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Hornsby Spotting

The piano man shops around at La Diff.

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Back home at the Grace Street Theater, the Ground Zero Dance Company presents the Richmond premiere of Rob Petres' ambitious and athletic "Moment of Flight," paired with the company's "Rope," for two weekends: Feb. 10-11 and 17-18. Equally ambitious and wildly different, the Richmond Ballet presents a lavish new production of "The Sleeping Beauty," restaged by Artistic Associate Malcolm Burn and set to Tchaikovsky's magical score at the Landmark Theater Feb. 17-19. Rounding out the month, the University of Richmond Dancers present their 21st annual spring concert Feb. 23-26, with an eclectic program combining ballet, modern, jazz and tap. Moving into March, VCU Dance presents "Traffic@The Grace: Dancing in the Now," a hearty concert of student, faculty and guest artist works that highlight connections between four generations of artists, March 2-4 at the Grace Street Theater. Back at the Richmond Ballet, stop by Canal Street for Studio 3, featuring contemporary works by Val Caniparoli and Mauricio Wainrot March 21-26. Plan your time carefully that week, because "Movin' Out," the Broadway dance hit by Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp, stops at the Landmark Theater March 21-26 as well.You may be getting full by now, but save room for Latin Ballet of Virginia's "AmorAmerica," based on historical poems by Pablo Neruda, March 24-26 at the Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen. Starr Foster Dance Project's 6th Annual Choreographers' Showcase, March 31 - April 1 at art6 Gallery, will be a tasty sampling of new and recent works by emerging and established choreographers.And finally, Virginia Opera, the Richmond Ballet and the Richmond Symphony team up for a first-ever collaboration to bring us "A Midsummer Night's Dream," April 29-30 at the Landmark Theater. The smorgasbord of the winter/spring dance seasons in Richmond, crammed with well-known imports and home-grown talent alike, promises one satisfying meal after another. Lea Marshall is a freelance dance writer for Style Weekly, C-ville Weekly and Dance Magazine. She is also executive director and co-founder of Ground Zero Dance Company, and producer at VCU Dance.

Opening

"Boleros for the Disenchanted" Barksdale Theatre launches its 2009-2010 season and Hispanic Theatre Project with a play by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Jose Rivera ("The Motorcycle Diaries"), following the story of a Puerto Rican couple pursuing the elusive American Dream. Featuring choreography by the Latin Ballet the play opens Sept. 18 and continues through Oct. 25. $35-$38. 1601 Willow Lawn Drive. 282-2620.

"The Mystery of Irma Vep" Swift Creek Mill Theatre opens its 2009-2010 season with Charles Ludlam's gothic satire featuring vampires, werewolves and mummies (all played by two actors) Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. and continuing production through Oct. 31. $35. 17401 Jefferson Davis Highway in Colonial Heights. 748-5203.

"Take a Chance on Love" The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen welcomes the Henrico Theatre Company as it presents this situation comedy about a newspaper editor and his attempt to convince his shareholding ex-wives to sell the publication. Opening Sept. 18, the play continues production through Oct. 4. $8-$10. 2880 Mountain Road. 501-5859.

Ongoing

"Boys' Life" The Firehouse Theatre opens its 2009-2010 season with a story following the misadventures of three former college mates as they pursue and refuse adulthood in the Roaring '20s. Written by Howard Korder, the production runs through Oct. 3. 1609 W. Broad St. 355-2001.

"Murder in the Court" The Mystery Dinner Playhouse performs a murder-mystery comedy featuring a courtroom backdrop, complete with judge, jury and executioner, at the Holiday Inn West End. Performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through Oct. 10. $42. 2000 Staples Mill Road. 649-2583.

"There's a mole in the furniture store." That's singer/songwriter/pianist Bruce Hornsby's response upon discovering that an anonymous caller has tipped us off that he's shopping at furniture store in Shockoe Bottom. The three-time Grammy winner, dressed in a large T-shirt and baseball cap, was browsingÿin search of furniture to put in his new Miami Beach home. There, he's been working steadily on an endowment programÿ-ÿÿthe Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Programÿ-ÿthat he created for his alma mater, the University of Miami. "It'sÿa great program, and it just launched this year," he says. Hornsby also tells us about several other projects he's working on. Besides the Off-Broadway musical, "SCKBSTD," he's writingÿthe score for a Spike Lee film about basketball star Kobe Bryant. He also has a small part in a new Robin Williams movie, "World's Greatest Dad." "Robin Williams plays a huge Bruce Hornsby fan,"ÿhe says, grinning, "and I play myself." Hornsby's rise to stardom began when he formed the band Bruce Hornsby and the Range; it was with them that he had his firstÿ-ÿand greatest to dateÿ-ÿÿhit, "The Way It Is." In the late 1980s, he began playing with the Grateful Dead, and collaborated with the bandÿuntil it disbanded in 1992. He's mainly known for his improvisational style that includes rock, jazz, folk, bluegrass and Motown.

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