Walking The Red Carpet @ The Scala Gay Gala Ball

Trip Start Sep 29, 2007
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Trip End Dec 20, 2010


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Flag of Brazil  ,
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The carnaval celebrations also include many fancy pants balls at venues around the city, the most well known one being the Scala Gay Gala Ball held at a traditional dance hall in Leblon. We had to have tickets to the hottest gig in town.

Rioīs gay community, largely localized in Ipanema is neither out nor flamboyant most of the year, except at Carnaval and the Scala Ball is where the best drag queens in Brazil come out to play in full bloom. This was a party like no other and was fantastic people watching with all the exotic characters roaming around in full flight. There was Deb, Matthew, Thomas and us in the crew and we talked Rob The Wog Boy from Melbourne into joining us for a night of revellery. The ball attracts both gay and straight patrons. We had spent nearly an entire day sourcing items to make a complete costume for the ball. We had gone to a wonderful old costumery shop downtown where there are men who give old fashioned service running around after you and helping to put a costume together. The store had been operating since 1915 and to shop there was quite an experience. Everything was available including feathers, fabrics, sequins, headpieces, hair, paints and everything fun and sparkley under the sun to make the perfect costume. I bought some black, sequinned shorts and a belt onto which i weaved a gold ostrich feather boa, peacock feathers, fluffy fur, jaguar fabric and black ostrich feathers to give the effect of a rare birdīs tail. I also wore a black glove, shiny new black strappy sandals and a feathered headpiece to complete the costume, not bad for a backpacker. Nadineīs backpack warbdrobe was more suited for a manīs costume so she went as a drag king in gold and black military cap, gold sequinned tie and black pleated dress shirt. I drew a moustache and beard on her face to complete the look.

The whole night was hilarious and began with the funniest part of all....... our crew walking down a giant red carpet that was completely lit with dazzling lights while hundreds of cariocas stood behind barricades in the rain and cheered us on until we reached the entrance where cameras and papparazzi were in a frenzy. The entire party is televised on live TV throughout Brazil and they were interviewing people on the red carpet. We stayed and watched the queens prancing on the carpet and managed to snap some good photos before entering the dance hall. The queens came in all ages, stages of surgery, shapes and sizes and were very interesting to watch. Upon entering we were greeted with two floors of the dance hall in full swing, everybody fluttering around in masks and costumes and dancing to the band.  A true Carnival Ball features live music. There was two large samba bands dressed in full costume taking turns to entertain the crowd and a celebrity guest vocalist. Samba percussion is very loud and i found it to be fun to dance to. Nadine left early because she had a cold but it was still early and i stayed on to fluff around the room meeting people from all over the world then dancing till morning with Matthew, some ladies from Melbourne and a pirate from South Africa. We enjoyed an Acai breakfast on the way home with my head full of fantastic memories of an extravagent party like no other and a definate Carnaval highlight.

The sun came out over Rio today.
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