By Maria Lopez Conde, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – South America’s largest city and Brazil’s bona fide concrete jungle may be missing Rio’s beaches and the FIFA Confederations Cup in June, but it puts up a good fight with its cosmopolitan diversity, dynamic culinary scene and vast cultural offerings. For those finding themselves in São Paulo this month, here are some interesting events to look out for.
Organized by a chain of English-language schools with the support of the British Council, Cultura Inglesa Festival is dedicating an entire month to celebrating the culture of the United Kingdom with art exhibitions, movie screenings, plays, performances, lectures and concerts all over town.
The theme of the seventeenth edition of the city-wide festival is street culture, so expect a distinctly urban flare at these events.
For the first time this year, organizers are bringing a world-class performance from the world’s largest arts fair, Edinburgh’s The Fringe, to the Paulistano audience. Bane, a one-man action show about a man seeking revenge, is a subtle but powerful performance that has captivated audiences in the UK.
“Because the Cultura Inglesa Festival attempts to bring the Brazilian public the best of the recent British artistic production, there is no better place for that selection than Edinburgh,” said Laerte Mello, cultural manager of Cultura Inglesa.
From British “rockumentary” screenings about the Arctic Monkeys and The Libertines at the beginning of June, to collections celebrating urban life at metro stations all over the city, the Cultura Inglesa Festival is closing off the festivities in style, with a large concert on June 23rd, featuring British songstress, Kate Nash and her latest effort, Girl Talk.
Sharing the stage with Nash are indie rockers The Magic Numbers and masters of Carioca funk and international pop fusion, Curitiba’s own, Bonde do Rolê. The latter will pay homage to the Union Jack with a tribute to the iconic The Cure, at the Niemeyer-designed Memorial da América Latina in São Paulo.
What: Cultura Inglesa Festival
When: May 17 – June 30, 2013
Where: Locations all over São Paulo. Visit Cultura Inglesa’s website for more details.
Entrance: Most events are FREE
Contemporary art connoisseurs are well taken care of in the month of June with the opening of Oscar Oiwa’s showing at Galeria Nara Roesler, one of São Paulo’s most influential art galleries. “Clima tempestuoso” (Tempestuous weather) gathers twelve paintings by Oiwa, a Brazilian artist with roots in Japan. Powerful and dark images of natural and man-made disasters come together with both realism and a touch of fantasy to reveal beautifully haunting scenes.
What: Clima tempestuoso by Oscar Oiwa
When: May 14 – June 15, 2013
Where: Galeria Nara Roesler, Av. Europa 655 – Pinheiros, São Paulo
Simple lines and contours with modest use of color characterize the work of Carioca artist Ernesto Neto. For a month this year, Neto’s never-before-seen drawings will be on display at Galeria Fortes Vilaça in “Linha da Vida” (Life Line) until June 15th. A well-known sculptor, Neto’s work resembles rough drafts for his three-dimensional pieces, giving art-loving audiences a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at this talented artist’s creative process.
What: Linha da Vida by Ernesto Neto
When: May 18 – June 15, 2013
Where: Galeria Fortes Vilaça, Rua Fradique Coutinho 1500 – Pinheiros, São Paulo