Rio de Janeiro’s Samba Schools
Mention Brazil and one of the first things that come to mind, after football of course, is Carnival. Thousands of dancers elaborately dressed, you could argue in a state of undress, in sequins, feathers and outlandish colours dance samba to the beat of the drums winding their way down the Sambódromo. The competition in the Sambodromo is fierce with different samba schools battling it out amongst themselves to be the best school in Brazil.
Samba schools in Rio de Janeiro are best described as the community centres of the favelas. Members spend months rehearsing, practicing their drumming, building floats, making costumes and fine tuning their samba moves. If you want to have a real samba experience, then you have to go to a samba school rehearsal party. Part of the drum section, dancers and a large warehouse and you have all the ingredients for a unique experience in Rio de Janeiro. The overall aim of the rehearsal is to raise money for the samba school but really it is just an excuse for a big party. Let’s have a look at some of the samba schools in Rio de Janeiro.
Mangueira- Of all the samba schools in Rio de Janeiro this is probably the most popular and was the winner of the inaugural Samba parade in the Sambódromo. Boasting excellent community support the colours of Mangueira are green and pink. Where: Rua Visconde de Niterói 1072, Mangueira When: Saturday 10pm.
Grande Rio- Representing the town of Caxias this relatively new samba school has come close to winning the carnival parade several times but has yet to win. Many of Brazil’s media identities participate in this school. Where: Colégio Sâo José- Duque de Caxias. When: Friday 10pm.
Salgueiro- Fire, sets this samba school apart from the rest and was the first school to highlight the achievements of Afro-Brazilians. Consistently scoring well in the Sambodromo it is a favourite amongst celebrities and the school is in one of the safest areas of Rio de Janeiro which makes it a good option to visit. Where: Rua Silva Teles 104- Tijuca When: Saturday 10pm
Beija-Flor- Undoubtedly the number one samba school in Rio de Janeiro. Winner of the Sambódromo on numerous occasions, the last time was in 2011. The determination to win is strong and they have a excellent artistic management on their side Where: Pracinha Wallace Paes Leme 1025. When: Thursday 9pm.
Vila Isabel- History and tradition can best describe this samba school which hovered on the brink of extinction for sometime before an unbelievable win put it firmly back where it belongs, among the great samba schools. Winner of the 2013 carnival parade, the school’s samba hall is among the best to watch a rehearsal and try a little samba for yourself.. Where: 28 de Setembro 382-Vila Isabel When: Saturday 10pm
James – Marketing Team