Ministério do turismo, secretaria especial da cultura e belgo bekaert arames apresentam

Sede da Escola de Samba Vai-Vai

Bixiga, São Paulo - SP, 04002-010

Surroundings of the old court of Vai-Vai, recently demolished. Google Maps clipping, 2022.

Vai-Vai is one of the protagonists of the memory of samba in São Paulo. Stories tell that the group was formed by neighbors and sambista friends who followed the game of the Cai-Cai soccer team, in the floodplain of the Saracura River, near Rua Rocha and Rua Una. The address where they stored their instruments was that of a director’s house on Rua 14 de Julho. Throughout the 1920s, the “Cae-Cae class” attracted the attention and discomfort of the population of the Bixiga neighborhood, which, after requesting them every day to “go away” (vai embora) due to the confusions they caused, originated the pun “Vae-Vae class“. In 1930 the group became official as Cordão Carnavalesco e Esportivo Vae-Vae and a few years later began to compete in official parades. Throughout the transformation of Carnival into a television media show, the Cordão resisted the obligation of fitting into the institutionalized molds of the event, until that in 1972 it agreed to be formed as “Grêmio Recreativo Cultural e Social Escola de Samba Vai-Vai”. Throughout these decades, the school has established itself as the largest in the city, winning dozens of titles and attracting thousands of people who attend their rehearsals as a leisure activity, which involve commercial and service activities in its neighborhood, despite conflicts due to excessive noise and interruptions of road traffic. The success of the social life of the neighborhood and the proximity to the city center would inevitably attract the interest of real estate developments, which take advantage of the proximity to the transport axes. The gentrification trend in the region worsened in 2015, after the announcement of the construction of the subway station 14 Bis, the future Orange Line, when the State Department of Metropolitan Transport requested the property to the city of São Paulo, offering in exchange another area to host the school court. After six years of delay and uncertainty, the demolition of the school spaces started in July 2021, even before the construction permits were dispatched. Only in September of the same year the school announced that it would finally leave the corners of Rua São Vicente with the guarantee of the construction of another building with acoustic solutions to house the events at Rua Almirante Marques Leão.