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Spirit of Samba: Carnival sets Rio alight as dancers take to the Sambadrome
Rio de Janeiro's top samba schools entertained thousands at the Sambadrome with eye-opening performances.
A performer adjusts her costume before the Imperio Serrano samba school parade on the first night of Rio's Carnival at the Sambadrome on Feb. 11, 2018.
Rio de Janeiro's top samba schools danced and sang hard as millions of other Brazilians did the same during nationwide Carnival celebrations that ridiculed local and world leaders, called for tolerance and pushed the boundaries of just about everything.
Members of the Grupo Especial Beija Flor samba school take part in a gang violence themed Carnival piece.
In Rio, the celebrations come during a time of unease, as the city that hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics is experiencing a surge in violence.
Authorities promised 17,000 security officers would patrol every day during Carnival celebrations, but Brazilian media reported several muggings over the weekend in the upscale neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon that are popular with tourists.
A member of the Grupo Especial Salgueiro samba school takes part in the celebration.