• Germany edition
 
Rio gives Carnival a Teutonic touch
Photo: DPA

Rio gives Carnival a Teutonic touch

Published: 27 Jan 2013 15:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Jan 2013 15:01 GMT+01:00

The Unidos da Tijuca school, the third-oldest samba school in Brazil's most glamourous city, is currently rehearsing its routines in preparation for this year's dance competition at the famous "Sambadrome."

The school, reigning carnival champions, has chosen an unusual title for their 80-minute performance: "Alemanha Encantada" or "Enchanted Germany," which is about "Brazil and Germany coming together: colours, cultures, and capabilities," the Tagesspiegel newspaper reported on Sunday.

One of its purposes is to expand the average Brazilian's knowledge of Germany, which Bruno Tenorio, the school's marketing chief, said amounts to "beer, sausage, Michael Schumacher, and Adolf Hitler."

It is set to be a mammoth show, involving eight floats, built on buses, with various Germanic features - including outsized Playmobil figures, the moon (to represent Germany pioneering rocket scientists), and figures from ancient Germanic mythology, including thunder god Thor.

"Elves and gnomes will dance around him," explained Tenorio, who led a number of fact-finding missions to Cologne and Berlin in preparation. The show is being put together by 50-year-old artistic director Paulo Barros, who has already choreographed two winning Sambadrome performances.

But the stereotypes are certainly not all one-way. "In Europe, when people think of the carnival in Rio, they just think of wobbling bottoms," Tenorio told the paper. "In reality, it's an opera."

It's fitting, then, that Barros has packed Germany into five acts, beginning with the above-mentioned Germanic gods and assorted mythic creatures. There follows Goethe's Faust, Bertolt Brecht's outcast characters, Fritz Lang robots, and a depiction of Marlene Dietrich as the Blue Angel.

Meanwhile, the "Universe of Children" section is dedicated to German fairytales and toys. "In Brazil, they think Red Riding Hood is an American girl," said Tenorio. Costume-maker Larissa dos Santos was not the only person involved in the production to be disabused of such notions: "Now I know that Snow White isn't by Disney."

Along with German achievements like printing, the Zeppelin, and x-rays, the final section of the performance even includes the so-called "new Germans" - the immigrant communities, a suitable mirror image of the five million Germans that have settled in Brazil since the 19th century.

The whole spectacle will be broadcast in its entirety on Brazilian TV station Globo-TV, with a potential audience of 190 million viewers. "Our show is the best advert for modern Germany," said Tenorio.

Which is the main reason for the school's current frustration - that German firms have been reluctant to sponsor the event. The entire performance will cost a staggering €4.5 million, half of which will be paid by the city of Rio and state oil company Petrobras. The other half was to come from some of the 1,200 German companies that do business in Brazil.

After difficult experiences with the German Embassy to Brazil and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tenorio spent months getting German giants Volkswagen, Merck and Stihl on board - and yet the school is still €400,000 short. "It was the most frustrating experience I ever had," he said.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:36 January 27, 2013 by mits
the stock pic is soo wrong....
08:24 January 28, 2013 by Anny One again
because he is smiling?

Hmm,picture for Christopher Street Day maybe?
09:59 January 28, 2013 by Englishted
Oh so thats a "Teutonic touch" is it .

No wonder there are fewer children born in Germany then .
Today's headlines
Germany's estate agents plan strike action
Photo: DPA

Germany's estate agents plan strike action

First it was the pilots, then train drivers - now Germany's real estate agents are threatening to go on strike. But their call to arms has been met with sneers rather than sympathy. READ  

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails
Ralf-Werner arriving in court last week. Photo: DPA

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails

An insurance salesman who sawed off his own finger and thumb to claim insurance was given a suspended sentence by a court in northern Germany on Friday. READ  

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq
Kurdish demonstrators at a rally in Düsseldorf in October. Photo: DPA

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq

Germany finds itself in a complicated relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). At home, police must investigate anyone who flies the flag, but in the Middle East they are the best hope of beating back the Islamic State. READ  

Quiz
Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?
Walpurgis Night in the Harz. Photo: DPA

Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?

Germany is home to a plethora of haunted castles and has a huge stock of gruesome stories. How well do you know the spooky side of the Germans? READ  

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years
Photo: DPA

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years

German shoppers cut back on their spending in September at the fastest rate for seven years, official data showed on Friday. READ  

Fall of the Wall - 25 years
'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'
Engels at the spot where he drove through the Wall and in hospital in 1963 after being shot. Photo: Nick Allen/Fotoarchiv Alex Waidmann Berlin

'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'

There are many of tales of ingenious and well-thought out escape plans from people desperate to flee from East to West Berlin. Wolfgang Engels’ wasn’t one of them. It was, however, one of the most daring. READ  

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes
Pupils used WhatsApp to share messages which are police are investigating. Photo: DPA

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes

Police are investigating pupils at a school in Saxony-Anhalt for incitement of the people and use of banned symbols after teenagers allegedly made the Hitler salute. READ  

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school
Representatives of the refugees at a press conference last week. Photo: DPA

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school

An ultimatum for the remaining refugees and their supporters to leave an occupied school in Berlin, which has been the scene of protests for months, will expire at midnight on Friday. READ  

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal
Photo: DPA

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal

The European Union will "fully play its role" to implement the gas deal signed by Ukraine and Russia on Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande said in a joint statement. READ  

Body scanners to come to more airports
Photo: DPA

Body scanners to come to more airports

Passengers at German airports can expect a controversial full body scan in the future. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles from British Airways
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Want to study in Germany? These are the subjects to choose
Photo: DPA
Society
Germans are wide of the mark on immigration
Photo: DPA
Society
Halloween: Where are the spookiest spots?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Who wants to work in Germany? A third of the world
Photo: DPA
Society
'We can't allow a proxy war on German streets'
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: How well do you know Germany?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,534
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd