Rio carnival dancers sparkle at samba parade as 72,000 spectators watch 'greatest show on Earth' 

12:31 • 13.02.18



It is dubbed the 'greatest show on Earth' with thousands of sparkling Brazilian dancers ignoring sweltering heat to put on a spectacular samba parade.


Rio de Janeiro came alive on Sunday night as the city's carnival hit its peak in a stunning cocktail of glamour, eccentric costumes and pounding samba anthems, the Daily Mail reports.   


The two-night extravaganza began in the Sambodromo, where 72,000 spectators sat in roasting conditions, with many thousands more milling around outside selling drinks, putting on colourful outfits or simply soaking up the atmosphere because they were unable to get tickets. 


But amid the feather headdresses, sparkly G-strings and dancers dressed as everything from trees to Chinese merchants, serious politics marked this year's parades.


One reveller dressed up as Dracula to represent Brazilian President Michel Temer while a giant backside mocked Rio de Janeiro's mayor during the unusually politicised event. 


Latin America's biggest country is only just emerging from its worst recession on record. Violent crime in cities like Rio is rocketing, and politics is riddled with corruption and lack of leadership ahead of October presidential elections.


The carnival still claims to be 'the greatest show on Earth.' But neither the 13 elite samba schools competing, nor the 72,000 spectators crammed into the Sambodromo are immune to the country's anger. 

 

Rio de Janeiro came alive on Sunday night as the city's carnival hit its peak in a stunning cocktail of glamour, fancy dress and pounding samba anthems. Television personality Sabrina Sato (pictured) was among those who performed with the Vila Isabel samba school on the first night of the carnival at the Sambadrome

Dancers from different samba schools wore a sparkling array of revealing outfits as they competed against one another in the carnival celebration at the Marques de Sapucai Sambodrome

A performer from the Grupo Especial Imperio Serrano samba school carried a display of purple feathers as she paraded through the stadium

Dancers battled through sweltering conditions in the Sambadrome as they performed in front of a crowd of 72,000 in Rio

Drum queen Evelyn Bastos from the Mangueira samba school performs during the first night of the Carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro

Revellers from the Mocidade samba school perform as the sun rises during the Rio's Carnival at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro's samba parades began late Sunday in a chance for a city struggling with violence and poverty to stage the "greatest show on Earth" - and to rage at unpopular politicians

Revellers decked themselves out in feathery outfits as they danced through the stadium to the deafening sound of samba

The two-night extravaganza began in the Sambodromo, where 72,000 spectators sat in sweltering heat, with many thousands more milling around outside selling drinks, putting on costumes or simply soaking up the atmosphere because they were unable to get tickets

Many of the dancers wore daring outfits as they joined thousands of others for the glittering parade on Sunday night

All smiles: This dancer wore a gold bikini and headpiece as she joined members of her Grupo Especial Grande Rio samba school

Thousands of performers made their way through the stadium for one of the highlight's of the Rio carnival last night 

Spectacular: A dancer from the Grupo Especial Paraiso de Tuiuti samba school parades through the stadium in a glittering outfit

Spectators and dancers alike endured roasting temperatures inside the stadium during the spectacular parade in Rio

Nailing it: A female dancer strikes a pose as she joins members of her Imperio Serrano samba school during last night's parade

The Sambodromo parades, running through Sunday night and restarting Monday night, were as always a lush cocktail of glamor, eccentric costumes, pounding samba anthems and sweaty, pulsating sensualit

With breathtakingly complex and dramatic floats, the thunder of drumming and the heated performances of nearly naked female and male dancers, there's something for everyone.

Each school gets about an hour to parade with some 3,000 dancers, singers and drummers dressed in over-the-top costumes. Last year, the contest ended in a draw between the Mocidade and Portela schools. The new champion will be announced on Wednesday

Outlandish: Dancers wore incredible feather headdresses and brightly coloured outfits as they took part in the glittering display

Revellers from Vila Isabel Samba school perform during the first night of the Carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro

Dancers ignored the sweltering heat as they danced and twirled through the Sambadrome to the delight of watching crowds

 





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