Two Worlds in One Night: 2014 Cola-Con Dance Party

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Cola-Con is not your average comic book convention: not only is the convention centered on the relationship between hip-hop culture and its influence in the comic book world, but it also focuses on local hip-hop and alternative artists in the performing and visual arts categories. This year, Mo’ Betta Soul & Cola-Con present the Cola-Con Dance Party, which will be held this Thursday, October 30th 2014. The dance party will serve as a fundraiser for the upcoming Cola-Con 2015.


Since its conception in 2011, Cola-Con has been a culturally vibrant event that brings local artists together while cultivating the parallel worlds of comics and hip-hop. “Cola-Con was an idea that initially began as a way of showcasing all of the great talent of artists in

Hip-Hop and the comic world in South Carolina,” says Preach Jacobs, the founder of Cola-Con. “I used to go to all the comic cons with Sanford Greene, one of my best friends that has worked for Marvel and DC and saw how many artists loved hip-hop culture. [It] wasn’t a huge leap to put them together.”


Some of the first guest artists to be represented at the 2011 convention included Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder. Since then, the convention has featured performances from artists including Ghostface Killah from Wu-Tang Clan, Phife from A Tribe Called Quest, dead prez and the Foreign Exchange. In addition to these performers, the convention has featured panel discussions with names from the comic industry including the executive producer for The Boondocks and Black Dynamite Animated Series, LeSean Thomas.


Many people in Columbia may not realize how interrelated the comic and hip-hop cultures are with each other, and how they have influenced each other as they developed.  Cola-Con helps bring these two worlds together while educating those in our community who may not be as familiar with these scenes.  Jacobs says, “Comic industry is almost identical to hip-hop culture. . . .Every comic illustrator I know started with doing graffiti. So, it’s something that hip-hop knows well.  Years ago, comic books were not seen as a legit form of writing or entertainment, maybe even seen as a fad.  Now, we have books like The Watchmen that’s on the Time magazine’s top 100 books of all time. Hip-Hop is getting the recognition the same way.  Harvard University, the flagship university this country and probably the world, has started a hip-hop archive.”  Jacobs also states that this hip-hop archive is a big achievement in representing the importance of Hip-Hop culture in our society’s development.


“I used to be frustrated by the lack of diversity, but it’s my responsibility to create what I don’t see.  Columbia is a city that doesn’t have many outlets not just for hip-hop, but for black music in general.  There aren’t places for soul music in this city.  So, I’ve been doing things like my show, Mo’ Betta Soul, bringing soul musicians to the area like Eric Roberson, Anthony David and looking at bringing people like Musiq Soulchild and Bilal along with the hip-hop events I’m doing with Cola-Con to help.”


This year’s dance party will include performances by Pete Rock, a legendary hip-hop producer, doing a DJ set. Other guests include Producer Black Milk, representing Detroit, and Atlanta’s finest: DJ Rasta Roof (Phife of ATCQ) from Smokin’ Shells.


In addition to great music and dancing there will be a silent auction, live art, and a costume contest! The dance party will be, “an opportunity for like-minded artists to be together. It’s very rare to have an outlet for hip-hop music in this city and this is something for us,” says Jacobs. Make sure to wear your Halloween costumes and be ready to dance!


“Cola-Con is just proof that hip-hop and comic book cultures aren’t going anywhere. . . . My goal is to keep it moving.”


~By Sirena Dib


Event will be held Thursday October 30th, 2014 @ 701 Whaley from 8pm-12am. Advance tickets are $25. Get tickets here:




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REVIEW: Dancing Through Life – A Look at Paul Taylor and His Work by Haley Sprankle

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“I can’t help it.”

That is dancemaker Paul Taylor’s response when asked why he choreographs.

Taylor became a professional dancer and choreographer in 1954 and has astonished audiences with his innovative pieces since then. In relying on the music and the world around him, his work is unique and draws audiences in with its relatability and infectious energy.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company graced the Koger Center stage last night and performed three of Taylor’s pieces, each with its own distinct theme and vibrancy.

The first, Diggity, was a lively take on dogs and their interactions with each other. Each dancer executed their solos with grace and wonderful stage presence and then melted into a wonderful unity with the ensemble that not many soloists can accomplish. The ensemble as a whole displayed phenomenal transitions from energetic, fast movements to complete control, giving the piece beautiful shape and dynamic.

The second, The Word, shocked audiences with its eerie vulnerability. The piece featured what seemed to be school boys faced with their innate sexuality and inner desires, similar to what is presented in Duncan Sheik’s musical Spring Awakening. The dance featured ominous shadows, a lot of contrast in movement and formations, and amazing characterization. The piece was attacked with such intensity that audiences were left silent in fear of ruining the mood set by the piece with their accolades.

The show closed with the third piece, Esplenade, one of Taylor’s most well-known pieces. The dance is characterized by a sense of nonchalant playfulness as take on pedestrian movement, giving the piece a sense of realism. Between the beautiful canons, effortless formation changes, and complete trust between partners, the piece exuberated energy that was the perfect end to the evening.

The USC Dance Company is taking on Taylor’s much sought after choreography November 6-7 at 7:30 at the Koger Center in their Masterpieces of the 20th Century concert in which they will perform his piece Company B.

“When looking at the repertory that would be included in the season Susan Anderson spoke to Kyra Strausburg and Stacey Calvert to see what Paul Taylor work they suggested we look into.  Without hesitation both replied Company B. It is a work that was created for professional ballet companies.  Being that our program is known for its strong ballet concentration we saw this as a great opportunity to expose our students to something different,” Sabrina McClure, the Administrative Specialist of the USC Dance Program, says.

