In Brazil thousands of tourists joined the local population of the capital, Rio de Janeiro, to take part in the famous annual carnival.
TV Crowds in streets of Rio de Janeiro at start of day one of carnival
SV PAN FROM Crowd TO Band
SV ZOOM TO carnival Queen in costume
CU People dancing
GV Day two people in costumes, including devil, parade and dance in streets
CU Girl dancing samba
CU Musicians in parade in fancy dress
SV Drummers and dancers move in procession
CU Girl dancer
GV INTERIOR Fancy dress competition
CU Member of judges panel - Eliosa Pinheiro
CU ZOOM OUT TO Third placed competitor in brief sequined costume
CU Second place girl in Indian style costume
CU Winner Ana Maria Freitas in costume titled 1,001 nights
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Background: In Brazil thousands of tourists joined the local population of the capital, Rio de Janeiro, to take part in the famous annual carnival. For five days (15 - 19 February) the streets echoed to the sound of singing and dancing. The festivities reached a climax with the traditional parade of the samba schools on Sunday (17 February).
SYNOPSIS: "Cariocas" are the local population of Rio de Janeiro. Each year the carnival gives them a last opportunity to indulge before the start of the austere religious period of Lent. Preparations begin weeks ahead, under the supervision of the State Municipal Tourist Board, "Riotur."
The carnival has a King and Queen who officiate at some of the hundreds of street dances which prelude the main competition. Rio has staged the annual carnival for more than 300 years, and it's become famous through literature and legend. Traditionally a celebration of peasant vitality, there has been criticism in recent years that the event was a commercial enterprise to exploit the tourists who flock to Rio each year.
This year a larger share of the 50 million dollar Carnival budget was spent on popular festivities. More street events and public dances were free of charge, in an attempt to recapture the carnival's authentic flavour.
The festivities included a fancy dress competition, a flower battle, and amateur and professional samba competition. There were special dances for homosexuals, and pretty girls in abundance - a programme the organisers said had something for everyone.
The fancy dress competition on Saturday (16 February) took the theme "The Sumptuous Woman". Among the celebrities on the panel of judges was Eliosa Pinheiro, the inspiration for the popular hit record "Girl from Ipanema". The judges placed this competitor, in a costume suited to the hot evening, third.
The runner-up caught the extravagant spirit of the carnival. The award for originality went to Ana Maria Freitas, wearing a costume intriguingly entitled "one thousand and one nights".