Sunday (Feb 13) saw the start of Rio de Janeiro's fabulous Mardi Gras programme with the highlight of the Carnival -- the parade of the Samba Schools.
GV & LV PAN..Dancers follow carnival float through crowds lining roadside
CU & SV Dancers (4 shots)
SV Women dancers wearing ballgowns and decorative hats
SV Spectators watch dancers (2 shots)
GV & SV Dancers follow carnival float (3 shots)
BV "Mammies" in ballgowns
TGV Decorated street emptying
Initials ES. 1626 ES. 1644
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Background: Sunday (Feb 13) saw the start of Rio de Janeiro's fabulous Mardi Gras programme with the highlight of the Carnival -- the parade of the Samba Schools. Throughout the night the 12 principal groups, each with about 2-thousand dancers and musicians, paraded down the Avenida President Vargas to the excited delight of over a quarter-of-a-million watching Brazilians and tourists.
Each school bases its performance upon some historical or folk theme, and their performances are judged by a special jury which awards points to determine the winning school.
SYNOPSIS: Street decorations like fabulous firework displays, colourfully-garbed musicians, exotic floats and thousands of dark-skinned beauties dancing the Semba through enraptured crowds numbered in hundreds of thousands: it adds up to one place and one event only - Rio de Janeiro and its incomparable Mardi Gras festivities. The parade on Sunday was the highlight.
Twelve Samba Schools take part; each one entering about 2-thousand performers whose dress, music and dancing portray a particular historical or folk theme. A jury watches each pulsating performance and awards points to determine the year's winner.
The spectators number some 250-thousand Brazilians, and at least 15,000 foreign tourists; many of them in Rio just for the parade. Among the many well-known visitors this year the Carnival organisers highlighted the presence of French film actress Brigitte Bardot.
The dancing begins at 9 pm on Sunday and goes on to 10 o'clock next morning, when the streets empty of all but the still blazing decorations.