Brighton School of Samba - G.R.E.S. Cidade Brilhante Brighton School of Samba
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Costume & Design

Our bateria costume includes white trousers and shoes in the tradition of the Rio samba schools, while the dancers wear a range of costumes which vary depending on which ala they represent. We have the extravagant constructions of the Rainha de Bateria and destaques, to the smaller costumes of the passistas and hooped skirts of the baianas. Each section has a traditional costume, which we add to on an annual basis at our costume sessions.

Preparing for Parades

The School's colours are realised through all its costumes and visual elements. Co-ordinating these elements and bringing everything together for each performance is a role traditionally performed by the School's 'Carnavalesco', or Carnival Director. BSS is extremely fortunate to have a team of people involved in getting the School parade-ready, from organising our volunteer stewarding team, preparing costumes, readying the Quikes (our custom-built, eco-friendly PA transporters), tuning and decorating drums, to filing the required paperwork, face painting, and packing water/bananas to keep us fed and watered on the road. We are always needing more help in many areas of the School, so if you have time to spare, do drop us a line. No experience is necessary as we can show you how, all you need is enthusiasm!


The Brighton School of Samba has a number of Ala's (sections) and costumed dancers on parade in 2015 including:

  • Porta Bandeira and Mestre Sala
  • Rainha de Bateria
  • Ala Bateria
  • Ala Commissao de Frente
  • Ala Passista
  • Ala Baiana
  • Destaque
  • Puxadores

Rainha de Bateria
The Rainha de Bateria (Queen of the Drums) leads the Bateria on parade and in performances, drawing attention to the Bateria with her flamboyant costume and elegant dance moves.

Ala Bateria
The Bateria love to dress up as much as the dancers! The challenge is in designing a costume which won't interfere with their playing and is lightweight enough to counter the weight of the instruments, especially that of the surdo. This is the largest section within the school so costumes need to be easily replicated.

Commissau de Frente
The Commissau de Frente have elaborate and beautiful costumes which represent the theme of the school and introduce the theme to the audience with a spectacular combination of choreographed dance and theatre. Everyone is welcome to attend the CDF sessions to learn more about this delightful ala.

The passistas are the 'bikini' dancers. In Rio samba schools they can be seen wearing extraordinarily high heels, a sequinned bikini, lots of feathers and not much else! However, in the somewhat cooler climes of the UK, our passista costumes are more modest.

Ala Baiana
The Baianas offer up a visual spectacle in their large hooped skirts, moving in an elegant, sedate manner during the performance. With the skirts nearly to the floor, the emphasis is on the upper body movements, with occasional spins to show off the costumes and adopting graceful poses.

Costume making sessions

There are individual costumes to be designed and made, such as the Porta Bandeira, Rainha da Bateria and Mestre Sala, as well as costumes for each section. As we prepare for our forthcoming gigs, numerous costume making sessions will be posted in our Facebook members page, as well as on our Calendar page. If you would like to be involved in the creation of the School's costumes for 2015, please email us at


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