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Friday, Jan. 4, 2013

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Latin vibes: Dancers show off their costumes at a previous Carnaval da Sala in Kawasaki.


Don't let cold weather stop a summer party

Staff writer

The samba group G.R.E.S. Saúde want to help people welcome in 2013 with some Brazilian beats and Latin cheer at the Carnaval da Sala event in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, this weekend.

The event promises to showcase some of Japan's top Brazilian-style dancers and musicians. The name of the event, rendered in English as Carnival of the Salon, aims to bring the same sense of excitement to these shores that the yearly Carnaval of Rio de Janeiro is so famous for. Only this event, due to the cold January weather, will of course take place inside a hall instead of being out on the street.

The Yokohama-based G.R.E.S. Saúde were the champions of the past two annual Asakusa Samba Carnivals, taking home top prize in 2010 and 2012 (the event was suspended in 2011 out of respect for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake).The carnival — like the one in Rio de Janeiro — adopts a contest style, and last year saw 22 teams competing by dancing, singing and playing music.

At this weekend's Carnaval da Sala, G.R.E.S. Saúde will offer nine programs of music and dance. One program in particular is the "All Saude Dancers," in which almost every dancer in the troupe will perform. The "Selecao da Saude" program also promises to be a highlight, as the troupe's top members will perform.

On top of the entertainment, Brazilian food and cocktails will be available to help attendees truly immerse themselves in the culture.

Carnaval da Sala takes place at Lazona Kawasaki's Plazasol on Jan. 6. The show runs from 2:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. Tickets cost ¥2,000 in advance, ¥2,500 at the door. For more information, visit www.plazasol.jp or www.gressaude.com.

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