One of the most contagious popular festivities in the world, Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival is almost entirely crafted in the less privileged communities of the city. Work is still in the hands of the inhabitants of neighborhoods such as Mangueira, Tijuca, Ramos, Madureira, Nilópolis…, but manpower, which is used to be amateur, is very specialized and professionalized these days.
To get to know this great factory of dreams and joy, we offer the Carnival Experience Tour for small groups. Activities are partnered with “Pimpolhos da Grande Rio”, an organization that aims integrating young kids through arts and music. This group derives from one of the main samba schools of Rio de Janeiro, known as “Acadêmicos do Grande Rio”, located in “Duque de Caxias”, a city within Rio’s metropolitan area.
Tours include visits to the shed of this particular samba school in the Cidade do Samba, from where it is possible to see the crafting of floats and costumes, and learn a little more about the history of samba music and Carnival parade.
The experience can also include a walk through the “Sambódromo” (a special site where samba schools parade); a visit to some of the cradles of samba, places known as “Pedra do Sal”, “Morro da Conceição” and “Cais do Valongo”; and a stop by “Duque de Caxias” to participate in a lively samba school rehearsal at the “Acadêmicos do Grande Rio’s” courtyard.
And for those who feel like getting into the samba mood to experience some of the carnivalesque production routine – and who knows, even parade at the “Marquês de Sapucaí” – there are percussion workshops, customization of costumes and afro dance, all taught at the samba school’s shed or courtyard. The workshops are coordinated by professionals, and some of these skilled people are teenagers from the community.
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