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Roberta Emerson

Catapult’s Magic Shadows

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As Seen on “America’s Got Talent”!

Catapult is all about the human body and its ability to transform

Founded in 2009 by Adam Battelstein, Catapult soared to national recognition as a finalist on season eight of “America’s Got Talent” (watch it here) with their fascinating combination of shadow dance, storytelling and living sculpture.  Described by Northwest Indiana Times as “a contemporary twist to the ancient Chinese art of shadow theaters,” Catapult is all about the human body and its ability to transform. 

While their faces are rarely seen or recognized, the eight superb dancers of Catapult, five women and three men, are at the heart of the company’s imaginative and theatrical artistry. Many of them have worked together for years, bringing skills from their work in prestigious companies, Broadway performances, and on stages and festivals around the world. With carefully choreographed movements, they create shapes that shift and move seamlessly forming new images so quickly and smoothly, it is impossible to imagine how it was done or what will emerge next. Click here and watch Catapult in action.

Adam Battelstein sheds a little light on what actually happens behind the curtain at Catapult.

How did you start creating shadow dances?

I danced with Pilobolus for 19 years, as well as other companies such as MOMIX. I studied ballet and modern dance, but my true skill lay in my athleticism and a knack for slapstick which came from my acting training. I began choreographing this shadow technique with a team from Pilobolus. It brings together my dance, theater and English literature training, as well as a sense of shape and proportion I inherited from my mother who was a sculptor.

When you decide to create a new shadow, can you tell in advance how to do it?

I try to imagine how the bodies will fit together and draw some possibilities. It’s like mental Tetris, only with bodies! But much of the time I’m wrong or only half right, so we always have to experiment in the studio too.

What else do you use beside the dancers’ bodies?

We use a variety of costumes and props cut from cardboard or foam core. The backstage area literally looks like the wreckage after a tornado, but the dancers know where each bit is supposed to be and somehow they find their stuff even in the dark.

How do you prepare for the shows?

Shadow making is difficult and we go over trouble spots every day to fix any traffic problems or new issues. The dancers eat, relax and warm up before the show and there are rituals that have evolved too, such as coming together in a circle with hands in the middle. I don’t pretend to understand their magic but we all do them and don’t dare change them for fear of a jinx!

What will Livermore audiences see?

Every performance has a number of stories and each one has its own personality and style. For example, The Four Seasons, which is set to music from Vivaldi’s Concertos, is a series of magical transformations around images of each season.

Catapult captivates audiences with hundreds of shape transformations that convey a story through images, movement and music. Full of humor and emotion, their stories come together in a mesmerizing afternoon of entertainment that guarantees that those watching will never look at their own shadow in quite the same way again.

Catapult “Magic Shadows” Matinee — Perfect for Families
Sunday, March 25 at 3:00 pm

DON’T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THE SHOW LIVE!

BUY TICKETS NOW

 

 

At the Bankhead

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ON SALE NOW!

Tue Jun 5 at 7:30pm  Cirquantique “Bang!Bang!” 

Wed Jun 13 at 7:30pm  Better Than Ezra

Thu Jun 21 at 7:30pm  Shawn Colvin

Fri Jul 6 at 8:00pm Lee Greenwood

Sat Jul 7 at 8pm  Rita Coolidge

Fri Jul 13 at 8pm  Derik Nelson & Family

Fri Jul 27 at 8pm  New Christy Minstrels

Fri Aug 3 at 8pm “Psychedelic Summer” with LunaFish and Friends

Sun Aug 12 at 3pm  Rockapella & The Company Men 

Fri Aug 17 at 8pm  Indigenous with Chris Duarte

Sat Aug 18 at 8pm Keiko Matsui

Mon Aug 20 at 7:30pm  Asleep at the Wheel

Sat Sep 1 at 8pm Southern Fried Chicks: Cage-Free Comedy Tour

 

The 2018-2019 BANKHEAD PRESENTS SEASON
will be announced MAY 23

Member Only Presale until JUNE 13

Be the first to get your tickets … become a member now!

