The fourth annual Festival of Doom

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In 2008, a handful of professional bellydancers and ruckus-makers converged on Columbia, SC for the East Coast, All Star, Undulating Abdomen show of Doom. Mostly we planned this event as a way to hang out with each other and write it off on our taxes.

Despite the irreverent moniker, Columbia took the variety show seriously, and a double capacity crowd hung from the rafters and spilled onto the window ledges. “There I was” stories were passed throughout Columbia hipsterdom, and legends spread throughout the national bellydance scene of rabid, sold out crowds and raucous after parties in an occult mansion.

Four years later, we’ve been so overrun with bellydance, circus, sideshow and burlesque superstars asking to perform at this event that we’ve expanded the 2012 event to a festival of three days, five events and two venues. Proceeds from the festival go towards local circus arts company Alternacirque’s production fund to pay for lighting, costuming, sets, equipment, insurance and circus arts training. Please support your hometown, built from scratch in the backyard circus kids.


Alternacirque presents “Dreams”
Tickets: online, $10; door: $13 (child and student tickets available)
Click here to buy tickets online
8 PM, CMFA Black Box
914 Pulaski Street
Columbia, SC

Alternacirque is South Carolina’s premiere alternative circus arts company. Based in Columbia, SC, their much-lauded full-length theatrical show “Dreams” returns in a revised, restaged indoor show. With lush costumes, surreal staging and graceful athleticism, “Dreams” tells the tale of a man stolen away by the Sandman to the land of fantasies and nightmares. Alternacirque will be joined by special guests Robert Michalski from Columbia City Ballet, All-ages friendly.


The East Coast All-Star, Undulating Abdomen Bellydance Show of Doom
Tickets: online, $10; door: $13 (child and student tickets available)
Click here to buy tickets online
8 PM, CMFA Black Box
914 Pulaski Street
Columbia, SC

This is what started it all. Columbia’s own Delirium Tribal Bellydance Company hosts some of their favorite musicians and bellydancers in a gala performance that had the audience on its feet last year. The lineup includes:

Delirium Tribal Bellydance Company – Columbia, SC
Serpentine Bellydance Company – Columbia, SC
Awalim Dance Company – Atlanta, GA
Christy Smith – Atlanta, GA
Teejei Brigham – Atlanta, GA
Ananda Dance Company – Knoxville, TN
Mahsati Janan – Asheville, NC
Discordia Arts – Greenville, SC
Fierce Fusion – Augusta, GA
Shadhavar Dance Company – TN
Shakra Dance Company – Washington, DC
Mavi – Washington, DC
Joseph Castelli – NJ
Darbuka Dave Machek – Huntsville, AL

All-ages friendly.


The Circus, Sideshow and Burlesque Show of Doom
Tickets: $15 online, $18 at the door
Click here to buy tickets online
8 PM, CMFA Black Box
914 Pulaski Street
Columbia, SC
18+ only

This is the show where when we tell people what we’re planning, everyone shakes their head, shell shocked, wondering if Columbia will survive. This dark circus and burlesque variety show will be hosted by the Carny Preacher himself, Armitage Shanks, who was director and ringmaster of Seattle’s Circus Contraption, is the star of the upcoming feature film “The Burlesque Assassins,” and is regarded as one of the top emcees in the international burlesque community.

Also on the bill:
Philadelphia’s vaudeville comedy duo Sidetracked
DC Sideshow Queen Mab, Just Mab
Columbia’s own Alternacirque
The Vaudeville music and comedy stylings of Slomski Cabaret, featuring Mark Slomski and Bitsy Buttons- Richmond, VA
Aerials, dance, hooping and acrobatics of Biz’Cirque – Knoxville, TN
Burlesque by Kryss Sta, New Orleans LA
Burlesque by Kali, New Orleans, LA
Menage A Trois Burlesque Company – Charleston, SC
Aerials by The Wondersons – Charleston, SC
Tribe SK – Columbia, SC
Singer, dancer and aerialist Niajae – Atlanta/Columbia

Due to the adult content of this show, the age limit is 18+.


Circus Prom featuring Hellblinki
$5 at the door only
10 PM-2AM, The Art Bar
1211 Park Street
Columbia, SC
21+ only

Start now. Go thrifting. Buy feathers. Scour antique stores for top hats. Alternacirque’s Circus Prom featuring our favorite band of macabre musicians Hellblinki, returns for a second year, this time at our dearly beloved Art Bar. This is an interactive circus experience, aimed to allow your inner circus urchin to come out and play. Dress in your finest steampunk/circus punk/striped/velvet/dandy/goth/Victorian/Art Deco/vintage formal wear. Dance away the night while circus and sideshow performers commit unspeakable acts of athleticism in the audience, on the tables, over the bar, in the windows….

Due to Art Bar restrictions, this show age limit is 21+.


Ticketing costs and information are online at Call (803) 712-3559 for more information. Save the dates, and let’s fill Columbia with circus fervor.

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