By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – G.R.E.S. Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, also known as “Mocidade” or “Mocidade Independente”, will be the fifth samba school to parade through the Sambódromo on Sunday, February 10th during the 2013 Carnival. Well known for their bateria (percussion section) and advanced set designs, the school has maintained their place in the Grupo Especial (Special Group) since 1990 but hasn’t won the Carnival competition since 1996.
One of the older samba schools, Mocidade began over half a century ago as a football (soccer) club in Rio’s Zona Oeste (West Zone) neighborhood of Padre Miguel. In 1955 it was established as a samba school and at first known for its bateria (drum section) – referred to as “a bateria that carried a school on its back.”
This strong focus helped Mocidade to become innovators in the bateria category, one of ten categories on which the schools are judged to determine the champion. They were the first to use a Rainha de Bateria (Queen of the Drums) and the first to perform a famous part of the parade known as the “paradinha” (little stop) in front of the judging committee, allowing the rest of school to continue on and pass behind.
It was during the 1970s that the public began to view Mocidade as a good overall school. The arrival of Carnavalesco (Carnival designer), Arlindo Rodrigues in 1974 helped lead the school to earn fifth place that year. In 1979, Fernando Pinto took over the position and continued to add to the overall aesthetics.
In the most recent Carnival Mocidade placed 9th, failing to qualify for the Champions Parade. The school’s 2012 Enredo (Theme), “For you, Portinari. Ripping the canvas, to the reality” was a tribute to late Brazilian artist Candido Portinari.
For 2013, the school will infuse their samba with a little rock ‘n’ roll. The Enredo will be: “I’m going to Mocidade with Samba and Rock in Rio – for a better world”. A celebration of the music festival, Rock in Rio that originated in Rio in 1985 but went on to be held in Lisbon, Portugal and Madrid, Spain.
The festival was absent from Rio for ten years and only returned in 2011. It was such a success that Rock in Rio will return again in September 2013 with headliners Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Iron Maiden and Ben Harper already confirmed.
The released recording of the Samba-Enredo opens with the sounds of an electric guitar and Brazilian rocker Serguei, who took part in Rock in Rio I and II, is confirmed as a part of the parade. His exact role, however, is being kept a secret.
“I have the notion that I’ve arrived in a school with a great story,” Squel Jorgea, the 2013 Mocidade Porta-Bandeira (flag-bearer) said. “I want to be part of the team that will help Mocidade to be a champion again.”
The bateria, will remain a part of Mocidade’s 2013 parade. Scores from judges for that category are usually among the highest for the school and it continues to be a source of pride. “My baticumbum (a Portuguese onomatopoeia for drum beats) is different/ No, no hotter exists,” goes the chorus of their 2013 Samba-Enredo.
In June,2012, Mocidade inaugurated a new Quadra (samba rehearsal hall) on Avenida Brazil. Nicknamed the “Maracanã do Samba”, the 33,000 square meter facility has a capacity to house 12,000 people. Rehearsals are taking place there on Saturdays starting at 10PM. For more information see the school’s official website here.
G.R.E.S. Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel
Rua Avenida Brazil 31146 – Padre Miguel
Rio de Janeiro, RJ – CEP 21725-001
Tel.: (21) 2223-1098.