After two days of heady street parties, Rio's Carnival added a sultry yet competitive edge Sunday as the city's elite samba schools readied to dance off at the famed Sambadrome.
A dozen of the best schools, each consisting of several thousand scantily-clad dancers and drummers, were going up against each other in the elite category at Rio's famed Sambadrome before a packed crowd of 70,000 people. (AFP) [21 photos total]

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1
Revellers from the Beija-Flor samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
2
Revellers from the Vila Isabel samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
3
Revellers from the Portela samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
4
Revellers of the Imperio da Tijuca samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 2, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
5
Revellers from the Uniao da Ilha samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
6
Revellers from the Portela samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
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A reveller of the Grande Rio samba school participates in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 2, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
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Revellers of the Grande Rio samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 2, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
9
Revellers of the Salgueiro samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
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Reveller from the Portela samba school participates in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Pilar Olivares) #
11
Revellers of the Salgueiro samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
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Revellers from the Mocidade Independente samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Pilar Olivares) #
13
Revellers from the Uniao da Ilha samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Sergio Moraes) #
14
A float belonging to the Uniao da Ilha samba school moves along Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome during the annual Carnival parade, March 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Pilar Olivares) #
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Revellers from the Mocidade Independente samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
16
Drum Queen Juliana Alves from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school dances in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Pilar Olivares) #
17
Brazil's former national soccer player Rivelino rides atop a float from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school during the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
18
Revellers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
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Revellers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
20
Revellers from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
21
Revellers from the Mocidade Independente samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, March 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #

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