Carnival Dress Rehearsals – Ensaio Tecnicos Rio de Janeiro

Carnival is right around the corner! Rio Carnival 2015 starts on Friday, February 13th and ends on February 17th.
The top 5 schools parade again in the Parade of Champions on Saturday, February 21st.

If you’re going to be in Rio de Janeiro, before Carnival you can catch the Free dress rehearsals, called “Ensaio Tecnicos“.

Saturday and Sunday nights all the schools from the small ones to the large schools, get a day to practice on the avenida at the Sambodromo. Although there are no floats or flashy costumes, you will still get to hear the baterias (drum corps), the rainhas (Queens) samba dancers and all the sections of the samba schools. If you can’t make it for Carnival, this is the next best thing, and it’s free and with plenty of room. Seating is open in the General grandstands only and for the larger more famous schools, it’s advised to get there a bit early.

The following is a list of the dates of the Ensaio Tecnicos.

DATE                  DAY                  START               START / SCHOOL                                START / SCHOOL
JAN 17                SAT                                               8PM / IMPERIO DA TIJUCA           9:30PM /CUBANGO
JAN18                 SUN                                              8PM/ MOCIDADE                              9:30PM /MANGUEIRA
JAN24                 SAT                                               8PM /PORTO DA PEDRA                 9:30PM /UNIDOS DE PADRE MIGUEL
JAN25                 SUN                                              8PM/ BEIJA FLOR                              9:30PM /GRANDE RIO
JAN31                 SAT                                               8PM/ SAO CLEMENTE                      9:30PM /IMPERATIZ LEOPOLDINENSE
FEB 1                  SUN             7PM/ UNIAO DA ILHA          8PM/ PORTELA               9:30PM /SALGUEIRO
FEB 8                 SUN              8PM SOUND AND LIGHT TEST – 2014 CHAMPION UNIDOS DA TIJUCA


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NBA Bans Three Goggles in Brazil

Lebron James Cleveland Cavaliers

The Three-goggles gesture, (not to be confused with Googles)  is popular among basketball players in the U.S., but the NBA reportedly wants the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers to refrain from doing the celebration during NBA Global Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this October 11, 2014.

The Heat and the Cavaliers will meet in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. Given that the teams will be playing outside of the United States, the players will need to adjust to a different culture.

According to sources, the NBA has warned the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cav players not to do the “three-goggles” during their preseason meeting in Brazil:

Holding up the “three-sign” or the “three-goggles” in a certain way while in Brazil could be mistaken for “f— you” or “f— off,”.

The NBA sent the Cavs and Heat a memo with a list of questionable gestures that shouldn’t be used in Brazil, we’re told. The last thing anybody wants is for the stands to clear immediately after a player nails a 3-pointer.

When traveling internationally, it’s good to be aware of the local customs, what is a simple gesture in one culture could be an offensive one in another. Even though, in Brazil, it could be considered an offensive gesture, if an NBA player did forget and happened to use the gesture, I wouldn’t expect an uproar about it. Brazilians going to watch the game at Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena, are mostly NBA savvy and have seen the gesture on TV and know it’s meaning in the context of the game. However, Brazilians watching the game on TV who are not very familiar with U.S. and NBA customs, could take it the wrong way.

The NBA Global Games Rio de Janeiro at HSBC Arena is Sold out as of this posting.

Photo: Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

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Rio Bairro Madureira

Parque Madureira in Rio de Janeiro


Photo: Rafael Soares

Most likely, you’ve never heard of Madureira in Rio’s Zona West. When most people think of Rio de Janeiro, they think of  Zona Sul tourist neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, but Rio is HUGE, there’s more to it than just Zona Sul, which makes up just a small fraction of the city.

Rio is divided into 7 districts {Central, Zona Sul, Grande Barra da Tijuca, Zona Oeste, Grande Tijuca, Ilha do Governador, Zona Norte} and there are over 100 bairros (neighborhoods}, each with their own style and flavor making Rio a true melting pot of culture. These bairros are where you will find the Real Rio with it’s hard working class people, creative, skillful and beautiful.

