Founded by Ivo Gomes da Rocha, John Marino and Aílton Teixeira in 1961, GRES São Clemente is historically the only Samba School from the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro. São Clemente is from the neighborhood of Botafogo, located on Guanabara Bay. The school managed to remain relatively uncontroversial until the 1984 Samba Parade when it told the story of the terrible and oftentimes violent traffic conditions on the streets of Rio de Janeiro through its plot called, “Don’t run, don’t kill, don’t die; the devil is free in the streets”.
Today, São Clemente is infamous for its contemptuous disposition towards Brazilian culture, as is depicted in its plots which are chock-full of good humor, satire, and respectfully sarcastic criticism on a variety of topics ranging from street violence, homelessness, the shortage of satisfactory housing and a lack of societal change and economic progress in the favelas. In 1987 with the plot entitled “Tarmac Skippers”, Sao Clemente used actual street children to parade alongside its Vanguard Commission. Though risky and provocative in nature, these plots are effective and lend themselves well to emotional songs, shocking costumes, and meaningful dances that consistently prove to be crowd favorites. The school is known for its ever-changing Samba Group membership, as it constantly oscillates between the two main groups (the Special Group and the Access Group), bringing São Clemente the nickname, the “Yo-yo School”.
Service Projects: GRES São Clemente is from the beachfront neighborhood of Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro. Today, the São Clemente Samba School is deeply involved in the development and education of the youth of that neighborhood, and the school maintains strong ties and affiliations with the local college. Like all Samba Schools, São Clemente also provides its neighborhood with vocational training and much-needed jobs through the year-long preparations for Rio Carnival. What’s more, the school is known for bringing contemporary social issues, like street violence and a low quality of life, to the forefront of national dialogue through its performances in the annual Rio Carnival Samba Parades.
Don’t miss São Clemente as they parade through the Sambadrome on Carnival Sunday, March 2nd, 2014! Book your Rio Carnival Tickets Today!!
Also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)