Samba and RIO…

The World’s Biggest Party

The World’s Biggest Party

Imagine an entire city block devoted to a competition of the top samba clubs in Rio de Janeiro. Constructed in 1984, massive concrete stands span both sides of Marquês de Sapucaí Street and are filled with over ninety thousand spectators each night for the one-week long event during the world’s biggest party, Carnival. Three nights before Ash Wednesday, six elite clubs compete with 90-minutes performances, and six more elite clubs perform the following night. The winner is announced, and the top five clubs perform in a final extravaganza before all devout Catholics begin to repent on Ash Wednesday for their sins.

Each samba club has thousands of dancers, hundreds more percussionists and a bevy of musicians who perform an elaborate, thematic show-parade. Every performer has a custom-designed sequined costume, original music and towering floats as high as 450 feet. Each Rio samba school has its own crest and color-scheme, and an army of devoted supporters. These clubs are flourishing businesses headquartered in its home community, as well as several samba rehearsal halls, although clubs build their floats in Samba City, an immense warehouse district near the Sambadrome competition.

As immense as Sambadrome may be, there are hundreds of additional samba block parties in the favelas and residential streets of Rio, because the people of Rio love to samba. To them sultry samba is the rhythm of life and romance too. It’s not surprising that many people fall in love at the Carnival. Daniel Burke, a Boston writer in my fictional thriller “Rio – Reluctant Ascension into Infamy” fell deeply for Gabriela Serrano, an aspiring student. Certainly samba was part of the equation.  But as everyone finds out, sometimes even good people do bad things for the greater good.

My fictional thriller tells the tale of a street kid who would do anything to protect his little sisters amidst the 2008 onset of Olympic development turmoil. “My book will be released soon. In the meantime, I encourage you to subscribe to my weekly newsletter about some compelling human-interest stories from Rio or possibly even your own home city.  Stay tuned. Before you know it, the world will be watching!

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