Carnival 2023: What’s the difference between queen, godmother and muse in a samba school?


Maria Paula Giacomelli

Feathers, sparkles and a lot of samba on the foot are just some of the characteristics of the godmothers and queens of Carnival at the samba schools. Although the women who hold these positions parade down the avenue and delight the public with their ease, they have different attributions.

In the midst of engaging samba-plots and flashy floats in a party that is to be felt and celebrated, the definitions of godmother, queen and princess end up being a little aside. Everyone knows they are there, but few know for sure what defines each one.

And every year we see famous faces and celebrities on the avenue. Some are honored, others are younger and there are those that incorporate samba in the foot — subject to criticism. One of the celebrities who is heavily criticized for her lack of ability to dance samba is Adriane Galisteu, who is the former queen of drums in Portela. Comments rained down pointing negatively to the presenter’s dance.

Angélica Ferrarez, a researcher on the social history of samba with a focus on the female gender in the post-abolition period, explains that drum queen is a position normally reserved for those who can afford it. In this way, the representative does not necessarily need to have a lot of swing.

It is often occupied by celebrities — who invariably deny having paid to be there. This year, names such as Sabrina Sato (Vila Isabel), Paolla Oliveira (Grande Rio) and Lexa (Unidos da Tijuca) will cross over to Marquês de Sapucaí in this capacity.

“Some offices are being emptied. The drum queen has become a profitable and interesting position for the samba school to sell and be able to raise money. It is important to remember that the samba school is a cultural manifestation that does not have strong investment from the State, so this position serves as a mediator to obtain money”, she explains.

The princess is in charge of representing the samba community. It is she who usually has a more involving dance. “She IS someone from the community, comes from a samba family and already belongs to the samba universe.”

Another important office in the revelry is that of muse. Yasmin Brunet, for example, is following in the footsteps of her mother, Luiza Brunet, and will cross the avenue as the muse of Grande Rio. This position names the person who stands on top of one of the various floats and represents only a part of the samba-plot.

Other celebrities who will parade as muses this year are Thelminha Assis (Mangueira), Lorena Improta (Viradouro) and Bianca Andrade (Grande Rio). Erika Schneider, model, ex-Fazenda and former Faustão dancer, will have a double journey as the muse of Águia de Ouro, in São Paulo, and of Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, in Rio.

The drum godmother is someone important to the school or who will be honored. “It’s the person who will patronize, who will accompany the drums and to whom the drums reverence”, quotes Angélica. “There is a generational perspective, unlike the Queen, who is usually a young girl or an adult person,” she clarifies. Carla Diaz (Star of the Third Millennium, in SP) and Monique Alfradique (Grande Rio) are some of the celebrities to occupy this post in 2023.

“Queen, godmother and princess are three figures who come to the forefront of the drums, but it is power and money relations that will define who is who in this game. , a reveler. But everything involves power relations that respond to the cultural industry”, says the historian.

Source: Folha

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