These are clubs which each year presents a different story, in the form of a parade. Competition between them is today the city’s main Carnival attraction. The parade’s success depends on the degree of synchronization achieved between the storyline, the samba, the members and the floats.

A large School might have around 2,500 members, spread over 15 to 20 wings (groups of people wearing the same costume) and 6 or 7 floats.
The Samba Schools present their chosen theme storyline in the form of a parade, staging it visually through costumes and floats, and musically, through the theme samba. The show’s success depends on harmonization achieved between the theme, samba, members and floats. This is always unpredictable, for whether these four components integrate or not, depends on what happens during the ceremony itself.
These are clubs which each year presents a different story, in the form of a parade. Competition between them is today the city’s main Carnival attraction. The parade’s success depends on the degree of synchronization achieved between the storyline, the samba, the members and the floats.

A large School might have around 2,500 members, spread over 15 to 20 wings (groups of people wearing the same costume) and 6 or 7 floats.
The Samba Schools present their chosen theme storyline in the form of a parade, staging it visually through costumes and floats, and musically, through the theme samba. The show’s success depends on harmonization achieved between the theme, samba, members and floats. This is always unpredictable, for whether these four components integrate or not, depends on what happens during the ceremony itself.

© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Samba school

Samba School in the parade at the carnival

Beto Nascente

© Beto Nascente


Somba Brazil

Brasil mostra tua cara

Brazil, show your face

Museu de Porto Alegre Joaquim José Felizardo

© 1998, Museu de Porto Alegre Joaquim José Felizardo


For a Samba School to move its parade down the avenue an effective organizational structure must be in place to ensure the different components such as song, dance, rhythm, costumes and floats flow together smoothly. By establishing themselves as Cultural and Recreational Associations (Sociedades Recreativas e Culturais), the schools create a hierarchical structure made up of elected and appointed directors to head up the sections responsible for directing the standouts and the wings.

The standouts are those members who stand out from the others because they present their own special choreography involving dance and costumes. They are responsible for competition scoring, and are greatly respected and highly applauded by the public. The Wing is the group of people who parade in the same style of costume.
For a Samba School to move its parade down the avenue an effective organizational structure must be in place to ensure the different components such as song, dance, rhythm, costumes and floats flow together smoothly. By establishing themselves as Cultural and Recreational Associations (Sociedades Recreativas e Culturais), the schools create a hierarchical structure made up of elected and appointed directors to head up the sections responsible for directing the standouts and the wings.

The standouts are those members who stand out from the others because they present their own special choreography involving dance and costumes. They are responsible for competition scoring, and are greatly respected and highly applauded by the public. The Wing is the group of people who parade in the same style of costume.

© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Standouts

Standouts in a samba school are greatly admired.

Beto Nascente

© Beto Nascente, Brazil


The School’s headquarters and meeting place is called the samba house (quadra). Designed to shelter a large number of people, some quadras can hold up to 5,000 people during their rehearsals for the parade. The quadra is the place where the people involved in the Samba Schools get together; it is often referred to as "our home."
The School’s headquarters and meeting place is called the samba house (quadra). Designed to shelter a large number of people, some quadras can hold up to 5,000 people during their rehearsals for the parade. The quadra is the place where the people involved in the Samba Schools get together; it is often referred to as "our home."

© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

A quadra

A quadra

Beto Nascente

© Beto Nascente, Brazil


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Relate some traditions associated with the Brazilian Carnival, Porto Alegre
  • Explore the role of music and dance in Brazilian culture
  • Examine ways in which the arts are influenced by local, and global culture

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