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Carnaval

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Carnaval

Overview | Prefixo de Verão

Luz! Cores!! Musica!!! BATERIA!!!!

For 39 technicolor, endlessly musical Carnaval seasons, the Bay Area Brazilian Club (Friends of Brazil) has marched into San Francisco with parades, balls, and festivities at the same time they are celebrated in Brazil.

Best of the Best. Our 39th Carnaval Ball was voted the best carnaval in the United States in 2007 by the Brazilian International Press Association. The tribute to the magical mystical women of the world, bathed in light, colors, the music of Prefixo de Ver�o, with the edgy and imaginative choreography and spectacular costumes of Aquarela, caught fire and all San Francisco rejoiced. More than 2,500 revelers sang and dance during this historical event that the San Francisco Chronicle calls the Best Brazilian Party in town. Don't forget to join us once again at the SOMA Gift Center in February 2 - 2008, and get extravagantly lost in "Carnaval Meets Mardi Gras."

It's true, we don't have our parade outdoors, and often in February or March, it has poured just as we're getting underway. But inside, it's sunshine, bright lights, and summer in Rio, or any other Brazilian place you want to imagine yourself dancing down the street.

    

More Photos from Carnaval
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The Friends of Brazil Carnaval Ball started in a little hall in South San Francisco, with taped music, 39 years ago. After moving to various hotel ballrooms, we finally settled upon our festival home - the beautiful San Francisco Gift Design Center in SOMA.

We've saluted Carmen Miranda, futebol, the Brazilian monopoly on the World Cup championship, and Bahia. We have gone bananas, danced samba to save the rainforest, celebrated with masks, and sung our hearts out for the Cidade Maravilhosa - RIO!!!

We've had dazzling light shows, and costume contests where emotions ran high. For twelve fast-paced years, extravaganzas with three or four bands and dance groups exploded all over the stage. These "Brazilian All-Stars" included the scintillating female vocalist Lisa Silva, always a huge hit. Directing our All-Stars was one super-talented maestra, Celia Malheiros, who also sang and danced, even when pregnant.

Gracing center stage on two occasions: Rainha do Carnaval, Emilinha Borba, now 80 years old, once a prot�g� of the iconic Carmen Miranda. San Francisco has had our own original Carnaval Queen, Neuza Brown. And speaking of originals, Dona Aracy da Cruz must be acknowledged as the original organizer of Carnaval in San Francisco.

Happily and productively for the past five years, we have imported the increasingly famous SensaSamba band. But in 2004, we were treated to new musicians: a group direct from Porto Seguro, Prefixo de Ver�o e Viviane, which bursted upon the Carnaval stage on Saturday, February 21st, 2004. Boosting the energy and visual excitement of this show was the always surprising and amazingly costumed dancers of Aquarela, directed, choreographed, and inspired by Maria Souza.

Carnaval throughout the world may be older - perhaps dating back to the ancient Greeks. And Carnaval in Brazil may be more exotic in its history, borrowing from both Portugal and the African animist festivals. But no northern hemisphere mid-winter Carnaval is more ambitious or generous in spirit than ours right here in February at San Francisco's Gift Center.