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This week in the Arts

The Contemporaries of the Columbia Museum of Art will host the Black & White Ball Masquerade de Macabre at 8 p.m. Friday at the museum.

The party will combine the masked-dalliances familiar to Halloween with the panache of an exclusive soiree. The ball, which will feature live music, food and beverages, will support the Contemporaries Art Acquisition Fund, which includes the installation of a Dale Chihuly chandelier in the museum's atrium.

Masks, which can be purchased at the museum, are a must. So are ravishing gowns and dapper tuxedos.

The museum is at Main and Hampton streets. $50; (803) 343-2197

Read more about the ball Friday in Weekend.

UNBOUND Dance Company will present "Carpe Noctem" at 6:30 p.m. Friday at 701 Whaley. There is a lot on the schedule, including bellydancing, drag queens and singing, but the centerpiece of the evening will be Unbound's interpretation of "Thriller," the epic Michael Jackson video.

UNBOUND is a company of dancers, yes, but they also are entertainers. Think of the company as multidimensional, like a "So You Think You Can Dance" contestant.

"Basically we wanted to fuse all styles of dance," said Caroline-Lewis-Jones, UNBOUND's artistic director. "When you think about the opportunities in Columbia, it's usually ballet or modern."

But touching "Thriller"? Who is going to dance as Jackson?

"No one is Michael Jackson," Lewis-Jones said. "I thought about it, but I didn't want to go there."

Other performers at "Carpe Noctem": DJ Chris Wenner; cabaret singer Dell Goodrich; artists Travis Teate, Scott Bilby and Michael Krajewski; Vista Ballroom; and Natalie Brown. And don't forget the costume contest.

"Carpe Noctem" is a fundraiser for UNBOUND's production on survival in May at Drayton Hall, and the company is looking for stories to create choreography for.

"It's about the idea of the human spirit and human survival," Lewis-Jones said of the upcoming show.

701 Whaley is at 701 Whaley St. Tickets cost $15. For more information, visit www.unbounddance.com.

Stephen Chesley spent a month painting like Vincent van Gogh for his show "27 Days in July," which opens at Gallery 80808 on Thursday. The show is an homage to van Gogh's last month alive before he killed himself.

There is a reception 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. The show runs through Nov. 3.

Gallery 80808 is at 808 Lady St. (803) 252-6134

The Columbia City Ballet promises new blood with its production of "Dracula: Ballet With a Bite" Thursday through Saturday at the Koger Center. The production, in its 16th season, will feature new choreography, costumes and music.

Vampires are hip right now so William Starrett, the ballet's artistic director, has updated the appearance of the production to fit recent mainstream tastes.

Company newcomer Josh Alexander takes the role of Count Dracula, but there are several featured dancers to keep an eye on.

"Dracula" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. during its three-night run. The Koger Center is at 1051 Greene St. $12 to $45; (803) 251-2222

Read more about "Dracula" in Thursday's Life&Style.

Edward Arron was hand-picked by Charles Wadsworth to continue the Wadsworth & Friends concert series, and Arron begins his tenure at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The season-opening concert at the Columbia Museum of Art will feature Arron, a respected cellist, as well as pianist Rieko Aizawa, violinist Corey Cerovsek and violist Toby Appel. The repertoire will include selections of Beethoven, Francaix and Schumann.

Tickets cost $30 and $35 or $5 with a student ID on the day of the show. Season passes are available for $175, which includes after-concert receptions, or $125 without.

The museum is at Main and Hampton streets. For more information, call (803) 343-0482.

"The Winemakers," a reality TV series presented by ETV, will debut at 7 p.m. Monday. The series follows 12 people competing to create and launch their own wine labels.

The inaugural season contains six 30-minute episodes that will air at 7 and 7:30 p.m. Monday and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

The show will air on WRLK-35, cable channel 11.

- Otis R. Taylor Jr.

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