 

Summer at the Bankhead!

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Top: Rita Coolidge, Derik Nelson & Family, Shawn Colvin, Keiko Matsui, Mato Nanji of Indigenous
Bottom: Southern Fried Chicks, Rockapella
Not shown: The Company Men, Chris Duarte

ON SALE NOW!

The 2018 SUMMER SERIES at the Bankhead Theater is now on sale! Seven great shows are planned at the Bankhead, running from June through the beginning of September. See the LIST hereMEMBERS receive 10% off single tickets or 15% off five or more shows.* Members log in here to buy now.  Membership starts at just $125. Click HERE to become a member today!

This summer the Bankhead Theater will welcome the return of such favorites as legendary pop icon Rita Coolidge, a two-time Grammy Award-winner who filled the theater in 2012. Her timeless hits such as “Higher and Higher” and “We’re All Alone” topped the charts in the 1970s and she has explored other genres as well including classic jazz tunes and music that pays tribute to her Native American heritage. Keiko Matsui returns in August with her signature contemporary smooth jazz  and this summer marks the third visit to the Bankhead for the powerful full-band vocal sound of Rockapella. In an afternoon of pure vocal magic, Rockapella will share the stage with The Company Men, whose voices blend  in irresistible mash-ups of hit songs, both classic and modern.

 ROCKAPELLA & THE COMPANY MEN

Several other artists will make their first visit to Livermore including singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin and the American blues-rock band Indigenous, featuring Mato Nanji, with Chris Duarte. A night of laughter will bring the Series to a close on September 1st with the Southern Fried Chicks hilarious take on life and love in their “Cage Free Comedy Tour!”

And this summer don’t miss Derik Nelson & Family! The three talented siblings, Derik, Riana and Dalten Nelson, will return with their perfectly-blended folk and jazz harmonies only a family can deliver. As they did last year, the three will lead a week-long music workshop tailored to teens that focuses on musicianship, songwriting and performance techniques. The workshop builds skills and confidence through both one-on-one technique building and group interaction and ends with a student performance on the stage of the Bankhead. On Friday evening, July 13th, audiences can enjoy Derik Nelson & Family’s full multi-media concert experience.  The workshop will be open to middle school and high school students and run Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm. Registration

  DERIK NELSON AND FAMILY MUSIC WORKSHOP

in addition to the Summer Series at the Bankhead, resident company Tri-Valley Repertory Theater will present “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” for seven performances from July 21st through August 5th.  Other events are planned throughout the summer from community concerts to film screenings.  Visit the website frequently for updates and stay in touch by joining our email list on the bottom of our homepage.  View all the Bankhead Presents shows on sale HERE and order your tickets today. It’s summertime at the Bankhead … you won’t want to miss out!

DON’T MISS SUMMER AT THE BANKHEAD
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

 

* Members receive 10% off single tickets and a 15% discount on FIVE or more Bankhead Presents shows. If you’re a member login here. If you’re not a member, consider joining today! Memberships start at just $125. In addition to supporting the arts, you’ll be among the first to hear about any new shows and receive member discounts all year long. Additional benefits are available at higher levels.

 

Film Series Opens January 31!

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For those who love the Golden Age of film musicals … or who just want to enjoy an affordable, entertaining evening with a happy ending … the opening of the Bankhead’s Classic Film Musical Series on January 31st is not to be missed!  Starting with An American in Paris — a 1950’s gem featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron — the four-film series is a showcase of some of the most beloved musicals of the era.  With retro pricing — just $5 a ticket — the evening will be a journey into the past with music from the era on the player piano in the lobby, popcorn and movie theater treats for sale, and a newsreel and cartoon from the era before the film begins.

