2016 – Carnival – Under The Rainbow

Theme & Synopsis by Chris Bicourt

Throughout human history, rainbows have mystified and awed us with their beauty. They are a symbol of peace, hope, and unity. In some cultures the rainbow is a bridge to another world, a giant bow, a serpent, or even a demon that eats children.

Front Commission (Comissão de Frente): Oxumarê

Oxumarê is the god of the rainbow. He is the Orixá of all movement, of all cycles of life. He lives in heaven and comes to earth to visit us through the rainbow. He’s a big snake that surrounds the earth and the sky and ensures the unity and renewal of the universe. And so the cycle begins…

Ala Japan (Ala das Baianas)
In Japanese myth, the rainbow is the “Floating Bridge of Heaven” on which Izanami and Izanagi, the male and female creators of the world descended to create land from the ocean of chaos.

Ala India
In Hindu mythology, Indra, the god of thunder and war, uses the rainbow to shoot arrows of lightning and its colours also correspond to the chakras.

Ala Egypt (Bateria)
In Egyptian mythology rainbows are seen as great bows which lead the way for the sun god Ra and his retinue to ascend into the sky.

Ala Africa (Ala dos Passistas)
In West Africa the rainbow is often associated with serpents and symbolises the spirit of fertility.

Ala Native America (Ala Mirim/children)
In Native America, the Cherokee Indians believe the rainbow forms the hem of the sun’s coat.

Ala England (Guest Ala)
In England today the rainbow is used with its more modern connotations of equality and diversity.

Ala Viking (Guest Ala)
The Vikings called it the “Bifrost”: the burning bridge which connects Midgard (earth) with Asgard, home of the gods.

Ala Ancient Greece   (Drop-in Ala)
In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of the rainbow and a messenger linking the gods to humanity.

All these beliefs surrounding the rainbow make it one of the most potent and influential symbols of the natural world, and one that unites the human race, reminding us of the enigma of nature, and linking us across generations, continents and cultures with its awesome beauty. London School of Samba’s parade will be a burst of colour and impact, forming from the front to the back, a GIANT RAINBOW, representing various people and civilisations around the globe which hold the rainbow as an important symbol in their culture. It is a carnival of colour and coming together.



Designs drawn by Kati Borgers

Front Commission (Comissão de Frente): Oxumarê
Ala Japan (Baianas)
Ala India
Ala Egypt (Bateria)
Ala Africa (Ala dos Passistas)
Ala Native America (Ala Mirim/children)
Ala Ancient Greece (drop-in)

Velha Guarda
In traditional whites with a rainbow-coloured ribbon around hats. Email Mags at [email protected] to be invited to take part in the Velha Guarda.





Embaixo do arco-Iris Existe Samba, Magia e Alegria (Under the rainbow there is Samba, Magic and Happiness)

Lyrics by Xavier Osmir,
Harmony & melody arranged by Paul Rumbol, Xavier Osmir and Marcelo Andrade

Lê lêle le rere
a London School invadiu a cidade
De baixo dos arcos da Lapa
O samba levanta poeira
Sou arco-íris que encandeia

E lá no céu
Lá no céu , o sol raiou que lindo dia
Vem sambar em harmonia
Poesia viva em seu olhar
Chuva de ouro e de prata
Banhavam o mundo
um sinal de paz

Do lado de la, orientais
Levei oferendas aos orixás
Lançando flores na passarela
Gira baianas um mar de festas
Mitologias e Melodias
Colorido sonho renascia

Bate na palma da mão
E pisa na ponta do pé
Em Notting Hill toco batuque e muito axe
Não sei de onde vem
Ou para onde vai
Oh Deus do Sol trás alegria e muita paz

Mae África, homem, mulher
Chamas douradas lancei
Colorindo a passarela
Carnaval encanto em aquarela
Brilha Aurora Boreal
Lapland, carnaval
Sou a Unidos, arco-íris musical

Embaixo do arco-Iris Existe Samba, Magia e Alegria
(Under the rainbow there is Samba, Magic and Happiness)

English Translation

London School invades the city
Under the arches of Lapa
The samba raises the dust
I am the rainbow that overshadows

It’s in the sky
In the sky, the sun shines, when a beautiful day
Come and samba in harmony
Poetry lives in your eyes
Rain of silver and gold
Washing the world
for peace

From the other side of the world came the oriental
Here we brought offerings to the Orixas
Throwing flowers on the passarela
Spinning baianas an ocean of parties
Mythology and Melody

A colourful dream reborn
Clap with the palm of your hand
And step on the tip of your toes
In Notting Hill playing drums and with Axe
I don’t know where it comes from
or where it is leading
The God of Sun bring happiness and peace

Mother Africa, Man and Women
Golden flames were throwing
Colouring the passarela
The Carnival enchants in watercolours
Shine Aurora Boreal
Lapland, Carnival
I am The Unidos, The Musical rainbow


Carnival Events Overview

The pre-carnival events included –

  • Saturday 28th May – Carnival Costume Launch at Guanabara
  • Tues 19th July, 9pm – Rainha da Bateria competition at Floripa
  • Saturday 27th August, 7.30pm – Pre-carnival launch party at The Somers Town Coffee House.

We performed at the following carnival parades –

Our design team this year was composed of:


  • Mia Harris: Comissão de Frente Oxumarê, Ala Japan (Ala das Baianas), Ala Egypt (Bateria)
  • Edmilson Souza: Ala India, Ala Africa (Ala dos Passistas) & Rainha de Bateria
  • Glow Crawford: Ala Native America (Ala Mirim/Children)
  • Sian Dorman, new designer mentee: Ala Ancient Greece

Designs drawn by Kati Borgers


  • Mia Harris: Comissão de Frente Oxumarê highlight costume
  • Mariko de Montalte: Comissao de Frente Oxumarê & Ala Egypt (Bateria)
  • Diane Artis: Ala India & Ala Japan (Ala das Baianas)
  • Edmilson Souza: Ala Africa (Ala dos Passistas) & Rainha da Bateria
  • Glow Crawford: Ala Ancient Greece, Ala Native America & Porta Bandeira & Mestre Sala development
  • Chris Bicourt: 2016 Carnival logo
  • Emergency Exit Arts: Float 1 & 2
  • Make-up Lead: Ioana Schneider

Many thanks to our design review panel: Chris Bicourt, Carron Comerford & Miko de Montalte

Dance leads/teachers and Bateria directors

This year’s dance artists working on our carnival tour are:

  • Ella Mesma: Comissão de Frente Oxumarê – An exciting collaboration with Element Arts Company’s professional dancers!
  • Marta Scott: Ala Japan (Ala das Baianas)
  • Irineu Nogueira: Ala Africa (Ala dos Passistas)
  • Leandro Beleza: Ala India
  • Gladys Cavalcante: Ala Ancient Greece
  • TBC: Ala Native America (Ala Mirim/Children)

This year’s bateria directors working on our carnival tour are:

  • Christopher Mullins-Silverstein
  • Mestre Mags
  • Mestre Fred
  • Karen Brownlie
  • Vik Choudhuri

Carnival Manager/Producer

This year’s carnival manager/producer is Theah Dix.