Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí, Rio de Janeiro.

Porta-Bandeira Lucinha Nobre get prepared for her final show at the parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro .

Explanations: The Mestre-Sala (literally, "The Master of the Room") and the Porta-Bandeira ("she who carries the flag") display the flag of the school to the audience.

The Porta-Bandeira carries the flag, and the Mestre-Sala pays tribute and draws attention to both the flag and the Porta-Bandeira.

Her dance is not a samba, but she spins and swirls her way ahead.

All their moves are regulated in a set of rules, and at one point during the parade they are evaluated by the judges. The slightest mistake may result in their scores being lowered. Their costumes are similar to the gala costumes typical of the eighteenth century, but "carnavalized", i.e. with an exaggerated amount of colors and decorations. (Wikipedia)

The Porta-Bandeira element is a class of its own in a samba-school parade.

She is the focus point, the icon figure where everyone looks upon (and certainly never forgets).

The first major differentiating aspect of a Flag-bearer amongst other samba dancers / elements in a carnival parade is her dressing.

The Flag-bearer has extremely exuberant and luxurious carnival costumes. Sometimes a single flag-bearer costume can cost up to US$ 40,000.

In terms of carnival costumes, the area where carnival directors invest the greatest amount of money, time and detail, is surely the Porta-Bandeira.

Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, 2013

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