The Brazilian Samba Experience

Acedemicos Da Rocinha Samba – School Review

Acadêmicos Da Rocinha Samba photo

When we talk about samba-schools in Rio de Janeiro, we normally think of traditional names like Portela, Estação Primeira de Mangueira, Salgueiro and Unidos da Tijuca Samba-Schools. But a relatively new samba-school in Rio de Janeiro has emerged in the last Carnivals of Brazil because of its creativity and structure: Academicos da Rocinha (which means “small ranch” ). Being established in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Rio, São Conrado, “Academicos da Rocinha Samba School” has grown tremendously over the last 10 years, being champion 6 times in smaller Samba Groups like Group D, C, B and A. In 2005, with Carnival Producer Alex de Souza, they won the Group A Carnival Title, which granted them access to the elite samba group in Rio called “Special Group”. One of the reasons for their success was the hiring of established Carnaval professionals like legendary Carnival Producer Joaosinho Trinta, and Carnival Queens like Adriane Galisteu and Fabia Borges. Let´s take a closer look at Academicos da Rocinha´s profile.

Acadêmicos da Rocinha samba school had its origin on the thirty first of march 1988 coming from three street blocks from Rocinha slum: The “Império da Gávea”, Sangue Jovem and “Unidos da Rocinha”. Its symbol is a butterfly and the colors are Blue, Green and White.

They paraded for the first time as a samba school in 1989 at Group 4, parading on Intendente Magalhães Road at the Campinho neighborhood, in Rio. At the time, their Carnaval producer was Joãozinho Trinta and that year the school achieved the championship and went up to Group 3. In 1990, the school was champion of Group 3 and in 1991 of Group 2 taking them up to Group 1 where they remained until 1996, year that achieved a second place and granted the right to parade for the first time in the Special Group.

From 2002 onwards, the Acadêmicos da Rocinha samba school remained on Group A and in 2005, with the samba theme “Um Mundo sem Fronteiras” the school achieved the championship and had the right to parade in 2006 again for Special Group. However, the school ended up demoted to the Access Group after a parade with 371,7 points.

On 2008 Carnival, Max Lopes´s assistant, Fábio Ricardo, made his debut as Carnaval producer. That year, Academicos da Rocinha Samba School achieved a second place with Império Serrano as champion of the second league of Rio´s Carnival, called “Acess Group”.

In 2009, São Conrado neighborhood school made a tribute to cartoon artist J. Carlos the theme “Tem Francesinha no Salão… O Rio no meu Coração” achieving the third place with 239 points, remaining at Access A Group for 2010 Carnaval.

Rocinha Samab-School will remain with Carnaval Producer Fábio Ricardo for 2010 Carnaval and is looking for another comeback to the so cherished Special Group with the samba theme “Ykamiabas”, based on a book that tells the saga of warrior woman that arrived in the Amazon ten thousand years ago. Rocinha´s history is a proof that with much effort and samba passion, a beautiful and organized Carnaval samba-school can be created in relatively short period of time.

Photo by Luiz Fernando / Sonia Maria

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