' (bloco) is a small parade within a neighbourhood from musicians and artists associated to a certain samba-school. The parade Rio became famous for descends from these more or less spontaneous street parties that emerged in the late 20s of the twentieth century.

Above a photograph of one of those blocks in the port area of the city. Up front and in the foreground the base of the African-Brazilian samba: percusions. In the background a truck with loudspeakers from which the rest of the sounds (and vocals) are emitted. Behind that, all the rest of the participants and public.
foto van de week 80

[50mm f/2.8 1/50s ISO 400]
2. Cidade do Samba - The Samba City
And in the meanwhile the mayor samba schools are still working hard to get the parade wagons and clothing ready for the parade in which 13 schools are competing for the most beautiful and best performance. Up until 2002 these preparations were made on several locations throughout the city. Since 2002 there is a central location that houses the schools together. In that year the 'Samba City' was finished. A big terrain that on the sides houses the various schools with and in the middle a big square for events and concerts.

Although spoiling the surprise would be of bad taste, still, I couldn't help but show you a little part of one of the parade wagons that will be participating.
foto van de week 80

[35mm f/2.8 1/80s ISO 400]

3. Sambódromo ~ Sambadome
And finally in this short overview: the place where the big event (and competition) will take place, the sambódromo. The sambódromo (designed by the well-known Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer) was first opened in 1984. The idea was to give the yearly carnaval parade an enduring home. It is being expanded and renovated and Oscar Niemeyer (with his 104 years) will witness its inauguration still before the beginning of Carnaval this year.

This photo was taken during one of the technical rehearsals of one of the samba schools, so without the abundant clothing and parade wagons, but with music and the good humor of the participant.

Until the next Photo of the Week!

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Texts and photography –unless stated otherwise–
all rights reserved © 2010-2012 Maarten Zeehandelaar

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