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The Samba Schools

Samba Schools - Photo: Antonio Cruz abr (License: CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Samba Schools - Photo: Antonio Cruz abr (License: CC-BY-SA-3.0)

In the 30s, the batucadas appeared in Recife, which would be the predecessors of the samba schools in Pernambuco. After they saw the parade of the 'doubtful ones', formed by sailors from a carioca ship that landed in Recife, in 1945, after the Second World War, it was that the batucadas began to organize, being the first official competitions of samba schools organized from the 50s onwards. Initially, contests were organized by the Carnavalesca Federation of Pernambuco, and later by UNESPE.

The main samba schools of that time were Gigante do Samba, Limonil, Império do Asfalto, on Dois de Julho, on Quatro de Outubro. In the beginning, there was only one division of Recife samba, where Gigante, São José Students, Limonil, Quatro de Outubro, Dois de Julho and Labariri paraded. With the creation of new schools, Group 2 was created. There was no rise or demotion. With the change of name from UNESPE to FESAPE, other divisions were created: Group 3 and Grupo Aspirante.

Until then, schools were not concerned with the issue of rising and relegation, as always a big one helped a small one in the second group. For example: Students helped Students of Pina (both red and white). Giant helped Império do Samba. Many drummers from Galeria do Ritmo and Samarina used to go out to the students. Samarina asked Students for the ward costumes of the previous year, and there was not much rigor in the competitions. Of all the schools that belonged to the second group and prospered, it was only the Gallery that rose in group after being grafted with a great dissent within Gigante. Hence the great rivalry between these two schools. Before it was Gigante x Students.

The first year that the relegation started was in 1978. In the previous year, 1977, there was no competition for the 1st Group: due to problems between the schools of this (only this year, Students, Gigante and Limonil), the then mayor of the City (Dr. Antônio Farias) canceled the competition for this group. As the Império do Samba School (2nd group) performed very well, it received the prizes for the 1st and 2nd groups and the right to present itself as a first-class school the following year. In the following year (1978) Students and Limonil, in protest at the gesture of the mayor, did not participate in the carnival, only Gigante and Império do Samba participating in the main group, each parading on a different day, both being considered champions.

In 1978 there was no downgrade; went up the Escola de Samba Samarina, champion of the 2nd Group. In 1979, they participated in the parade of the 1st Students, Gigante, Império and Samarina Group. The last placed was Gigante. She was not demoted because the other three petitioned her to remain in the first group. Gigante's people hide this fact. To 1980 the Galeria do Rítmo, champion of the 2nd group in 1979, rose. Nobody went down, too, with the result of the 1980 carnival. Champion Students, Vice Gallery, 3rd Samarina, 4th Giant and 5th Limonil.

In the 90s there was a rift in the samba schools in Recife, when some of the more traditional schools joined FESAPE and returned to compete for the Carnavalesca Federation. In 1999, AESPE was created and held its first fashion show in 2000. There were three separate competitions, that of FESAPE, that of AESPE and that of FCP. The historical reconstruction of the old carnival in Recife, currently undertaken by several researchers, is a point of difficult research, since the material of most associations is lost due to boards that have not been concerned with the conservation of its history. Minute books of many associations were lost several times, mainly in times of changes of board.

Source: Wikipedia

Samba Schools - Photo: Antonio Cruz abr (License: CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Samba Schools - Photo: Antonio Cruz abr (License: CC-BY-SA-3.0)
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