With the presence of Taylor’s company this past week, dancers who will perform in Company B were able to take advantage of their expertise and experience.

“The residency of the Paul Taylor Dance Company included the opportunity to present our rehearsal of Company B to the Paul Taylor Dancers.  They were able to provide feedback and suggestions on the work based on their own experiences performing the piece,” McClure says.  “The USC dancers were able to converse with their counterpart from the Taylor company to discuss their role and how to take their performance to the next level.  This amazing opportunity will give new light to the USC dancers to further investigate their movement and performance in Company B.”   

For 60 years now, Taylor’s work has influenced and impacted audiences and dancers alike, and will continue to impact the world of dance and the arts.

“Paul Taylor has made modern dance more attainable and relatable. The topics he touches are profound and sometimes controversial yet relatable to any audience,” McClure says. “His choreography is highly sought out by many professional companies based in different genres.  It is not specific to just modern dancers or just ballet dancers.”

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CMA brings a Ceramics Workshop – Ladies Night Out (can dudes come, too?) – Arts & Draughts – Rahul Pophali concert at Baker & Baker

Columbia Museum of Art Adult Art School: Ceramics Workshop

Explore the expressive possibilities of hand-building and decorating functional earthenware pottery. Learn hand-building techniques using underglazes and slips to create a variety of surface textures and designs and how to successfully fire work. This two-day class is designed for all levels of experience with clay, and allows you to both create three-dimensional objects and address the issues inherent to decorating these forms. The objects you create from clay will become three-dimensional canvases on which you can explore your own personal style and artistic voice.

Instructor Kristina Stafford is currently working as education coordinator at the Columbia Museum of Art. Since earning her MFA from the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology, she has also worked as a Professor of Art at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA, and Artist-in-Residence at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY. Stafford has work in galleries from South Carolina to New York and continues to enjoy an active studio process.

Saturday and Sunday, November 1 and 2, 2014

Noon – 4:00 p.m.

$100 / $80 for members.

And …

cma ladies“Ladies’ Night Out” is a celebration of women, fashion, and art, featuring fabulous food, local artisans selling their work, and the mind-blowing sounds of DJ Alejandro. (But we hope the dudes can come, too!)Guests can peruse wares and shop with vendors, whose offerings include scarves by Alicia Leeke, purses by Mary Catherine Kunze, and jewelry by Cindy Saad, among others. The CMA’s deluxe gift-wrapping station will be available to beautifully package parcels. Attendees also have the opportunity to view the Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera exhibition. Hors d’oeuvres are provided by Earth Fare and a cash bar will be available for wine, beer, and a specialty drink prepared just for the occasion.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

$10 / join or renew your membership that night and get in for free.

And …

Another Great Arts & Draughts

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The Columbia Museum of Art hosts the next Arts & Draughts on Friday, November 7, 2014. Art, drink, and be happy! Special thanks to our sponsors The Whig, WXRY, Jam Room, and Free Times.



•Stephanie Santana
•Can’t Kids
•ET Anderson

•The Wurst Wagen
•Bone-In Artisan Barbecue
•Fair Food Truck


Enjoy a beer tasting of selections from Widmer Brewery of Portland, Oregon and Cash Bar provided by The Whig.
•Widmer Brrr seasonal ale – a hoppy Northwest-style red ale
•Widmer Hefeweizen
•Widmer Alchemy Pale Ale


•Unique perspective tour: “A Queer Tour of the Gallery” led by USC Director of Women and Gender Studies and Jasper Literary Arts Editor, Dr. Ed Madden.
•Exhibition Tours of Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera led by Bauer Westeren.
•Dance: Rockwell-inspired dance demo by the Richard Durlach and Breedlove dance team – (catch Durlach & Breedlove at the Nov, 21st JAY Awards ~ Big Apple Swing!)
•Film screenings of The Norman Rockwell Code, a short film parody of The Da Vinci Code.
•Dr. Sketchy’s Live figure drawing sessions at 8:15 p.m. and 9:35 p.m.
•Rockwell-Inspired Photo Booth
•D.I.Y. Art projects
•Interactive art
•Scavenger hunts

Friday, November 7, 2014

7:00 – 11:00 p.m.

$8 / $5 for members / join or renew your membership that night and get in for free.

And …

Baker & Baker Presents the Art of Music


The Columbia Museum of Art Hosts an Evening with Tabla Master Rahul Pophali



The Columbia Museum of Art hosts the next Baker & Baker Art of Music concert with tabla master Rahul Pophali on Sunday, November 9, at 6:00 p.m. Pophali is one of the most versatile tabla players in today’s younger generation. A dazzling performer and an incessant innovator, he has carved a niche for himself in the world of percussion music.

“Tabla is the principal rhythm instrument in North Indian Classical Music,” says Pophali. “It is widely used in different styles of Indian music and in fusion with world music today. The art of tabla-playing features spontaneous improvisations alongside renditions of traditional repertoire.

I believe my music is a journey, an adventure into the realm of sounds and rhythms. I draw inspiration from the audience and surroundings to fuel my creativity. I am looking forward to performing at the Columbia Museum of Art; a place replete with works of art will surely inspire the best out of me!”

Pophali began concert performances at an early age and, since then, has toured extensively in several countries in Europe and Asia. His desire to explore various possibilities with the tabla and an urge to experiment led him to perform with several reputed world, rock, flamenco, and jazz musicians across the globe. Passionate about spreading his art form, Pophali has conducted workshops and lecture/demonstration sessions for several institutions and music schools in India and Europe.

Sunday, November 9, 2014. Doors at 5:30 p.m. Galleries open. Concert at 6:00 p.m. $12 /

$10 for members / $5 for students

For more information on all these exciting CMA events and offerings, visit

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