Queens & Muses

Tijuca has a new Queen of the drums, stepping in front of the bateria will be
Grayanne Barbosa who follows three of the more famous and illustrious Queens of Carnaval: new mother, model and  actress, Adriane Galisteu who danced for the samba school for four years, Fabia Borges,who later represented Rio at London’s famous Notting Hill Carnival and whose Carnaval images seem as popular as ever and Model Ana Paula
Evangelista. With the exception of long standing veteran 
Raissa de Olivera of Beija Flor who became the Muse for the Drum Orchestra at the  age of 12, media sensation Renata Santos and Bruna Bruno she is the only Queen with a resume showing Special Samba School experience.

Gracyanne and her husband the popular singer Belo sell a lot of tabloid
newspapers and are news wherever they go. They have been together for over five years and in June 2011 came to make their knot official at a marriage registry office. Gracyanne’s job is raise the temperature of the bateria: Pure Rhythm, led by Mestre Casagrande, with her beauty and frantic samba footwork to achieve enough monumental moments on the Avenida Marquês de Sapucaí that her drum section scores the perfect score of 10 needed top stay in contention for the championship.

Brazilian actress, singer and frequent cover girl Renata Santos  will be
Rainha da Bateria (Queen of the Drums) for the third consecutive
year. Santos has deep roots in Rio Carnaval and was recognized for her charisma
and beauty at a  young age when she was named Rainha da Bateria for
Acadêmicos de Santa Cruz who have made a number of appearances in the special
samba school league.

She is an important part of venerable Mangueira campaign to capture their 19th title.

 ”You have to love to be there. It´s not be famous, but to identify yourself with the community, have love and show your empathy with the people. It is also very important to have a harmonic relationship with the drum section. In the beginning, I feared somehow the reaction of the people,
since I knew they always wanted someone from the community, but I had no problems at all. They know I have a Brazilian Carnival history and love to samba.”

Mangueira after finishing 3rd in 2011 are considered a strong contender for the championship title with the ‘Enredo’ (Theme) “Vou festejar! Sou Cacique, sou Mangueira” meaning “I will celebrate! I’m Caicique! I’m Mangueira!”

The story line  salutes the most famous Carnival band of Rio de Janeiro,
Cacique de Ramos, who have just celebrated their 50th anniversary just as the resurrection of the Rio Street Carnaval has arrived at a new level of maturity. The band traditionally parade on the Rio Branco Avenue on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of Carnival, and were recently awarded the Tiradentes Medal for its contribution and representation of the city’s local culture.


Raíssa de Oliveira: Queen of the Drums
The most remarkable samba Queen story belongs to journalism student Raíssa de
Oliveira who at 21 has already appeared as Reina da Bateria in more Carnavals
than just a handful of others and even more remarkably has been part of the
amzing run of her neighborhood samba school which has won the championship in 6
of the the last 9 years.

After winning a TV contest where dancers from several junior schools competed
in Raissa was chosen to be Beija Flor’s queen of drums for Carnaval 2003 at the age of just 12 years old. She has occupied the position every year since then.

Unlike most of the queens of the special bateria in Rio the 2000s, who have been chosen for media charisma or show business prominence, Raisa is a born and dedicated year round member of the Beija-Flor Samba School.

She is also an active spokesperson for her samba school and makes many appearances throughout the year.

On February 5, 2012 the brunette Bruna Bruno, and drum queen for Uniao da Ilha do Gevernador was honored by the Air Force Sergeants Association, with the title of most Elegant Queen of bateria inthe Special Group. The poll was conducted among members of the Association of Old Guards of Rio de Janeiro which includes members of the media.

 ”To be chosen among so many beautiful queens, as Viviane Araujo and Luiza Brunet, is something that flattered me. Well be remembered during Carnival is a gift. Mainly because I’m not even famous artist. All this is very significant to me – finished beauty.”

The contest “Elegant Samba” is in its 44th edition, and each year honors groups and individuals linked to the Carnival. The party was attended by components of the Old Guard of all clubs.


Technically these Queens are not part of the judging but in practice
they are picked because it is believed they have something special that
will attract media and buzz for their samba schools.  The beautiful
samba queen is the foremost image representing Rio de Janeiro
Carnaval to more than 100 countries around the world. The Samba Queen is
an archetypal dream image that has entered the collective unconscious of
humanity, thus her power far exceeds any single individual. If we dream
it then we seek it and these are our goddesses who will animate us in
our joyful journey of search and discovery.

This is also the business of show business and merit is not always the
most important part of the selection process, The stories of these new
faces of 2012 may be fading memories next year but we look forward to
learning their stories. The rhythm of samba is more than sambas it is an
understanding that we are moved by the sublime moment when movement and
beauty become great art and that anyone is capable of not just finding
this special space but living the moment their dreams told them to seek.

2012 Samba Queens of the
Special Samba Schools Drum Baterias

2012 Special
Samba School
Reina da
Occupation Anos
Unidos da Tijuca Gracyanne
Model 28
Estacao Primeira de Mangueira Renata Santos Actress, Singer 30
Portela Vania Love Actress 30
Beija-flor Raissa de Olivera Journalism Student 21
Academicos do Salguerio Claudinha Silva Student 21
Imperatriz Leopoldinesnse Carmem Mondego Dancer 28
Mocidade independente de Padre Miguel Antonia Fontenelle Actress & producer 38
Grand Rio Amanda Pinheiro Actress 30
Vila Isabel Blanca Salguiero Personal Trainer 24
Renascer de Jacarepagua Andrea Machado Professional Dancer 34
Sao Clemente Bruna Almeida Receptionist 27
Uniao da Ilha do Gevernador Bruna Bruno Empresaria 28
Porto da Pedra Tamaris Alves Dance Student 20

 So while it is possible commercial decisions were part of the selection process, lets honor the pinnacle these women have achieved and their time to make us feel the rhythm of the drummers they lead forward.

We can also wish them a Playboy cover or coveted role in a new drama as they become discovered and hopefully bring fresh delirium of the public. No Queen ever seems to officially retire but some of the best known over the years will not appearing this year. Besides Adriance Galisteu, Luma de Oliveira, Luiza Brunet,  Viviane Araújo, Luciana Gimenez, and Thatiana Pagung will not be appearing in the 2012 edition of Rio Carnaval.

The best site to learn more about the 2012 edition of Special Carnaval Queens  is at Globo G1 site
http://g1.globo.com/carnaval/ G1
which carried out trials with the muses and drum
queens of the 13 special samba schools [soon to be 12]

One of most popular legacy pages continues to be: www.carnaval.com/brazil/queens 

[Editors Note: Sorry but we regreat to inform you that our carnavalcity.com Rio muse sections were expired by the host who lost interest  in their old business model. .We are working on a new opensource wordpress version which we should have done to start with]




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