Choral Arts in Columbia and Beyond

By Evelyn Morales Choral singing has come a long way from the days of Ancient Greek repertory and the Gregorian chant. Columbia itself has a rich history of vocal arts, which is exemplified in the works of the Arpad Darazs Singers, the Sandlapper Singers, and the Palmetto Mastersingers, among several other choral groups in the area. While these three choruses share a love and appreciation for singing as a group, they have different influences that... Read More

Thomas Crouch is un Artista di Molti Mondi

By Cynthia Boiter Huddled in a dark pub on an approaching autumn day, Thomas Crouch could just as easily be prowling the cobbled streets of Italy like so many of his artistic influences. With an outer persona that conveys dissent, Crouch has the inner animus of a philosopher. Part Jeremy Bentham, part Jacques Derrida, Crouch wears well the mask of the misunderstood – until he finds comfort in the discourse at hand. And even though he still proceeds... Read More

Stacey Calvert – Columbia’s Dance Connection?

By Bonnie Boiter-Jolley When Stacey Calvert was 15-years-old, she was one of a very few young dancers selected from literally thousands to attend the prestigious year-round program at the School of American Ballet in New York City.  When her mother, Naomi Calvert, one half of the famed Calvert Brodie School of Dance in Columbia, South Carolina, told her she could not go, she quit.  For nine months, the stubborn young Calvert was a cheerleader instead... Read More

Off Pointe and Into the World – Costume Designer Alexis Doktor

by Susan Levi Wallach Twelve weeks after dancing the role of Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty, the Columbia City Ballet’s season finale – which also is twelve weeks into her retirement as a ballet dancer – Alexis Doktor is thinking that the only thing better than being a dancer is not being a dancer. “I never liked ballet class,” she says over midmorning coffee. “I never liked the rehearsal process or anything in the studio. I’m not going... Read More

Natalie Brown – Keeping the Circus Going

By Cynthia Boiter Keep the circus going inside you, keep it going, don’t take anything too seriously, it’ll all     work out in the end. — David Niven Many years ago, and certainly before Columbia performing artist Natalie Brown was born, there was a game show which ran on the CBS network from 1950 until 1967 called What’s My Line? The point of the program was for four regularly appearing celebrity panelists to try to guess... Read More

Cover Story/Jasper Watches Lyon Hill

By August Krickel Visual artist. Graphic illustrator.  Award-winning indie film maker.  Puppeteer.  Children’s entertainer.  Avant-garde event organizer. Suburban husband and dad.  Dark (and vaguely disturbing) visionary.  Lyon Hill wears any number of hats, and is one of a growing number of local artists who are able not only to follow and develop their own creative vision, but to make a living doing so here in the Midlands, and attract... Read More

Josh Roberts and Pulling the Hinges Off Rock and Roll

“[The term] ‘Southern rock’ is a bit redundant; it’s like saying ‘rock rock.’” – Duane Allman Halfway through our winding conversation, singer/songwriter/guitarist Josh Roberts unconsciously paraphrases the legendary slide guitarist Duane Allman in concluding that “all rock is Southern.” We are sitting in a (temporarily) sweltering thrift shop in Lexington that’s owned and run by his wife and bandmate, Leslie Branham. It’s... Read More

Jim and Kay Thigpen and the Trustus Legacy

By August Krickel Jim and Kay Thigpen didn’t set out to be Columbia icons, or even pioneers in the local arts community. They just wanted to see and be involved in some good shows It’s hard to imagine the local cultural landscape without their creation, Trustus Theatre, Columbia’s professional theatre company that specializes, and excels, in alternative and non-traditional plays. It’s harder still to accept that Jim and Kay are... Read More

Jay Matheson and the Jam Room

By Kyle Petersen The situation in which you first see Jay Matheson will invariably color how you think about him. Maybe the first time you met him was long ago when he was that thin, quiet, bespectacled punk rocker mixing the sound at a local show. Or maybe you saw him play bass in Bachelors of Art, one of the great Columbia bands of the late 1980s, which mixed metal, progressive rock, and pop hooks in a way that still seems surprising. Maybe you... Read More

How to Make a Tutu

Jasper Gazes – Sidebar By Alexis Doktor A tutu can weigh 10 pounds or more, depending on how much embellishment it has. Different characters call for more detail than others. For example, the tutu for a peasant can weigh as little as five pounds. As soon as you put on rhinestones, it starts getting heavy. A lot of the trim also is heavyweight. The more tulle, the more layers, the more fabric. When it’s on your body though, it feels like it belongs... Read More

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