Imperatriz Leopoldinense is the champion of Rio’s carnival, 22 years after its last title. The green, white and gold school of Ramos paraded on the Monday night with “O aperreio do cabra que o excomungado tratou com má-querença e o santíssimo não deu guarida”, of carnavalesco Leandro Vieira.
Imperatriz Leopoldinense travelled to the northeast to tell the story of the arrival in both heaven and hell of the bandit leader and folk hero, Lampião. It is the school’s ninth title and the carnavalesco’s third title having previously won with Mangueira in 2016 and 2019, in addition to having won the Série Ouro twice, with Imperatriz itself in 2020 and with Império Serrano in 2022. But it is Império Serrano that is relegated straight back to Série Ouro.
Porto da Pedra, which Critical Divide filmed in December 2022, topped Série Ouro, the second league of samba schools, with its samba “A Invenção da Amazônia”. The samba was based around a book by Jules Verne published as “La Jangada” in French in 1881, and “Eight Hundred Leagues of the Amazon” in English. The school will now parade with the elite schools of the Grupo Especial in 2024. 2012 was the last time Porta da Pedra paraded in Grupo Especial.
The results of Rio’s Carnival Parade in 2023 for the Grupo Especial were:
- Imperatriz Leopoldinense (269.8 out of 270)
- Viradouro (269.7)
- Vila Isabel (269.3)
- Beija-Flor (269.2)
- Mangueira (269.1)
- Grande Rio (268.6)
- Salgueiro (268.5)
- Paraíso do Tuiuti (268.3)
- Unidos da Tijuca (268.2)
- Portela (267.7)
- Mocidade (266.6)
- Imperio Serrano (265.6)
Critical Divide send all best wishes to the community of G.R.E.S Unidos do Porto da Pedra and its carnavaleso Mauro Quintaes. The Rio samba school parades fifth on Saturday, 18 February in Série Ouro with its samba “A Invenção da Amazônia”. The samba is based around a book by Jules Verne published as “La Jangada” in French in 1881 and “Eight Hundred Leagues of the Amazon” in English.
It was Porto da Pedra and Mauro who featured Ronnie Biggs in its carnival samba “Samba No Pé e Mãos ao Alto isto é um Assalto” (Samba On Your Feet and Hands Up. This is a Robbery) back in 1998. We spent an afternoon and evening with them in December 2022 as the school prepared for this year’s carnival. Mauro gave a great interview about Ron and 1998 for out documentary and then the school and community gave a magical, emotional and super charged performance of “Samba No Pé e Mãos ao Alto isto é um Assalto” over 20 years since it was first performed.
It would be great to see Porto da Pedra back in Grupo Especial in 2024, as they were in 1998. Boa sorte para Porto da Pedra.
It is “Parabéns” to Acadêmicos do Grande Rio from Duque de Caxias in Rio de Janeiro, that are finally the champions of Rio’s carnival scoring 269.9 points out of a possible 270.
Grande Rio had just missed out in 2020′ and on three other occasions. Beija-Flor came second with 269.6; and Viradouro, champions in 2020, third with 269.4.
Full results were of Rio’s Carnival Parade in 2022 were:
- Grande Rio (269.6 out of 270)
- Beija-Flor (269.4)
- Viradouro (269.4)
- Vila Isabel (269.2)
- Portela (269.1)
- Salgueiro (268.3)
- Mangueira (268.2)
- Mocidade (268.2)
- Unidos da Tijuca (267.8)
- Imperatriz Leopoldinense (266,7)
- Paraíso do Tuiuti (266.4)
- Sao Clemente (263.7)
You can see phots of the parade from DAY ONE and DAY TWO at Critical Divide’s “Rio: The Guide”.
It is also congratulations to Império Serrano, one of Rio’s most traditional schools that has been parading since 1948, that has been promoted from Grupo Série Ouro, or the Grupo de Acesso, and will parade with the other 11 top schools in Rio in the Groupo Especial in 2023. São Clemente has been relegated in their place.
The next parades are scheduled for Sunday, 19 February and Monday, 20 February 2023.
Despite only coming 7th this year, Estação Primeira de Mangueira
continues to be the top ranked samba school in Rio de Janeiro based on the results of the last five parades.
The top 12 ranked samba schools in Rio are now:
- Mangueira (62 points)
- Portela (60)
- Salgueiro (48)
- Mocidade (36)
- Beija-Flor (49)
- Viradouro (27)
- Grande Rio (34)
- Unidos da Tijuca (25)
- Vila Isabel (28)
- Paraíso do Tuiuti (18)
- Imperatriz Leopoldinense (14)
- União da Ilha do Governador (5)
- São Clemente (4)
Since 1985, and the first parade along the purpose built Sambódromo, 31 schools have paraded in the Grupo Especial.
The top ten samba schools in Rio since 1985 are:
- Beija-Flor (493 points)
- Salgueiro (346)
- Mangueira (320)
- Imperatriz Leopoldinense (316)
- Mocidade (280)
- Portela (237)
- Unidos da Tijuca (204)
- Vila Isabel (186)
- Grande Rio (195)
- Viradouro (186)
Critical Divide’s Chris Pickard sent the Sunday Times a “Postcard from Rio” on 27 February 2022.
The Critical Divide calendar for 2021 features Estação Primeira de Mangueira’s parade at Rio’s carnival on 24 February 2020.
Sadly our On Parade with Mangueira: Carnival in Rio project will now have to wait until 2022 as it needs a proper full-blown Rio carnival to work, and that won’t now happen in 2021, although there may be parade of the top samba schools in July.
If that parade takes place, Mangueira samba will be “Angenor, José & Laurindo”, which refers to three of the school’s most iconic figures, the great composer, Cartola, (Angenor de Oliveira); the singer, Jamelão (José Bispo Clementino dos Santos); and the dance master or mestre-sala, Delegado (Hélio Laurindo da Silva).
2021 marks the centenary of the birth of Mestre Delegado who performed for the school from 1948 through to 1984, when he retired as the Mestre-Sala after Mangueira had won the Super-Championship to mark the first year of the Sambódromo. In that period Delegado had always scored a maximum 10 for his presentation.
Hopefully good things come to those that wait, but until then you can keep up to date on carnival and Rio at www.riotheguide.com.
As in many countries, COVID-19 has had a major and disruptive impact on life in Brazil and in Rio de Janeiro.
Given the size of the population, and the country, Brazil has had one of the highest number of COVID cases and deaths in the world after the US, and access to and around the country has been restricted. As a result a number of hotels, restaurants, bars, stores, attractions, and even beaches, have been closed or offer limit access. So please check before you plan a visit to Brazil or Rio for leisure purposes. We are trying to update our sites at Rio: The Guide and Brazil: The Guide just as soon as it is clear which businesses have re-opened and survived.
It also looks as if there will be major disruption to Rio’s carnival in 2021 with few or none of the major parades and group activities taking place. If you want to truly experience carnival in Rio, or any other part of Brazil, you will be better to wait until 2022.
On the eve of the World Cup there was still time on Monday, 9 June 2014 for the League of Samba Schools (LIESA) to make the draw to decide the date and order that the top samba schools in Rio will parade in February 2015.
Sunday, 15 February 2015
- Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel
- Unidos de Vila Isabel
- Grande Rio
Monday, 16 February 2015
- São Clemente
- União da Ilha do Governador
- Imperatriz Leopoldinense
- Unidos da Tijuca