By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Sunday, February 11th, São Clemente will be the second samba school to represent the Grupo Especial (Special Group) at Carnival 2018. Following Império Serrano, which opens Sunday’s show, São Clemente parades at the Sambódromo at 10:20 PM, paying homage to Rio’s Escola de Belas Artes (School of Fine Arts).

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The São Clemente samba school is the second to enter the Sambódromo on Sunday, February 11th, photo by Sofie Mentens/Riotur.

Having scored the ninth place (out of twelve) last Carnival with a “samba enredo” (thematic samba composition) about France’s King Louis XIV, São Clemente promises to return this year with a relevant theme, impressive “carros alegóricos” (the thematic cars), and stunning costumes.

Composed by Ricardo Góes, Flavinho Segal, Naldo, Serginho Machado, Fabiano Paiva, Igor Marinho and Gusttavo Clarão, “Academicamente Popular” (Academically Popular), São Clemente’s samba enredo for Carnival 2018, brings important references to understand Brazil’s artistic tradition, founded with the arrival of the Portuguese Royal family in Rio, in the early nineteenth century.

Mentioning names like French artist Jean-Baptiste Debret, the lyrics present the central role of the French Artistic Mission to the consolidation of the Fine Arts in Brazil. Additionally, the samba also portrays the themes that most inspired the French Artistic Mission’s artists in Rio, like its exuberant nature and its people.

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Represented by the colors black and yellow, São Clemente participates in the prestigious Grupo Especial for the eighth consecutive year now, photo by Fernando Grilli/Riotur.

Among the costumes presented this year, some will be honoring renowned Brazilian artists who have studied at Escola de Belas Artes in the twentieth century. “Ala 23” (the 23rd group of São Clemente walking on the Sapucaí) will pay tribute to modernist Cândido Portinari and its remarkable work “Meninos Soltando Pipas” (Kids Flying Kites), from 1941. “Ala 22” will honor painter Ismael Nery, great name from Brazil’s surrealism movement.

Having started as a Carnival bloco in 1952, São Clemente was originally founded in 1961 by João Marinho and Ailton Teixeira, who lived at the São Clemente Street, in Botafogo. After a respectful debut in Rio’s 1962 Carnival, São Clemente conquers a place in the prestigious Grupo Especial in 1967, with the samba enredo “Apoteose ao Folclore Brasileiro”, honoring Brazil’s folklore and its people’s miscegenation.

After many years of ups and downs in the Second and Third League, São Clemente has been part of the prestigious Grupo Especial since 2011. This Carnival, the Botafogo-born school competes in this group for the eighth consecutive time.

Represented by a black-and-yellow flag with the Sugarloaf Mountain as its centre, São Clemente is famous among Carnival lovers for its humour and sociopolitical approach, both in its lyrics and lively performance.

Those interested in participating in Carnival 2018 still have the opportunity to walk on the Sambódromo with São Clemente samba school. In order to purchase a costume, one must access São Clemente’s official website. Costumes cost R$600.

Be sure to stay with The Rio Times to learn more about the other competing schools, winners and additional events during this year’s Carnival.

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