09 January, 2011

Sambadrome is now open for Carnival 2011!

New Years Eve has come and gone. Which means it’s time now for Cariocas to start to seriously prepare for the biggest celebration of the year: Carnival. Of course, Carnival preparations are a year-round activity here in Rio. Almost as soon as one year’s celebration comes to a close, the city begins gearing up for the following year’s merriment. Now, less than two months away from the main event of 2011, we have entered into the final stages of readying: technical rehearsals. These rehearsals (called ‘ensaios’ in Portuguese) offer a unique preview of the full-on show (including costumes, full bateria, theme song, and more), and are held in the headquarters of Rio’s Carnival: the Sambadrome.

Sambadrome, ready and waiting for visiters

Each school is scheduled for two ensaios over the two months leading up to Carnival- which will be held this year from March 1-7th. Best of all, these events are free to attend! From here on out each weekend through the end of February will feature ensaios of two or three area samba schools each evening. Tonight, we kick off the series with the schools of Rocinha, Sao Clemente, and Salgueiro. Performances commence at 7 or 8pm, and wrap up around midnight. (See the schedule below for more details on times and dates.) As the shows are free to attend, it is a advisable to arrive early to find a space to enjoy the entertainment. If you come through Rio in the next two months, but won’t be able to stay for Carnival, definitely make your way to the Sambadrome to revel in the pre-Carnival glory of the ensaio!

Picture from the inaguration of Sambadrome, 1984



09/01 (Sunday)
Rocinha (19h)
São Clemente (20h)
Salgueiro (22h)

15/01 (Saturday)
Alegria da Zona Sul (19h)
Viradouro (20h)
Imperatriz (22h)

16/01 (Sunday)
Cubango (19h)
Mocidade (20h)
Unidos da Tijuca (22h)

22/01 (Saturday)
Pilares (20h)
União da Ilha (22h)

23/01 (Sunday)
Renascer (19h)
Grande Rio (20h)
Mangueira (22h)

29/01 (Saturday)
Porto da Pedra (20h)
Portela (22h)
30/01 (Sunday)
Santa Cruz (19h)
Beija-Flor (20h)
Vila Isabel (22h)


06/02- (Sunday)
Império Serrano (19h)
Império da Tijuca (20h)
Salgueiro (22h)

12/02- (Saturday)
São Clemente (20h)
União da Ilha (22h)

13/02- (Sunday)
Estácio (19h)
Mocidade (20h)
Mangueira (21h)

19/02- (Saturday)
Porto da Pedra (19h);
Portela (22h)

20/02- (Sunday)
Inocentes (19h)
Vila Isabel (20h)
Grande Rio (22h)

26/02- (Saturday)
Imperatriz (20h)
Beija-Flor (22h)

27/02- (Sunday)
Unidos da Tijuca (22h)