Carnival Parade 2001: the samba is not a priority

Few MPB stars showed up at the Sambadrome. Visual innovations and lots of silicone determined the trends in 2001

Once again carnival has come and the samba is far from being the most important part of it. Instead of the music, the big visual illusion, gossip involving celebrities and plastic surgeries were the talk of the town. 2001 has brought many more liters of silicone than the previous, and bodies carefully sculpted in health clubs.

The biggest news happened by the very end of the parade. Joãosinho Trinta (in charge of preparing the school Acadêmicos do Grande Rio, which ended up being placed sixth) caught everybody's attention by hiring a stunt astronaut who wore a flying chair on Tuesday morning - the same flight presented during the Olimpic Games in Atlanta.

Milton Nascimento, Elza Soares, Marina Lima, Jorge Benjor and João Bosco are some of the stars who appeared on the front boxes - many of them had also been in Salvador a couple of days before. Paulinho da Viola, Zeca Pagodinho and Marisa Monte paraded with Portela. As usual, Beth Carvalho accompanied Mangueira. Marcelo Yuka, the drummer for O Rappa, who was shot last November, paraded on his wheelchair with Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, whose theme was peace.

Even with very few MPB stars adorning the runway, winning schools like Imperatriz Leopoldinense (three times champion, this year), Beija-Flor (second place), Viradouro, Grande Rio, Unidos da Tijuca and Tradição did beautiful shows.