Considered one of the highlights of his career, Gene Kelly both produced and starred in this story of an ex-GI, Jerry Mulligan, who stayed in Paris after WWII to pursue his art. When Mulligan (Kelly) falls in love with the lovely Parisian shop girl Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron), they discover their personal obligations to others complicate their budding romance. The movie captures a carefree Paris and portrays an infectious camraderie between friends that supercedes the complexities of the inevitable love triangle. An American in Paris, contains some of the most famous and treasured songs by George and Ira Gershwin such as “S’Wonderful,” “Embraceable You,” and “I’ve Got Rhythm.”  The brilliant ballet sequence set to the title work, one of Gershwin’s greatest orchestral scores, helped earn the film six Academy Awards including Best Picture.

An American in Paris is so beloved that a stage musical based on the film opened on Broadway in 2015, won two Tony Awards, and has since toured the country to great acclaim. If you enjoyed the classic film, love Broadway musicals, the music of Gershwin, or are just a sucker for a happy ending,  you won’t want to miss An American in Paris or any of the others in the Classic Film Musical Series at the Bankhead!

An American in Paris on January 31 — Easter Parade on March 14 — Singin’ in the Rain on May 2 — Shall We Dance on June 6

More Information and Tickets HERE

 

On a personal note: This project has been a joy for me to work on.  I grew up watching classic films at a small local movie theater and these are four of my all-time favorites. My father has always shared his wonderful memories of going with his big sister to see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. He told me how they laughed at the cartoons and watched the newsreels before the show … a whole afternoon of fun for just 15 cents!  In these turbulent times, I hope these evenings can recapture and share some of that sheer pleasure from times past … with lovely music, sensational dancing, and a happy ending… what’s not to love?  — Roberta Emerson, Marketing Manager

 

Dazzling Displays!

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Walked by the Bankhead Theater lately?

If you come up the walkway from the street or parking garage on Railroad Avenue you can’t miss the three new digital displays running along the side of the building. Hundreds of performances and events are now held at the Bankhead each year — music of all kinds, dance, theater, comedy, and more — we welcome a diverse range of artists that appeal to different audiences. More opportunities were needed to let people know about upcoming shows at the theater.

Having digital screens replace the static print posters inside the glass cases on the side of the building had been on the wish list for some time, but we were only just recently able to complete the project. The bright, colorful displays went up on January 4th and are computer controlled from inside the building so they can be changed easily to reflect new information. More than a dozen upcoming events can be on display at any given time with each of three panels rotating 3-5 different images.

Take a stroll by the Bankhead and see the Displays …
then just walk around the corner to buy your tickets! 

And if you won’t be downtown in the near future, check out upcoming events here

 

 

Don’t Wait to Buy Tickets!

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Bankhead Shows Are Selling Fast!

Everyone has done it … seen an announcement for an interesting concert, show or program but waited to buy tickets.  In the past, many people have assumed they could wait until a few days before the show or even walk up to the window that day and buy a ticket. But this past year they just might have been wrong!

Since the beginning of summer 2017, more than a dozen shows presented by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center have sold out completely. And three more this January and February are already at capacity. From comedian Paula Poundstone’s sold out show on July 7th, through the New Year’s Eve celebration with Crawdad Republic last month, plus performances by resident companies, audiences have been flocking to the Bankhead to enjoy all types of entertainment.

In November, concerts by both viral video pop sensation OK GO and the legendary smooth vocals of Manhattan Transfer completely filled the house.  It was particularly satisfying having those two sell out without 10 days of each other, said Executive Director Scott Kenison. “The two reflect our ability to interest very different audiences, reaching people who attend regularly as well as welcoming new faces.” OK GO attracted audience across a board age range as well as pulled people from Sacramento and even further to see their show.

