Alright, and in our continuing coverage of Carnival, we now move on to the lighter, sexier side of things.
Every year the big samba school desfiles or parades in Rio and São Paulo are broadcast on the country’s dominant media outlet, Globo. For weeks leading up to Carnival they advertise their coverage with a vignette a featuring a sambista wearing nothing but body paint.
Here you go. (While this is fine for Brazilian national primetime TV, it might be somewhat NSFW for my American friends.)
Actually she’s not totally nude.
She’s wearing what’s called a tapa-sexo, which is basically a few inches of masking tape over the front of her ya-ya. (Yikes, how do you take that off??) Total nudity is outlawed, but every year the dancers push it as far as they can. Last year, there was a bit of a scandal when the São Clemente Samba School in Rio had points deducted in the competition for breaking the no-nudity rule. Judges claim that the sambista Viviane Castro was totally in the buff, which she countered by saying that she was in fact wearing a tapa-sexo, but being that it was only 3.5cm the judges must have missed it. (I’ll let you google the photos yourself, less run the risk of having my blog flagged as inappropriate!)
Even better than the above vignette is this clip – which shows the behind the scenes making of the advertisement. You can watch her getting painted up (which took over 7 hours) and then some slow-motion footage of her dancing. You can't deny that she is absolutely stunning. There is no exaggeration about the generalization that Brazilian women are beautiful. But the best part of the clip has got to be the accompanying soft-core soundtrack.
(By the way, that little telephone “ring-ring” in the clips is the official Globo network sound byte. It was actually “composed” by a friend of C’s. He’s a great jazz musician, but his legacy will probably be this famous sound byte that everyone in Brazil knows and which just might function somewhat like Pavlov’s bell when it comes to bringing people to the TV for the nightly novella.)