Unidos da Tijuca, which delighted the audience during the Special Group Parade at the Sambódromo in Rio de Janeiro last Sunday, was awarded the Gold Banner (Estandarte de Ouro) today.
The Gold Banner has been awarded to Rio de Janeiro samba schools by the O Globo newspaper since 1972. Unidos da Tijuca won in the overall category. The samba school's theme, "É Segredo" (It's a Secret), which was suggested to Carnival director Paulo Barros by a teenage boy on social networking website Orkut, explored mysteries that have intrigued people through history. The idea was treated with great beauty and creativity, as in the section dedicated to superheroes with their secret identities: a float had a ramp the superheroes skied on.
The parade started with a big wow. The Comissăo de Frente, or Abre-Alas - a group of no more than 15 people who open the parade with choreographies that sum up each samba school's theme - developed a series of moves based on illusionism (watch a video on G1) and won the Gold Banner in their category. The choreography was created by husband and wife Rodrigo Negri and Priscilla Mota.
Unidos de Vila Isabel, which celebrated the great songwriter Noel Rosa, won the most Gold Banners (best MC, flag bearer, theme and section).
Last year Salgueiro, Champion of the Special Group Parade, was also the winner of the Estandarte de Ouro. This year, Império da Tijuca, another samba school from the area, won the Gold Banner as Best Samba School in the Access Group A Parade.
The champion of the 2010 Special Group Parade in Rio will be known tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.
Feb.17 update: Unidos da Tijuca Wins Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2010
Feb. 20 update: Unidos da Tijuca 2010 Parade Photos
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