RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — La multitud reunida el sábado era una mezcla típica del carnaval de Río: una cuota de superhéroes, chicas en atuendo de conejitas, zombies y princesas, un grupo de bailarines de hula con el pecho descubierto.

Pero la música no era la tradicional samba. La fiesta callejera temática "Thriller Electrico", con reminiscencias de Michael Jackson, era una de varias que agregaban ritmos de rock, Motown, latinos y otros a los de la samba asociados con las frenéticas tradiciones carnavalescas brasileñas.

Los que se presentaron para el "bloco" de Jackson, como se conocen a las bandas callejeras y sus seguidores, llegaron preparados para celebrar a su icono: guantes blancos, pelucas y atuendos que representaban al popular artista en varias fases de su carrera.

"Soy un gran fanático de MJ", afirmó Marjorie Lopes, que bailaba cerca del escenario mientras la banda entonaba "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough". "Y si lo mezcamos con samba, ¡no podemos pedir más!"

(CONTINÚA DEBAJO DE LA GALERÍA DE FOTOS)

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  • A dancer from the Aguia de Ouro samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A reveller of Academicos do Tatuape samba school dances during the first night of Carnival parades in Sao Paulo on February 08, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Una bailarina de la escuela de samba Vai-Vai desfila durante el carnaval en Sao Paulo, el sábado 9 de febrero de 2013 (AP Foto/Andre Penner)

  • A couple dressed as clowns participate in the "Cordao da Bola Preta" street carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. According to Rio's tourism office, Rio's street Carnival this year will consist of 492 block parties, attended by an estimated five million Carnival enthusiasts. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

  • La escuela de samba Aguia de ouro desfila en su carroza durante el carnaval en Sao Paulo, el sábado 9 de febrero de 2013 (AP Foto/Andre Penner)

  • A dancer from the X-9 Paulistana samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A dancer from the Aguia de Ouro samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • People dance during the "Ceu na Terra" block carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. According to Rio's tourism office, Rio's street Carnival this year will consist of 492 block parties, attended by an estimated five million Carnival enthusiasts. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

  • A reveler poses for photos during the "Cordao da Bola Preta" street carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. According to Rio's tourism office, Rio's street Carnival this year will consist of 492 block parties, attended by an estimated five million Carnival enthusiasts. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

  • Dancers from the Dragoes da Real samba school perform on a float during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • Dancers from the Dragoes da Real samba school perform during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A pregnant dancer from the X-9 Paulistana samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • Dancers from the Dragoes da Real samba school perform during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A dancer from the Dragoes da Real samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A pregnant dancer from the X-9 Paulistana samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A dancer from the Vai-Vai samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A dancer from the Vai-Vai samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • Drummers from the Dragoes da Real samba school perform during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A dancer from the Vai-Vai samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • Children from the Vai-Vai samba school perform during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A dancer from the Vai-Vai samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A reveller of X-9 Paulistana samba school performs during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A dancer from the Vai-Vai samba school performs during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, early Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • A reveller of Aguia de Ouro samba school performs during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A reveller of Aguia de Ouro samba school performs during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers of X-9 Paulistana samba school perform atop of a float during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers take part in the 'Cordao do Bola Preta' traditional carnival band parade along Rio Branco avenue, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 9, 2013. Carnival was under way in Rio on Saturday with millions set to take to the streets for days of rowdy, joyous parades and festivities, bringing the nation to a halt for its annual wild party. Nearly 800,000 Brazilian and foreign tourists were expected join Rio's six million residents in the celebrations, whose climax comes on Sunday and Monday with the city's top samba schools putting on their extravagant processions led by sexy dancing queens. AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A reveller of X-9 Paulistana samba school performs during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers take part in the 'Cordao do Bola Preta' traditional carnival band parade along Rio Branco avenue, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 9, 2013. Carnival was under way in Rio on Saturday with millions set to take to the streets for days of rowdy, joyous parades and festivities, bringing the nation to a halt for its annual wild party. Nearly 800,000 Brazilian and foreign tourists were expected join Rio's six million residents in the celebrations, whose climax comes on Sunday and Monday with the city's top samba schools putting on their extravagant processions led by sexy dancing queens. AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers take part in the 'Cordao do Bola Preta' traditional carnival band parade along Rio Branco avenue, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 9, 2013. Carnival was under way in Rio on Saturday with millions set to take to the streets for days of rowdy, joyous parades and festivities, bringing the nation to a halt for its annual wild party. Nearly 800,000 Brazilian and foreign tourists were expected join Rio's six million residents in the celebrations, whose climax comes on Sunday and Monday with the city's top samba schools putting on their extravagant processions led by sexy dancing queens. AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers take part in the 'Cordao do Bola Preta' traditional carnival band parade along Rio Branco avenue, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 9, 2013. Carnival was under way in Rio on Saturday with millions set to take to the streets for days of rowdy, joyous parades and festivities, bringing the nation to a halt for its annual wild party. Nearly 800,000 Brazilian and foreign tourists were expected join Rio's six million residents in the celebrations, whose climax comes on Sunday and Monday with the city's top samba schools putting on their extravagant processions led by sexy dancing queens. AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers of X-9 Paulistana samba school perform during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers of Vai-vai samba school perform during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers of Vai-vai samba school perform during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A reveller of Vai-vai samba school performs during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers of Vai-vai samba school perform during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers of X-9 Paulistana samba school perform during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers of X-9 Paulistana samba school perform during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers of X-9 Paulistana samba school perform during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A reveller of X-9 Paulistana samba school performs during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A reveller of X-9 Paulistana samba school performs during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers of X-9 Paulistana samba school perform atop of a float during the first night of Carnival parades at Sao Paulo on February 09, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers take part in the 'Cordao do Bola Preta' traditional carnival band parade along Rio Branco avenue, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on February 9, 2013. Carnival was under way in Rio on Saturday with millions set to take to the streets for days of rowdy, joyous parades and festivities, bringing the nation to a halt for its annual wild party. Nearly 800,000 Brazilian and foreign tourists were expected join Rio's six million residents in the celebrations, whose climax comes on Sunday and Monday with the city's top samba schools putting on their extravagant processions led by sexy dancing queens. AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • General view of the 'Cordao do Bola Preta' traditional carnival band parade along Rio Branco avenue, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on February 9, 2013. Carnival was under way in Rio on Saturday with millions set to take to the streets for days of rowdy, joyous parades and festivities, bringing the nation to a halt for its annual wild party. Nearly 800,000 Brazilian and foreign tourists were expected join Rio's six million residents in the celebrations, whose climax comes on Sunday and Monday with the city's top samba schools putting on their extravagant processions led by sexy dancing queens. AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRAZIL-CARNIVAL-SAO PAULO-PARADE

