Updated on Nov.9, 2012
Fundição Progresso, Rio de Janeiro's famous non-governmental organization and cultural center installed in a former foundry in Lapa, has a major role in the ongoing revitalization of Rio de Janeiro street Carnival.
Since 2006, Fundição has promoted an annual contest to choose the best new marchinhas de Carnaval. The contest involves a CD release show and a Carnival parade. The project was devised by Perfeito Fortuna, president of Fundição Progresso.
Marchinhas de Carnaval (literally, "little Carnival marches") are ditties which have formed the musical tradition of Brazil street Carnival with funny lines, double meanings, social comentary and romantic themes for over a century. Since the first Fundição Progresso contest, four CDs have been released and over 4,000 songs have been submitted, proving the lingering appeal of the format in Brazil Carnival.
Like old-time marchinhas, which lived their heyday from the 1930s to the 1960s and yielded a world hit - "Mamãe Eu Quero" (by Jararaca & V.Paiva, 1937), sung by Carmen Miranda, the songs in the Fundição Progresso contest irreverently address a variety of current affairs.
The constest winners have been "Milagre do Viagra", by Homero Ferreira (2006); "Pra Carmem", by Bete Bissoli (2007); "Volante e Cachaça não Combina", by Mauro Diniz and Cláudio Jorge (2008); "Bendita Baderna", by Edu Krieger (2009); "Bom Dia", by Renato Torres Lima (2010); "Nossa fantasia", by Edu Krieger (2011); and "Papagaio no Arame", by Fábio Simões (2012).
This Carnival, the contest is commemorating Haroldo Lobo, who wrote "Índio quer apito” (with Milton de Oliveira), "Alalaô" (with Nássara) and many other popular marchinhas in the 1940s and 1950s.
Lobo, who had jobs as a police officer and in América Fabril, a major textile company, was an avid reveler who led a Carnival group in the Jardim Botânico district called Bloco da Bicharada (the "Animals Bloco") and wrote several animal-themed songs for their parades. Some of the best-known are "O passo do canguru" and "O passo da gifafa" - the Kangaroo Step and the Giraffe Step.
Registration for the contest has closed. Finalists will be announced on Nov.14; the CD release Pre-Carnival ball will be sometime in January 2013 and the Finals party has been scheduled for Jan.27, 2013.
Rua dos Arcos 24
Rio de Janeiro - RJ
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