The shows have also been selling more quickly. OK GO, which went on sale to the public in June, was completely sold out by the end of August, and the single performance by ukulele master, Jake Shimabukuro, sold even faster. A late addition to the 2017-2018 season, Shimabukuro’s February show went on sale in early October and reached capacity in just three weeks. One of the benefits of LVPAC membership is advance ticket purchase and a portion of the tickets were sold to members prior to the public-on-sale date. Nonetheless, according to Kenison, the day tickets were first available to the public marked one of the largest single sales days in the Bankhead’s decade-long history.

“We know not every show will be a sell out,” says Kenison. “Some artists are less well known and some types of shows have more limited appeal, but we’re committed to offering a wide range of musical genres and reaching out to everyone with shows they’ll enjoy.”

So if you hear about a show you think you might want to see, buy your tickets as soon as possible! Five for Fighting with String Quartet (Jan 25) and Vicki Lawrence & Mama (Jan 26) are already sold out. Upcoming shows such as Marc Cohn (Jan 19), Lee Ann Womack (Feb 19), Richard Marx (May 3), and Capitol Steps (May 6) are expected to be fully sold as well.  We’ll be announcing our Summer Series at the Bankhead in just a few weeks. Get on the mailing list at the bottom right side of our homepage and you’ll hear about it in your email.  Better yet, become a member now and you’ll be eligible to buy your tickets before everyone else. You won’t want to miss out!

Check out the list of remaining shows in the 2017-2018 Season here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why the Bankhead is Unique

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We know. Sometimes people have questions about the business of running a theater. Why do some tickets cost more than others? Why don’t you book my favorite big name artists? Why is fundraising so important? The answers are both simple and complex.

Classified as an independent non-profit, the Bankhead Theater is, and always has been, a community-funded venue. Unlike some venues, such as the Gallo in Modesto, it was not financed by a single founder’s wealth, or launched by a significant land grant such as Montalvo in the Saratoga foothills. It is not city-owned like the Firehouse in Pleasanton and the Lesher in Walnut Creek, nor city-funded like the Sunset in Carmel.

In fact, the Bankhead was built brick by brick by dedicated members of the community and continues to be funded by donors and ticket buyers like you. This is why our vision is to be the heart of a vibrant and diverse arts community and why we work so hard to deliver on that promise.

For nearly every show we present at the Bankhead, the money from your ticket barely covers the cost of putting the artists on stage. It does not cover the backstage crew, the costs of keeping the building open and temperature-controlled, the cost of promoting the show, or printing the program. For those things and many more, donations are essential to our efforts.

Our vision is to be the heart
of a vibrant and diverse arts community

 

In addition to welcoming artists from all over the world, the Bankhead is dedicated to supporting artistic talents within the community. Resident companies such as Valley Dance Theatre, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Livermore Valley Opera, Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre, Del Valle Fine Arts, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, and the Rae Dorough Speaker Series, all receive discounts on rental, production and marketing fees.

Sharing the excitement of the arts with our young people is a key priority and, in addition to arts outreach in the schools and free cultural arts events, we offer subsidized student ticket prices for nearly every show.

Programs at the Bothwell Arts Center for children, as well as adults, keeps the visual arts alive in our community. The Bothwell also serves as an arts incubator, offering affordable studio, rehearsal and small performance space for local artists.

Maintaining all this is a complex task and requires not only a dedicated staff and hardworking volunteers, but a constant stream of generosity on the part of individuals, businesses and foundations. And every gift counts. In 2015, we met our fundraising target by just under $100. If even one donor had chosen not to give, we’d have missed our goal.

Whatever we have to do behind the scenes, it’s all worthwhile when the curtain rises, the lights come up, and you have a chance to sit back and be thrilled, enchanted and energized by what you see on stage.

Want to help? If you enjoy the arts and appreciate the role we play in the community,
please consider making a donation,
gifting securities,
or leaving a legacy gift to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.
Donate online here or contact the development office at 925-583-2305 for more information.

