Dancer’s High-Tech Rio Carnival Costume Transforms Into a Glittery Jaguar


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The Rio Carnival is one of the most colorful celebrations around the world. On top of the spectacular samba showcases, the festival also features hundreds of shiny and intricate costumes. While many of these creative outfits pay tribute to the flora and fauna of Brazil, one costume has gone a step further, transforming a dancer into a ferocious creature. Actress Paolla Oliveira joined the Rio Carnival wearing a clever costume that turned her into a jaguar as if by magic.

Videos shared by Oliveira on Instagram show the actress clad in a glittery costume. On top of golden feathery wings on the back, the suit features black marks mimicking the spots of a jaguar. But the most captivating aspect of the costume is the headpiece. What first looks like a shiny crown, comes down when Oliveira lowers her head, revealing a jaguar mask that covers her entire face. As if that wasn't impressive enough, the jaguar's eyes light up, shining in a bright yellow that stands out as the dancer continues to move.

The piece was designed by Bruno Oliveira, who has dressed dozens of carnival dancers throughout the years. In reference to this particular ensemble, he told Brazilian outlet Gshow, “We've been working on this outfit, me and my team, with a technology professional, since the end of September. There have been lots of tests, lots of trials. We have an Arduino motor, a LED drive; we have a professional who takes care of the technology, who is a ‘crazy' professional of geniality, of mechanisms.”

The designer also shared the materials used in the costume's construction: “We used canabrava grass, which is a natural material that replaces feathers. That's because it's about a storyline that's natural.” Additionally, the entire outfit is covered in crystals. “We're probably talking about more than 40,000 crystals applied between her head and her body,” Oliveira explained. While the designer didn't want to go into detail of how the mask mechanism works to avoid spoiling the trick, he revealed that it was operated by remote control, which was managed by the dancer herself.

The creative ensemble has made waves around Brazil and beyond, as it has elevated the possibilities of Carnival costume design. “We really like the boldness and these transformations,” Oliveira admits. “It was the perfect match with what Paolla was looking for at the moment and what we like to do.”

Actress Paolla Oliveira joined the Rio Carnival wearing a clever costume that turned her into a jaguar as if by magic.


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Una publicación compartida por Rio Carnaval (@riocarnaval)

The piece was designed by Bruno Oliveira, who revealed that the mask was operated by remote control by the dancer.

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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