Members and leaders of Rio de Janeiro's winning samba schools have taken stock of 2018's Carnival performances and shared their expectations for 2019 minutes before the Desfile das Campeãs ("Champion's Parade," in a literal translation).
The Desfile das Campeãs is held on the Saturday following Carnival holidays, where the six highest-ranking samba schools in Rio's Carnival return to the Sambódromo and repeat the performances graded by the judges.
Former samba dancer Maria da Penha Ferreira Ayoub, or Pinah—who danced with Prince Charles during his visit to Brazil in 1978 and became famous for her performances at the samba school between the 70s and the 90s—expressed her gratitude for having taking part in all of the Desfiles das Campeãs.
“Thank God they're 14 stars [titles] altogether, and I was part of all of Beija-Flor's 14 stars. I take more and more pride each time my school wins a new title, each time my community is happy. I am really happy for this day,” she said, festively.
Paraíso do Tuiuiti
Paraíso do Tuiuti, who came second by a mere 0.1 point in the final score, put on a show criticizing the reform in the country's labor laws, with one of the performers dressed as a vampire wearing a presidential sash. On the Desfile das Campeãs, however, the garment was not to be seen, which sparked controversy on social media.
Carnival artist Jack Vasconcelos talked about the debate concerning the samba school's political criticism. “We needed people to understand what we were saying. This is what Carnival bears in its essence—this criticism, this humor, this irreverent approach even when it comes to serious issues,” he said.
The Acadêmicos do Salgueiro samba school returned to the Sambódromo as third place, with their Senhoras do Ventre do Mundo (English: “Ladies in the world's belly”) parade, a tribute to black women.
Portela President Luis Carlos Magalhães was sorry to note that his school ranked fourth, especially for having scored a mere 0.2 less than number-one Beijar-flor.
In his view, however, it is their place among the winning schools on the Desfile das Campeãs that counts. “We've brought home five trophies over the last years. That's what matters—to show that Portela has become a major competitor, and could win at any moment,” he said.
In the opinion of famous Brazilian singer Alcione, who performed on one of the floats of her beloved samba school, Mangueira brought joy to samba school members and the public alike.
“The theme song is wonderful. Mangueira has brought true Carnival back. That's what's happening,” she said. Com dinheiro ou sem dinheiro eu brinco (English: “I'll revel with or without money”) was the title of the school's song, which references the cut in funding earmarked for Rio's Carnival this year.
For those who were not among the top three, the final parade comes as an opportunity for self-evaluation. The president of Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, Wandyr Trindade, also known as Macumba, accepted their sixth place.
“I like how all of them [the six winning samba schools] performed. They were excellent. We'll try and fix our mistakes next year,” he said.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Rio's winning samba schools celebrate and make plans for 2019