Brazil: Too Hot for Rubies

Up near the ceiling of Rio's gaudy old Municipal Theater, gay armadas of dangling colored disks swayed in a rising fog of tobacco smoke and perfumed ether. On the floor below, three dance bands, thousands of voices, brigades of clinking bottles and the hypnotic hop of feet endlessly sambaing built a solid wall of sound. In the midst of the jammed dancers, 24-year-old Gilda Lopes, clad in a Queen of Sheba wisp of gauze and sequins, shimmied deliriously on a table top, drinking in masculine ogles as a parched field drinks the spring rain. She lost not a beat...

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