This is a joyful, colorful event that takes place at the beginning of carnival and continues throughout (40 days). Its roots are African – Bantu, yet all Uruguayans take part in this unique popular celebration.
The main attractions of Uruguayan Carnival include two colorful parades called Desfile de Carnival (Carnival Parade) and Desfile de Llamadas (Calls Parade, a candombe-summoning parade). In this production I am showing the Calls Parade and all of its representative elements.
The ‘Calls’ groups, basically formed by drummers playing the tamboril, perform candombe rhythmic figures. Revelers also wear their festival clothing. Each group has its own theme. Women wearing elegant, bright dresses are called vedettes and provide the sensual touch to parades.
European archetypes (Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbina) merge with African ancestral elements (the Old Mother or Mama Vieja, the Medicine Man or Gramillero and the Magician or Escobero) in the local version of the festival. As a manifestation of Uruguayan culture and a growing tourist attraction, Uruguayan Carnival is currently receiving important governmental support.
Special thanks to the following http://www.flickr.com members for sharing their beautiful photography: L.A. Shooter (Leo Alvarez); Adriana Cabrera Esteve; Fotoguay
Enjoy the show,