 

photo by Jennie McGregor

Free Concert – Sold Out

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US NAVY SEA CHANTERS

February 27 at 7:30pm

Throughout the year, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers a range of arts experience to the community through free concerts, art exhibits and cultural events. For the past two years, the Livermore-Amador Symphony and dancers from Valley Dance Theatre have participated in a free holiday concert in early December.  This year, the Bankhead Theater will host the US Navy Sea Chanters in a free concert on Tuesday evening, February 27 at 7:30 pm.  The Navy Band Sea Chanters is the United States Navy’s official chorus. The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music.  Watch the US Navy Sea Chanters in Concert here and don’t miss this opportunity to see them live in Livermore!

CONCERT IS FREE BUT TICKETS ARE REQUIRED
Please arrive early. Open seats will be released to the wait list at 7:15 pm
Event is sold out — to be added to the wait list click here

 

MORE ABOUT THE SEA CHANTERS

Under the leadership of Senior Chief Musician Adam Tyler, the Sea Chanters perform for the public throughout the United States. At home in Washington, they perform for the president, vice president and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries. In 1956, Lt. Harold Fultz, then the band’s assistant leader, organized a group from the Navy School of Music to sing chanteys and patriotic songs for the State of the Nation dinner. An immediate success, Adm. Arleigh Burke, then chief of naval operations, transferred them to the Navy Band, named them the Sea Chanters and tasked this all-male chorus with perpetuating the songs of the sea. In 1980, the group added women to their ranks and expanded their repertoire to include everything from Brahms to Broadway.

The Sea Chanters are frequently found at the center of our most important national events, including inauguration day in 2009. They have played a vital role in comforting the nation in times of mourning, including appearances at memorials for the astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia and the presidential wreath laying ceremony at the United Airlines flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pa. Their performance of “Amazing Grace” for the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance at the National Cathedral in Washington after the events of 9/11 inspired all in attendance as well as a national television audience. In 2004, the chorus participated in former President Reagan’s funeral at the National Cathedral, and in 2007 performed in the U.S. Capitol’s rotunda as former President Ford was lying in state. The chorus was instrumental in the dedication ceremonies of the World War II memorials in Bedford, Va., and in Washington. In 1994, they provided music at the funeral of former President Nixon in Yorba Linda, Calif., and the interment of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Arlington National Cemetery.

They have appeared at the Kennedy Center Honors and with the National Symphony Orchestra for the nationally telecast “National Memorial Day Concerts” at the U.S. Capitol. In addition the group has appeared on “Larry King Live” and “CBS This Morning” as well as at the premier of the movie “Pearl Harbor.” In 2008, the Sea Chanters performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Mack Wilburg. Noted choral directors Dale Warland, and Donald Neuen have guest conducted the ensemble, and renowned composers Michael McCarthy, Roger Bourland, William MacDuff and Lloyd Pfautsch have written works especially for them. Other notable orchestral appearances include the Kansas City Symphony, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The Sea Chanters have enjoyed a great reputation performing with such stars as Perry Como, Marian Anderson, Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie.

Throughout their history, the Sea Chanters have remained true to the Navy’s watchwords of pride and professionalism, and they continue to flourish as a vibrant ensemble.

OK GO (SOLD OUT)

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WHEN MUSIC MEETS MATH

It all started in an arts camp. According to OK GO’s guitarist and lead singer Damian Kulash, he and bandmate Tim Nordwind met when they were just 11 years old. Their favorite teacher in the camp would lay out the day’s activities and say “OK, Go!” The two friends jumped right in and that message of creative freedom – a clarion call to follow the imagination – has not only become their band name, but fueled their work to this day.

As OK GO, Kulash and Nordwind together with Dan Konopka and Andy Ross, have singlehandedly propelled the pop music video from its original scenic and storytelling roots of the 1980s into the 21st century. Ever since “Here It Goes Again“ took their coordinated treadmills viral in 2006 and won the Best Music Video Grammy Award, their mind-blowing videos have ignited the imagination of tens of millions of viewers and won a long list of awards. The release of new OK GO videos now generates buzz well in advance.

