Samba, Rio de Janeiro
Every Monday, rain or shine, there is an outdoor Samba bloco. As the story goes, this neighborhood was home to many of the original port workers due to its proximity. The large influx of Africans fostered the first samba in Rio. Therefore the samba schools in this area have a little more traditional sound and a longer history.
Every Monday, a band plays in the small plaza ~8pm until late. Cost is free. The area fills up on nice weather days, particularly if there is any holiday. Lots of street vendors sell drinks and food, so no need to preoccupy yourself if you did not dine before coming.
No visit to Rio de Janeiro is complete without experiencing the glamor and rhythm of a colorful samba show. Enjoy an evening at the Plataforma Show and you'll be entertained by brilliantly costumed dancers and musicians, with the option to enjoy a delicious buffet dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse.
Rio means Carnival, symbolized by the exciting music, exotic costumes and rhythmic dance of the samba, a fusion of Portuguese, native and African influences. You'll be caught up in the excitement of this cultural journey, with a spectacular light show and a stage full of beautiful dancers
Platforma is one of many shows also offering a CHURRASCO barbecue at a CHURRASCARIA restaurant!
You can't go wrong with any organised Samba show, except here they have bad photograpers, take your own camera.
Yes, my title picture (PPP) was taken here, but I had to adjust is big time!
Rio de Janeiro is often known for its beach, samba and party life, not so much for its nostalgia.
So, that's why, for another view of Rio de Janeiro, I recommend you to drop by the area around the Cinelandia metro station.
Here, you can find the stunning Teatro Municipal, the National Library and the 1920s-or-some-era-of-that-sort grand old-style Cinema Odeon. This area was probably the centre of political and cultural prominence way back in the good old days of Rio de Janeiro when it was the capital of Brazil... and even of the Portuguese Empire. Way way back.
Catch a movie, if you can, at Cinema Odeon, or even a performance at the Teatro Municipal... or simply come here in the evening and hang out at one of the restaurants nearby.
Starting in October of each year, the 13 samba schools in Rio begin to practice every Saturday night in preparation for Carnaval in February.
Each school has one song for the year, and will practice their performance while the live band of 20-30 people plays the music. Before and after practice time, they play a myriad of other sambas - very familiar to the Brazilian attendees. The hall is tremendous, with bright lights, a main floor for their practice, small tables and chairs for people to sit and take a break from dancing and enjoy a beer or two. It may be their practice, but everyone dances!
I went to the Salgueiro school, it cost $R5 for women and $R10 for men. It was in a slightly unsavory area of town, so be sure to go by taxi. It starts at about 10pm and goes until about 2am. October is a slower month, but during the months approaching Carnaval, it gets very full.
Check out their webpage: www.salgueiro.com.br
At the quadra itself, you'll feel completely safe - no one would dream of abusing a guest of a samba school. You're certain to be made to feel welcome and in no time at all you'll find yourself dancing to the beat of the batucada. To get perhaps the best sense of what all samba schools aspire to, a visit to one of the fourteen schools that make up the Grupo Especial is an essential Rio experience, but basically everyone in Rio is sure to recommend attending a different school.
Serious preparations start around August, when a samba school's theme - perhaps an event or notable individual drawn from Brazilian history - for the next carnival is announced. From then until around November each school holds a public competition between composers, and a different samba de enredo ('theme song') is eliminated each week until the winning one is chosen. Then the ensaios ('rehearsals') start. Grupo Especial rehearsals take place Monday-Saturday evenings and on Sunday afternoons, of which the Saturday night event (from 11pm) is more of a money-making event than anything, with an admission charge and more recorded than live music. From January, Saturday at a quadra can be pretty unbearable - locals avoid them as they're packed with tourists and hot as hell. But it is an unbelievable experience, so don't miss it!
Take a samba lesson, in order to be a real Carioca for the Carnaval :-)
Or go to the beach to play football or volley-ball.
Also a nice activitie : bicycling to the beach. A different, sportive view of the beach life :-)
Welcome to Samba's Complex!
If you are interested in knowing more about samba in Rio de Janeiro, go to there!
You see with your own eyes how incredible the carnival is!
See the other pictures!
A must see when in Brazil! Be sure to check out a samba show in Brazil, there are many throughout Ipanema and Copacabana.
Have a drink at the Petisco da Vila bar and restaurant
Listen to the Sambas of Martinho da Vila, a local artist who has since gained international fame.