During carnaval in Fortaleza most people leave town and head for the beach. But those who stay get to witness one of Fortaleza’s most captivating traditions. Groups of musicians and dancers spend the year rehearsing for the city’s carnaval parade, where participants slowly process down a grandstand-lined boulevard, drumming maracatu cearense, a rhythm unique to Ceará.
Here’s my video of Maracatu Nação Fortaleza’s final rehearsal, led by composer/musician Calé Alencar, only three days before this year’s carnaval parade. It was part rehearsal, part block party:
And here’s Maracatu Nação Fortaleza performing in downtown Fortaleza during carnaval: