Vila Isabel

Formed out of a football (soccer) team from the northern Rio neighborhood of Vila Isabel, two-time Special Group champions GRES Unidos de Vila Isabel is a Samba School that is best characterized by its strong sense of community. Keeping the blue and white colors of the soccer team from which the school was born, the residents of Vila Isabel work hard to support and preserve the status of their local Samba School. With the support of a loyal fan base, Vila Isabel now ranks high among Rio de Janeiro’s top Samba Schools, being promoted to the prestigious Special Group in 1995 after nearly vanishing into oblivion as it lingered for years in the Access Group.

In 1996, the school recruited one of the most well-respected Carnival designers and has been a top scoring school ever since. Of its many active supporters, perhaps the most famous of them is international supermodel Gisele Bündchen, who performed on one of Vila Isabel’s floats in the Rio Carnival 2011 parade. Vila Isabel is the only school that annually refuses to accept tourists into its parades, and does not sell its costumes to anybody who is not involved in the small community as it prepares for the Rio Carnival parade.

Service Projects: In addition to a state-of-the-art sports center, one of Vila Isabel Samba School’s many social projects is called “Casa de Bambinha”, a program for local youth ages 10 to 17 that is taught by professors and composers. The course’s basic curriculum covers concepts spanning the creation and aesthetics of art, music, literature and poetry; the variability between written language and spoken language; the semantic notions of stylistic and literary genres; forms of composition; and the history of Brazilian popular music (MPB) and samba.

The school also sponsors workshops for lining costumes, sequin embroidery techniques, props, art feathers, jewels, head-wear, lining sculptures and floats, the dismantling of allegories and recycling of materials, and an introduction to modeling and sewing for carnival school support. After an evaluation, all students are to be certified after the completion of the course.

Watch Vila Isabel as they parade live in the Sambadrome!! Book your Rio Carnival Tickets Today!!

Also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)