Dancing up a storm for Carnival

A burst of colour greeted spectators as members of the X-9 Paulistana Samba School danced up a storm at a samba competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Saturday.

The contest at the Anhembi Sambadrome, which is part of the annual Carnival season, was a dazzling showcase of performances from samba schools around the country.

In the 1950s, Carnival in Sao Paulo was a small event, drawing only a handful of schools. This year, it is a five-day celebration that involves 13 schools and thousands of samba fans.

Most of the spectators are avid supporters of a particular school, much like the Brazilians' loyalty towards their football teams.

The winning samba team will be announced on Wednesday.

Outside of the stadium, enthusiasts also gather for samba parades in several Sao Paulo neighbourhoods, with the most famous one in Bixiga, home to one of the best samba schools in the city.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2018, with the headline 'Dancing up a storm for Carnival'. Print Edition | Subscribe