    Revellers from Rosas de Ouro samba school perform during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Sao Paulo,Brazil, on February 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A reveller from Rosas de Ouro samba school performs during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Sao Paulo,Brazil, on February 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A reveller from Rosas de Ouro samba school performs during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Sao Paulo,Brazil, on February 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers from Rosas de Ouro samba school perform during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Sao Paulo,Brazil, on February 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers from Rosas de Ouro samba school perform during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Sao Paulo,Brazil, on February 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Revellers from Academicos do Tatuape samba school perform atop a float during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Sao Paulo,Brazil, on February 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A reveller from Rosas de Ouro samba school performs during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Sao Paulo,Brazil, on February 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Tony Swaine, un visitante irlandés con un disfraz arrugado de Bumble Bee, estaba contento de poder cantar junto con la banda.


El día anterior había visitado cuatro blocos en los cuales, según es tradicional, los brasileños bailaban al son de tonadas en portugués que sabían de toda la vida, mientras los extranjeros se limitaban a escuchar. "Era divertido de todos modos", comentó. "Pero aquí al menos yo también puedo cantar".


Otro grupo de rock, "Sargento Pimenta", atrajo a 60.000 personas a un parque junto al mar el año pasado para un homenaje a los Beatles. Pero una de las bandas tradicionales más respetadas, "Cordao do Bola Preta", congregó a unos 2,4 millones de fiesteros al centro de la ciudad el sábado por la mañana.


En otra plaza de la ciudad esta semana, otros extranjeros —los uruguayos Maximiliano Duarte, que vive en Río, y Luciana Vaccotti, que visita regularmente Brasil— observaron cuando un nuevo grupo de bloco con el nombre del clásico mexicano "Bésame mucho" concluyó su sesión con una versión rítmica del "Guantanamera" cubano.


Jugar con la tradición es parte del espíritu del carnaval, afirmó Vaccotti. "Es una reapropiación del carnaval por parte de la gente que viene de otros sitios y que quiere participar a su modo".


El mexicano Osvaldo Jiménez Farías, que está completando su doctorado en física en Río, asintió. Fue uno de los fundadores de "Bésame mucho", que también incluye miembros de Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos.


Su repertorio es tan diverso como su elenco, con clásicos familiares para todos los latinoamericanos como los mexicanos "Cielito lindo" y "La bamba", y el éxito argentino "El matador" de los Fabulosos Cadillacs, entre otros.


"Somos extranjeros pero formamos parte de esta ciudad", explicó. "La idea es participar en esta fiesta muy brasileña, reconociendo a la vez que también tenemos algo para contribuir".


La banda "carna-rock" Blocco Cru también aporta lo suyo. La cantante principal Lu Baratz se crió en Río pero siempre fue aficionada al rock. Escuchaba a The Clash, Iron Maiden, Metallica, pero con "oído brasileño", afirmó.


Debutó en las calles de Río hace cinco años y halló su público entre las hordas de locales hambrientos de algo menos tradicional. "Atrae a toda clase de tribus", afirmó. "De eso se trata el carnaval, ¿no es así?"