FunStuff: Charlottesville events January 5 and beyond

First Fridays may be known for art on the walls of galleries, but beginning this month there's also some art on the floor, as Alexandra Dance Studio launches its first monthly Bellydance Night. All kinds of dancers have been invited including folkloric, cabaret, tribal, and tribal fusion– along with other movements like Nia, Zumba, and hoopers. There'll even be an open dance at this second-floor space at 109 2nd Street SE. After a long week, what a  way to unwind.
January 6, Alexandra Dance Studio, 7:30-9:30pm, free





Benefit for Bennie
Great local music, great cause. Head over to the Fry's Spring Beach Club and help the Charlottesville music community raise money for musician Bennie Dodd, who's facing some hefty medical bills and possible foreclosure on his home. Organizers note that over the years Dodd has donated time and talent to numerous charities, so now it's time to come to the big man's aid. Headlining this Saturday night's "Big, Big Bennie-Fit" will be former Statler Brother and multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jimmy Fortune, along with a who's-who of local musicians including the Gladstones and the Duke Merrick Band. There will also be a silent auction, a potluck dinner (so bring a dish), catered food, and a cash bar.
January 7, Fry's Spring Beach Club, 6pm-1am, $20


Rhythm and color power
"Drawings" is a body of work by painter and printmaker Kelly Lonergan featuring variations in the treatment of the human figure and an emphasis on mark making and texture. His works will be on display in the Sarah B. Smith Gallery at the McGuffey Art Center beginning this Friday. According to the artist, his work has been "in the human figure, the psychology of relationships, the absurd, the expressive power of color, in the use of texture to suggest rhythms, the realm of the supernatural, and the meaning of the mark."
January 6 opening, McGuffey Art Center, 5:30-7:30pm, free



Celebrate the dream: planning
2011 marked the dedication of the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., which makes MLK Day on Monday, January 16 a special occasion. Down in Atlanta, the Virginia football team took time out of their preparation for the Chick-fil-A Bowl to hear Congressman John Lewis of Georgia speak in the very church that Dr. King grew up in. Locally, a symposium in Room 158 of UVA's A-School examines the political and intellectual challenges in shaping the National Museum of African American History.
January 23, Campbell Hall at UVA, 2-4pm, free


Celebrate the dream: Belafonte
With MLK on the mind, you won't want to miss this one at the Paramount Theater, as Harry Belafonte (shown here with King) will be on hand for a free Tuesday-evening screening of the HBO documentary Sing Your Song, which presents the life of the legendary singer, actor, and civil rights activist. Following the film, Belafonte and UVA History department professor Julian Bond, a notable civil rights figure as well, will discuss the film and sign copies of the accompanying book.
January 24, Paramount Theater, 6pm, free


Streaking men
With a  69-42 drubbing of Maryland-Eastern Shore on December 27, and a win over Towson on December 30, the Virginia men's basketball team extends its wins to 10 straight games, the longest such streak they've had in a decade. The Cavs are now 12-1 on the season and appear to like winning at home, as they've won 9 straight homestands. Catch the next three home games in January and help the Cavs stay hot.
January 7  vs. Miami, 6pm, John Paul Jones Arena
January 22  vs. Virginia Tech, 6pm,  John Paul Jones Arena
January 26  vs. Boston College, 9pm,  John Paul Jones Arena
January 7 & 22 & 26, John Paul Jones Arena, 6pm & 6pm & 9pm, $15-$26



Any given Sunday or Tuesday
Catch the Hogwallers Ramblers at Fellini's #9 every Sunday night around 10-11pm. Frontman Jamie Dyer and the boys have been at this for awhile, and there's a playful, time-tested quality to the sound they've made all their own. They're serious artists - but they'd never admit it. And if you haven't caught Rick Olivarez (shown here) and his trio down at the C&O on Tuesday nights around 10pm, well, you've been missing some virtuoso guitar playing in the gypsy jazz mode. Also an accomplished blues guitarist, Olivarez brings that same intensity to a more subtle musical style.
Sundays & Tuesdays, C&O/Fellini's #9, 10pm, free


Tribute to a Vaughan

Local guitar heroes gather to honor one of the greats: blues rock legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. Considered by many to be one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Vaughan died in a 1990 helicopter crash just after performing with Eric Clapton and Robert Cray. Best known for hits like  "Cold Shot," "Pride and Joy," "Crossfire," and "Tightrope," Vaughan was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000 and became subject of a statue (shown here) in Austin. The Saturday-night event in downtown Charlottesville is entitled "Soul to Soul" and features Eli Cook Band, Ian Gilliam & The Fire Kings, The Chicken Head Blues Band, and XPS.
January 14, Jefferson Theater, 9pm, $12-$15.


Bask in Beethoven, Britten, Shatin
The UVA Chamber Music Festival kicks off later this month, and highlights this year include the Dvorak Piano Quintet with pianist Mimi Tung performing "Tower of the Eight Winds," a composition by UVA professor Judith Shatin. Opening night features the Rivanna String Quartet playing works by Beethoven, Britten, and Dvorak. Even if you're not inclined toward chamber music, this is really worth checking out, as Old Cabell Hall is a wonderful space and a great way to impress a date.
January 27 opener, Old Cabell Hall, UVA, 8pm, $20 or less


This week's "FunStuff" was compiled by Dave McNair, and next week's "FunStuff" will be compiled by another newsroom staffer. To get your event considered, send a press release to

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More fun, and great musicians, Robin and Linda Williams at the Jefferson, this Friday. Thanks Dave for the tips.

Thanks Nancy for supporting TJU. Why wasn't this up there???