Saturday, 4 February 2012

What is a "samba de enredo" about? Carnival time!

Carnival is approaching rapidly and the cities where the event is celebrated are rushing to get everything ready on time!

Carnival in Rio and other cities is a serious business and preparation begins right after the Carnival season finishes, after all, organizing a 4,000+ parade formed by amateur dancers and choreographers, and the making up of a theme song, costumes, floating cars, drummers is not something that can be put on hold until the last minute.  
On this Carnival season, I am going to publish some articles on the theme, portraying not only the famous Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, but also the many forms of Carnival celebrations that happen in Brazil and in other parts of the world.  

To start with, how about some new "Carnival-related" words for our vocabulary? We start with the word SAMBA DE ENREDO and in the next articles you will meet other important vocabulary for the Carnival season.  

Let's keep in mind that vocabulary learning is not only learning a bunch of words and their usage, but mainly, to learn what the word mean in cultural/historical/social aspects.  This is how we can increase rapidly the number of vocabulary we are able to study and not to forget, a common complaint students make.  

Here we go:

Samba-enredo or samba de enredo
 – the Samba Theme, they help to understand the theme, so they have to be clear, poetic and show good taste.

But what is all the fuss about it?  And why is it so important for a carnival parade?

Each school parading in Rio or São Paulo competitions must present a "samba de enredo" and one of the things the judges take into account when marking the scores for each presentation is the participants engagement with the song.  Everyone must sing the theme.  When the samba de enredo is ready, by the middle of the year, the schools launch the tune in CDs so that people can buy it and rehearse the song.  It must be catchy, with repetitive chorus, easily memorable and 

The samba de enredo is chosen at the beginning of each year by the carnavalesco (professional who is responsible for the production of the parade of the samba school he works for) and the president of the samba school.
They create
 a blurb that explains the topic of the parade and  the samba de enredo must be made based on it​​.   They also plan the order of the floating cars during the parade and the different sections, according to the number of people.   The dispute to choose the song for the samba de enredo usually happens at the school grounds and a evaluation panel is assembled to evaluate each song presented by the samba writers. The panel is composed by "old school" carnival experts, older "carnavalescos" and important people from the community where the school is inserted.  

The parades of samba schools in Rio Carnival has immortalized songs that all Brazilians know to sing.  Neguinho da Beija-Flor, a renowned samba composer, says:  a good samba de enredo is responsible for 70of the successful performance of a school."

The school
 receives a large number of different compositions of samba songs. They are selected and performed several times on "decision day", at the school for the jury and the community to define which one stirs the audience. The one to win is the one that most excites the crowd!

Based on articles from the following websites:

1 comment:

  1. Quer ouvir Marchinhas de carnaval e os Sambas Enredo das Escolas de Samba do Rio de Janeiro, acesse: