A short, impromptu episode about Carnaval that grew longer than I intended. It covers the origins of the holiday and its history in Brazil including the differences between Rio’s Carnaval and how Carnaval is celebrated further north in cities such as Salvador.
Download this episode (right click and save).
Terms used in the podcast:
- ala – wing or section, a section of a Carnaval procession
- axé – a popular fusion music style developed in the 80s that quickly made its way into Carnaval.
- Bacchus – the Roman god of wine and drinking
- bateria – the drum section
- bloco – block, as in a group not a city block
- capoeira – an Afro-Brazilian martial art famous for its kicks and acrobatics
- carnaval – Portuguese for Carnival
- carnavalesco – the person in the school with overall responsibility for that school’s Carnaval preparations
- carro alegórico – literally, allegorical car, a float.
- Dionysus – the Greek god of wine and drinking
- Entrudo – a pagan festival celebrated in Spring in Portugal and Spain that was the precursor to Carnaval in Brazil
- frevo – a fast past musical style associated with Carnaval in the north, played on wind instruments
- maracatu – a mid tempo music associated with Carnaval in the north, played on drums
- mestre-sala – the “room master”, position in a samba procession whose job it is to honor and direct attention to the porta-bandeira
- porta-bandeira – the woman who carries the flag of the samba school in its procession
- passo – the capoeira-based dance of frevo
- rainha de bateria – the queen of the drum, the dancer who leads the percussion section of a Carnaval procession
- Salvador – the capital of the state of Bahia
- samba – the most common dance style associated with Carnaval, especially in the south.
- Saturn – A Roman god with many associations, but relevant to spring festivals are renewal and time
- Santurnalia – a spring festival that honored Saturn
- trio eléctico – a soundstage on wheels
As promised in the podcast, I’ve including some photos as well as links to some videos.
Photo by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photo by Boneysp
Photo by Léo Pinheiro
An undecorated trio elétrico (photo by Tennessee7).
A trio elétrico decorated and in action (photo by Wmourac).
Passo, just a little physically demanding. Yep. (Photo by Andre bispo.)
A small Maracatu block procession.
A traditional Maracatu dance. (Photo by Pcoke.)
A typical Frevo street performance in Recife (the capital of the state of Pernambuco).
“Learn Frevo dancing for Carnaval“, in Portuguese, but it’s dance, so it’s the visuals that matter.
A clip from the 20 year anniversary DVD of the Pernambuco Maracatu Nation
Brilliant Star Maracatu Nation in Recife’s Carnaval, 2009
And, in the category of “who knew they had not just Carnaval that far north, but frevo too”, the Helsinki Samba Carnaval 2008 – Sambic Frevo dancing performace