As Rio de Janeiro prepared for the annual Mardi Gras, the streets and beaches had taken on the appearance of a carnival a week before the festivities were due to begin.
GV & CU Decorated streets of Rio with peacock as carnival theme symbol (4 shots)
CU & LV Musicians on rostrum playing Samba along Ipenema Beach (2 shots)
LV Dancers on beach in front of rostrum
CU Ice-cream vendor dancing
CU & SV Musicians play to dancers (3 shots)
SV & CU PAN Girls around "Carnival King" in vehicle (2 shots)
SV & CU Dancers (4 shots)
LV Girils dancing with streamers
SV & CU Band plays as confetti is thrown over dancers (5 shots)
CU Young child learning to Samba
Initials ESP/0111 ESP/0147
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Background: As Rio de Janeiro prepared for the annual Mardi Gras, the streets and beaches had taken on the appearance of a carnival a week before the festivities were due to begin. The festival traditionally lasts three days ending on Tuesday, 6 March, but in reality, the celebrations start much earlier.
Part of the build-up to the official Mardi Grass is the practice of the "Samba Schools". Each "school" competes with musicians and dancers who parade through the streets portraying a particular historical or folk theme. The musicians compose new music annually and practice for weeks before the parade. Each of the twelve main Samba schools has about two thousand dancers and musicians in the Mardi Gras parade.
SYNOPSIS: The streets of Rio de Janeiro had taken on the appearance of a carnival a week before the annual Mardi Gras was due to begin. A predominant decoration was the peacock, the theme for this year's carnival. The celebrations officially last three days ending on Tuesday March 6, but in reality, festivities in and around Rio build-up-for weeks.
Here at Ipenema Beach, the neighbourhood carnival band roused its own celebration among sunbathers.
A somewhat early carnival king was given a reception worthy of the main parade through the city centre. The parade to be held on Sunday is the highlight of Rio de Janeiro's celebration of Mardi Gras.
Many of the buildup celebrations centre around practice for the parade. Thousands of musicians and dancers practice the Sambas which are specially composed each year for competitions. The twelve main Samba groups in the city - known as schools - each enter about two thousand musicians and dancers in the main parade. A panel of judges assesses each school's performance and awards points. The schools base their music and dance on a particular historical or folk theme. The Mardi Gras festival precedes the Roman Catholic religion's season of Lent and is celebrated in many parts of the world. But the most famous is Rio de Janeiro's celebration where hundreds of thousands actively participate.
In Rio, practically everyone enjoys Mardi Gras.