SAMBA SCHOOLS

SAMBA SCHOOLS

The parade of floats in today's Carnival celebration began as an event called Corso in 1907. At that time, it was a parade of cars, a relatively new invention at the time, through the the city. Parade watchers brought streamers and confetti to throw.

1911 saw the first official Ranchos Carnavalescos parade, pre runners to todays Carnival extravaganza were participants dressed up in costumes and performed during the parade accompanied by musicians. Their popularity grew as each Ranchos Carnvalesco competed with the others to become more elaborate and entertaining.

The first escolas de samba or samba school to be formed was Mangueira, in 1928. Soon theme songs, elaborate costumes, and floats became the main attraction of the Rio Carnival. Many other groups from different communities in the Rio area soon followed Mangueira’s footsteps and formed their own local samba schools.

In the 40's and 50's the samba schools began to consolidate their evolution cycle, with a theme, a theme song, costumes and floats. In 1959 Nelson de Andrade, then president of Salgueiro, invited artists Dirceu and Maria Louise Nery to design their parade featuring painter Debret as the theme.

This initiative brought a whole new concept of design that would result in today's carnavalescos. The Samba Parade started to become more popular, and in 1971 for the first time there was a time limit set to the parade of each samba school. The samba songs began to gain a faster beat, and in 1972 the first album with the theme songs of the samba schools was released.

The streets of Rio remained the main stage for the Carnival until 1984, when the Sambadromo, built by world famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer, became the purpose built home for the parades . The Avenue is 700m (half a mile) long.and has recently been reconstructed according to Niemeyer's original design to hold around 72,000 spectators from 2018 Carnival onwards.

The first escolas de samba or samba school to be formed was Mangueira, in 1928. Soon theme songs, elaborate costumes, and floats became the main attraction of the Rio Carnival. Many other groups from different communities in the Rio area soon followed Mangueira’s footsteps and formed their own local samba schools.

In the 40's and 50's the samba schools began to consolidate their evolution cycle, with a theme, a theme song, costumes and floats. In 1959 Nelson de Andrade, then president of Salgueiro, invited artists Dirceu and Maria Louise Nery to design their parade featuring painter Debret as the theme.

This initiative brought a whole new concept of design that would result in today's carnavalescos. The Samba Parade started to become more popular, and in 1971 for the first time there was a time limit set to the parade of each samba school. The samba songs began to gain a faster beat, and in 1972 the first album with the theme songs of the samba schools was released.

The streets of Rio remained the main stage for the Carnival until 1984, when the Sambadromo, built by world famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer, became the purpose built home for the parades . The Avenue is 700m (half a mile) long.and has recently been reconstructed according to Niemeyer's original design to hold around 72,000 spectators from 2018 Carnival onwards.

Over the years the samba schools have grown and the parade has evolved into the world class show you see today. The sought after number one place and rights as reigning champion are battled out point by point as the 40 judges give marks on everything from costumes, to music, float decoration and the flow of parade.

The samba schools parade in different leagues, the top league is called “Groupo Especial” and this is the premier divition that parades on the Sunday and Monday night of Carnival. The 1st divisiom called “Grupo Acesso” parade on the Friday and Saturday, every year the winning school of the access group gets promoted to the Grupo Especial and the last place school is relegated.

As soon as one carnival is over planning begins on the next. Over the course of a year an army of thousands comes together with amazing talent and creativity to produce for one night only the biggest show on earth, Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.