Imperatriz Leopoldinese is a Samba School from the neighborhood of Ramos in northern Rio. With a crown as its official symbol, the school was named after the former Empress of Brazil, Maria Leopoldina, a major force in Brazil’s fight for independence from Portugal. Imperatriz made its Rio Carnival debut in 1960 in Group C (the fourth tier in the hierarchy of Samba Groups). After a strong first performance, Imperatriz was promoted to the Group B, and by 1965 the school was bumped up to the Access Group (Group A). The school maintained its status in the Access Group from 1970 until its first Group championship, with back-to-back victories in the 1980 and 1981 competitions. In 1990, Imperatriz was promoted to the Special Group, where it has remained ever since. The school was crowned overall Carnival Champions in 1994 and 1995, and scored an impressive three-peat, winning again from 1999-2001.

GRES Imperatriz is known for its technical superiority and perfectionism, in addition to its unique adaptation of themes, typically focusing on the history and culture of Brazil. In fact, Imperatriz is the only school from a Rio league to ever win the competition with straight A’s – the equivalent of all perfect 10s!

Service Projects: The school is in the process of building a sports complex, modeled after an Olympic village, with special facilities for the children of the neighborhood’s favelas. What’s more, they have launched a recycling program in which empty beer and soda cans can be exchanged for a “cesta básica,” a bag of basic necessities such as rice, beans, flour, and milk—6 or 7 items that will help families of the favela make ends meet. Imperatriz prides itself as a middleman of sorts between the government, the community, and the multinational corporations who work in alongside various world health organizations.

Be sure to book your Rio Carnival Tickets today and watch Imperatriz perform in the Sambadrome on Carnival!!



Also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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