When watching the Carnaval parades, most likely you are seeing people from these neighborhoods, Bairros such as Jacarepaguá, Vila Valqueire, Madureira, Campo Grande are far from the tourists travel guides, but you’ll find a richness in culture that you couldn’t imagine elsewhere in Brazil.

“Jacarepaguá” a bairro in Zona Oeste, is a term from the indigenous Tupi tribe that means “cove of the alligator sea”, and you can still find an alligator or two lurking in some of the undeveloped waterways. Madureira, a mostly Afro Brazilian bairro of Zona Norte, is the hub of Cultura Negra Brasiliera and is famous for two of the most popular samba schools that call it home, Portela and Império Serrano. Also in the area is the the famous Mercadão de Madureira Shopping, which if you’re adventurous and willing to take a long taxi of train ride, would be worthwhile to visit. Don’t expect to find Gucci bags at Mercadão de Madureira, instead you’ll can load up on livestock (live goats, chickens, birds and other exotic animals) as well as diverse products for religious Candomble ceremonies and more at the over 650 stores. While most people have heard of the Girl from Ipanema, bikini clad, tall and tan, but the true flavor of Rio de Janeiro comes from the various neighborhoods such as Madureira that make up real beauty of the city.

Viaduto de Madureira is a “club” that goes down under the “freeway” (viaduto) and has been going strong at the same location since 1990. Saturday nights, the music is old school Hip Hop and R&B (called Baile Charme). You’ll find generations of families coming out to dance who grew up on American soul music and it even has a Soultrain vibe to it with it’s “hustle” type line dances going on as various crews compete informally to see who has the best moves. Due to it’s popularity with the cultura negra Brasileira, Viaduto de Madureira has become a must stop for old school R&B artists such as Keith Sweat and Montell Jordan and Donnell Jones to perform live.

Recently Viaduto de Madureira has become popular with the trendy Zona Sul crowd, after it was featured in a novela on O’Globo. The recent influx of the Zona Sul crowd has left some of the locals disenchanted and feel that their spot is being taken over by outsiders. A newer club, also underneath a viaduto, run by CUFA – Central Única das Favelas has recently surged in popularity for the young afrocentric crowd of Madureira. One of CUFA’s founders is Brazilian rapper MV Bill. CUFA doesn’t just promote club, it is an organization that also give youths lessons and courses in DJing, Computers, Gastronomy, Audiovisual, Sports and others.

Parque Madureira is a 26 acre park built in 2012. The park has become a major center of Madureira, bringing easy access for leisure activities to such as concerts, skating, botanical garden, bike and walking paths, food courts and picnic areas for families. There is also a mini waterfall and sand area for those that want to escape the heat without ou having to travel miles away to Rio’s beach neighborhoods. Major events are staged in the park, attracting families and the public in the thousands.

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Raining in Rio? Visit a Museum

It’s raining, you’re on vacation and don’t want to be stuck in your hotel or apartment. What a better day than to visit one of Rio’s many museums. The newest and one of our favorites is the Museu de Arte do Rio. Located in Centro, it can be reached by subway, (exit at Uruguiana station – and it a short walk from there) or by bus or taxi.

Other local Rio de Janeiro museums to visit:

Museu do Art Moderno (MAM)

Palacio de Catete – for history buffs, contains the Museu da Republica or Museum of the Republic. 

Copacabana Fort –

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Video – Nanda Guimaraes Crowned as Queen of Curicica Samba School

Nanda Guimaraes was crowned Rainha da Bateria of União do Parque Curicica in Zona West of Rio de Janeiro this past Sunday August 31, 2014. Last Carnaval “Nanda” was a Musa (muse) of two samba schools, Imperio da Tijuca and Imperio Serrano both samba schools also from Rio de Janeiro. This year as Nanda Guimares takes on more responsibility as Queen of a Samba School, she is realizing a life long dream. On hand to help crown the newest Rio samba queen was Renata Santos of   Mangueira Mangueira, Aninha Bundinha, Escola da samba Salgueiro as well and Brazil Magazine models Bruna Americano and Renata Nunes.

You can see and find out more about Nanda Guimaraes as the cover model of  Brazil Magazine

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