The next few months in Columbus offer a rare opportunity to get immersed in Brazilian culture - from dance to food, from art to music. With the World Cup coming up later this year and the Summer Olympics hitting Rio de Janeiro in 2016, you'll get a leg up on the best of Brazil.
The Wexner Center for the Arts is putting forward one of its most ambitious shows to date: Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil. Wex curators spent years researching emerging artists in Brazil - the exhibition features works in many mediums from 35 artists in all, many making their U.S. debut. Cruzamentos is the Portuguese word for "intersections" and the exhibition focuses on how the diverse cultural heritage of has molded its identity.
Beyond art, the Wex is also bringing some of Brazil's best musicians, dancers and performance artists to Columbus. Companhia Urbana de Dança hits the stage Feb. 28 with eight dance solos that blend hiphop, urban and contemporary styles. On April 5, the Wex brings Criollo, the Brazilian hip-hop sensation. His music embraces elements of samba, soul, reggae, funk, and Afrobeat, and this show is not to be missed. During the whole month of Februray, the Wex is screening Quarta-feira de cinzas/Epilogue continually in its Box theater. The film views the Brazilian Carnival festivities and aftermath from an ant's perspective. This is just a small sampling of the blockbuster events coming to Columbus as part of Cruzamentos. For a full multimedia experience, visit wexarts.org/viabrasil.
After all this art and activity (maybe you inartfully tried to pull some capoiera moves in the Wexner Center's parking garage...) We've got a pair of churrascaria-style Brazilian steakhouses here - Texas de Brazil at Easton and Rodizio Grill in the Arena District. Both are great for meat lovers - endless portions of nicely grilled cuts served tableside from a sword.
If you want to take the road less traveled, check out Estilo Brazil Barbeque on Cleveland Avenue. Definitely less glitzy that the aforementioned steakhouses - ie, styrofoam rather than china, but so worth trying. Plates of grilled steak, liguica sausage, fish and more are served with beans, rice and yuca. Brazilian fruits, like passionfruit, guarana and açaí are blended into delicious concoctions at the juicebar inside the market.