By Michela DellaMonica, 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 first samba school to parade through the Sambódromo on Monday, March 3rd during the 2014 Carnival. Famous for their strong bateria (percussion section) and futuristic set designs, the school has maintained their place in the Grupo Especial (Special Group) since 1990.
Mocidade is amongst the older samba schools in the Grupo Especial, and began over half a century ago as a soccer club in Rio’s Zona Oeste (West Zone) neighborhood of Padre Miguel. It was established as a samba school in 1955, and at first was best known for its drum section, often referred to as “a bateria that carried a school on its back.”
Bateria is one of ten categories on which the schools are judged during the carnival competition, and Mocidade’s continuous focus on their drum line has enabled them become innovators in this category.
They were the first to use a Rainha de Bateria (Queen of the Drums) in 1980 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. In 1985 they welcomed the first Brazilian celebrity as their Rainha, the actress and TV presenter, Monique Evans.
It was during the 1970s that the public began to view Mocidade as a good, all-round school. The arrival of carnavalesco (Carnival designer) Arlindo Rodrigues in 1974 helped them to earn fifth place that year. In 1979, Fernando Pinto took over the position and continued to add to the overall aesthetics. Despite having managed to remain in the Grupo Especial without demotion for over twenty years, Mocidade has not won the competition since 1996.
One of the school’s most remarkable parade innovations was the winged ‘spaceship’ float used in 2000, which looked as if it was flying through the Sambódromo. The only creation of its kind, it greatly impressed both the judges and the public.
This year’s theme – “Pernambucópolis” – developed by Carnavalesco (Carnival Designer) Paulo Menezes, is a double tribute to the culture of Pernambuco, a state in the northeast of Brazil, and Fernando Pinto, the school’s carnival icon. “It is a cultural trip by Pernambuco state, under the gaze of Fernando Pinto,” states Menezes on the school’s website.
The title of the theme makes a direct reference to one of Pinto’s most striking works, “Tupinicopolis”, from 1987. “Pernambucópolis will be a baroque-tropicalist, retro-futuristic, post-modern-psychedelic, folkloric-technological and Brazilian theme, above all,” said Menezes, who is planning a truly forward-thinking parade for Carnival 2014.
In June 2012, Mocidade opened a new Quadra (samba rehearsal hall) on Avenida Brazil. Nicknamed the “Maracanã do Samba,” the 33,000 square meter facility has a capacity of 12,000. Rehearsals are taking place there on Saturdays, starting at 10PM, find out more at their web site.
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