All samba schools use and abuse of sensuality. The summer heat and the samba beat when put together seem to melt inhibitions away. Other than the colorful costumes and elaborate floats, the gorgeous bodies on display are also one of the main attractions of the samba parade. There are some regulations to avoid, let's say, too much of a good thing. One of them says no to complete nudity.
On Carnival 96 a major samba school used Leonardo da Vinci as the inspiration for its theme. In an effort to show all the facets of the master's work, one of the cars included a live display of Da Vinci's superb studies of the human anatomy. Putting it bluntly, the car featured a man and a woman, both stark naked, dancing in two giant vertical rings. Just like Leo's sketches...
Wherever the car passed the crowds literally went wild! TV stations would not dare show images of the car from up close, but newspapers on the following day showed every gory detail of the couple's generous anatomy. Enraged moralists dutifully went in an uproar, and threatened to sue the young couple for indecent exposure!
The school claimed that the girl was actually wearing a diminutive bikini bottom all the time. As the uninhibited couple had been sprinkled with glitter to better catch the lights the excuse stuck. The young man's anatomy naturally "stood out" a bit more than the girl's while he danced and moved his hips around, though, so they had to come up with other logical explanation.
When we say Cariocas are creative we are not kidding. The official version according to the press release was that the boy was wearing a skin-colored tape to hold "it" together. The problem was that once he started sweating on the avenue, the invisible band-aid just fell off... As of today nobody has found a single trace of the elusive accessory.