Great Carnivals of Joãosinho Trinta

Poster for a documentary about Joãosinho, where he is portraied by Vik Muniz
Poster for a documentary about Joãosinho, where he is portraied by Vik Muniz

Joãosinho Trinta, the former ballet dancer who reinvented Rio’s Carnival, incorporating luxurious elements and extreme creativity to the popular parade, died today. Controversial, he was frequently criticized by traditional sambistas, that felt that his huge, elaborate carnival floats and the use of some extreme resources, like individual flying machines, would hide the talent of dancers and musicians.

These three videos show Joãosinho Trinta at his best, leading escolas de samba Beija-Flor de Nilópolis and Viradouro to multiple Carnival awards. (And sorry – I was very unimpressed by the quality of the footages available on the web.)

1980 – “O sol da meia-noite – uma viagem ao país das maravilhas” (The Midnight sun – travelling to Wonderland). You will see Joãosinho dancing with the community.

1989 – Considered one of the best Carnival parades ever produced, “Ratos e Urubus” (Rats and Vultures) celebrated all the culture that surrounds waste and waste collection (a surprise, considering that Joãosinho Trinta used to say that the population likes luxury. “Only intellectuals like poverty”). Note that the reproduction of the Corcovado had to be hidden because it was forbidden by the Catholic Church, owner of the Christ’s statue.

1997 – “Trevas! Luzes! A Explosão do Universo” (Darkness! Lights! The Explosion of the Universe), created for Unidos do Viradouro, a reference to the Big Bang theory.

Read also other posts about Carnival.