Women in elegant, long-flowing dresses saunter on the red carpet while men in tuxedos smile broadly and wave to hundreds of people who have lined up along Rio de Janeiro’s Avenida Atlantica to have a look.
As the guests walk into the iconic Copacabana Palace Hotel, they are greeted with the rhythms of a Japanese drum ensemble and the sounds of ocean waves just across the street. Once inside, dozens of men and women in Japanese kimonos bow and say “good night.”
Welcome to Rio’s Ball, the highest of the high-end Carnival parties in the world capital of the bash.
“This event is for people who like to dress up, not just women but men too,” said Andrea Natal, general director of the Copacabana Palace Hotel. “It’s for people who don’t want to deal with dirty bathrooms and who just want a little bit of luxury.”
In stark contrast to the hundreds of hard-charging street parties across Rio that are open to anyone, the “Baile do Copa” bills itself as a fairytale event where the country’s elite – superbly dressed, sometimes in line with the ball’s