A girl of seven has been given the go-ahead to samba as a Carnival queen before huge crowds in Rio, after a judge rejected attempts to block her performance by a group that said she was too young to take part...
A girl of seven has been given the go-ahead to samba as a Carnival queen before huge crowds in Rio, after a children’s rights group lost a legal challenge to prevent her from sharing the limelight with stars such as Madonna and Beyoncé.
Julia Lira will become the youngest dancer to ever lead a major Carnival parade, with a starring role at the packed Sambadrome stadium, after a Family Court judge yesterday rejected attempts to block her performance by a group which said she was too young to take part.
Rio’s Carnival parade is a fierce competition between 12 top-tier samba ‘schools’, whose winner is hailed by fans across the country. The Viradouro samba group‘s plan to make Julia its Carnival queen created a huge controversy. The role is usually reserved for sultry models and actresses, and children’s rights groups believe it is too erotic for a young girl.
‘The decision sets a negative precedent that will have implications across Brazil,’ said Carlos Nicodemos who, as director of the Rio de Janeiro state Councail for the Defence of Children and Adolescents, had asked the court to block Julia’s participation.
But Julia’s father, Marco Lira, who is the president of Viradouro group, said concerns about the girl’s wellbeing were overblown.
‘She will wear a costume that is not too skimpy and both me and my wife will watch her closely to make sure she doesn’t get too tired,’ he added. ‘She is my daughter; any father knows what I’m talking about.’