Whether they are aware of it or not, what fascinates fans is not just the music, it’s the math. Released last November, OK GO’s latest video “The One Moment” is 4.2 seconds of moving images, flying paint, and exploding guitars – 325 discrete events slowed down 20,000 percent and timed precisely to the lyrics of the song. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Kulash said working on the video was all about the calculations. Breaking the visuals down into increments meant they were subdividing beats into intervals as short as two milliseconds. At that speed he said, “choreography just turns into math…. a lot, a lot, a lot of math.”

Math and science finds its way into everything they do. OK GO was awarded a Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in 2016 for their amazing zero-gravity video “Upside Down & Inside Out.” Filmed aboard a jet over Soviet airspace, the band relied on the physics of parabolic flight, shooting a single continuous take of multiple 25-second periods of weightlessness to create 3:20 minutes of film that aligns with the song’s catchy lyrics.

For the band, the music and the math are merged into one and that challenge is what makes it all fun. “We’re always trying to think of something that feels just on the other side of impossible,” Kulash told Rolling Stone. The result is arresting, must-see art powered by irresistible music that engages, entertains, and feeds the imagination, leaving everyone with just one question, “What in the world will they think of doing next?”

Watch OK GO’s amazing video “In One Moment” here.

Then read about the making of “In One Moment” in Rolling Stone here.

OK GO

at the Bankhead Theater

Friday, November 3 at 8 p.m.

SOLD OUT

 

 

 

Lee Ann Womack

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JUST BOOKED

All the Trouble Tour

Feb 19, 2018 at 7:30pm

On Sale Now

Called one of country music’s finest voices, Lee Ann Womack has sung music from across the breadth of the genre. Her self-titled debut album in 1997 led to her being named Top New Female Vocalist at the American Country Music Awards and the soaring success of her cross-over hit single “I Hope You Dance” sent her to the top of the charts. She now returns to the traditional country roots of her East Texas upbringing with her just released album, “The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone,” a breathtaking hybrid of country, soul, gospel and blues, that reflects the true power of Womack’s heart, voice and spirit.

In a career-spanning profile of Lee Ann’s work, The New York Times called her “one of her generation’s most acclaimed vocalists,” saying the record embodies “the most delicate and desperate extremes of melancholy inscribing countrypolitan and torchy pop arrangements with sighing silences, and launching into anguished, note-bending runs during the roiling, down-home numbers. The liberal use of reverb, particularly on the steel guitar and her voice, has a haunting effect.” Read the full feature here.

To accompany the new album, Lee Ann has announced over 30 additional full-band headlining dates including one at the Bankhead. She’ll be accompanied by some of Nashville’s best musicians, with Jonathan Trebing (guitar), Lex Price (bass), Dave Dunseath (drums), Justin Schipper (pedal steel) and Luke Bulla (fiddle) rounding out her touring band.

For more on how ‘The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone’ came to life, watch this mini documentary produced by Live Nation’s Homecoming series here.

Produced by her husband Frank Liddell (2017 ACM Album of the Year winning producer for Miranda Lambert’s ‘The Weight of These Wings’) and largely recorded at the legendary SugarHill Studios in Houston, TX, ‘The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone’ features more Lee Ann Womack co-writes than all her previous albums combined, making it her most personal collection to date.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see
LEE ANN WOMACK
in the intimate Bankhead Theater!

Buy Tickets Here

Upcoming Events

Fri 21
Fri 21

The Last Romance

Fri, September 21 @ 8:00 pm
Organizer: Encore Players
Sat 22

The Art of Drama

Sat, September 22 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Sat 22

The Last Romance

Sat, September 22 @ 2:00 pm
Organizer: Encore Players
Sat 22

The Last Romance

Sat, September 22 @ 8:00 pm
Organizer: Encore Players

Call 925.373.6800 or email websales@livermoreperformingarts.org for tickets and information