Livermore Valley Arts 

Contact: Ruth Egherman (925) 583-2306 

[email protected] 

Travel the Globe without Leaving the Comfort of the Tri-Valley, 

This Spring at The Bankhead 

Livermore, CA – (March 1, 2024) – Reflecting our beautiful global community, The Bankhead has a thrilling selection of upcoming performances that will take the Tri-Valley around the world in the coming weeks, right in Livermore. From a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration Bankhead-style at Danú: Traditional Music of Ireland on Saturday, March 16, to a breathtaking fusion of movement and storytelling at Nava Dance Theatre: Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies on Sunday, April 7, to America’s First All Female Mariachi at Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles® on Saturday, May 4, the coming weeks will take audiences to Ireland, India, and México, on a thrilling and moving celebration of music, dance, and storytelling. The Bankhead is proud to bring these talented artists from around the world right to the Tri-Valley; all of these amazing performances will take place right at the beautiful Bankhead Theater in Downtown Livermore. 

Hailing from historic County Waterford, Danú is one of the leading traditional Irish ensembles of today. The group’s standing-room-only concerts throughout Ireland are true events featuring high-energy performances and a glorious mix of ancient Irish music and new repertoire. For over two decades, Danú’s virtuosi players on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion, bouzouki, and vocals (Irish and English) have performed around the globe and recorded seven critically acclaimed albums. Their live DVD, One Night Stand, was filmed at Vicar St. Dublin. Winners of numerous awards from the BBC and Irish Music Magazine, Danú has toured throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North America with stops at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Symphony Space in New York City, and major concert engagements in the United Kingdom, India, Israel, and across Europe, and on March 16, will be at The Bankhead. Danú takes its audiences on a musical journey to their native Ireland, offering a moving and memorable concert experience. From lively jigs and reels to soulful ballads, this talented group of musicians will

transport audiences to the heart of Ireland with their rich and vibrant sounds and captivating performances. A beautiful insight into the rich culture of some of our friends from across the Atlantic, Danú’s popular recordings are available on the Shanachie label. Live performances are often broadcast on NPR, the CBC, and the BBC. The members of Danú are: Benny McCarthy, accordion/melodeon 

Nell Ní Chróinín, vocals/penny whistle 

Éamon Doorley, bouzouki 

Oisín McAuley, fiddle 

Tony Byrne, guitar 

Ivan Goff, flutes/uilleann pipe/penny whistle 

Billy Sutton, bodhran 

Nava Dance Theatre is a bharatanatyam dance company based in San Francisco, the unceded territory of the Ohlone people. They use the South Indian dance form to navigate place, identity, and politics through the lens of lived experience. “Composition” in Indian dance and music is not simply an act of commissioning an individual but rather a collaborative process incorporating cultural and artistic knowledge, artistic instincts, and real-time improvisation. Each director, musician, and dancer has thus been essential to creating their work and its ongoing evolution. Nava Dance Theatre’s Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies is a bharatanatyam, experimental movement, and live music production that explores the labor and lived experiences of South Asian immigrant women in the US. Inspired by the oral histories of Indian nurses who arrived as a result of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, choreographer Nadhi Thekkek and her collaborators explore the heavy and enduring work of immigrant women and the worlds they traverse between. Thekkek says: “In traditional bharatanatyam, the mythological stories are told in a fantastical way, which I love. And I thought, how amazing would it be if our real-life stories were mythical, too? The story of a woman crossing an ocean to care for people as a nurse and also support their family. Who are the villains in the story? It’s not just a god or goddess anymore; it’s actually our mothers and grandmothers and aunties. How amazing is it that that story is actually real, and it’s about our elders?” Who puts a price on their labor? What is the cost of opportunity? How do we celebrate connections forged in this new homeland while grieving the connections we lost? Through community interviews, bharatanatyam dance, and live

music, Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies negotiates these questions while uplifting the struggles, triumphs, and contributions of community elders who paved the way for later generations. 

From the mid-1960s, after the passing of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the US saw waves of immigration from Asia and other countries whose natives had until then been excluded from the list of those welcome to build new lives in this new world. In Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies, the artists of Nava Dance recreate the stories of some who came from India. These are stories passed down through generations or more, anecdotes and memoirs of parents, grandparents, or the numerous adopted ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ who take the place of blood relations for children of immigrants. But these stories belong as much to the US-born first and second-generation Americans as to their elders because of loss and loneliness, struggle and adjustment, achievement and belonging — these experiences become a part of the cultural memory of an entire community. New generations respond to those transmitted stories, questioning the motives and actions of the past against their own present and wondering, in turn, what might have been or searching for the meaning of terms like home, duty, and success. Besides, the decisions of the immigrant elders inform the lives — and often impel the future choices — of their US-born offspring, adding to the complexity of their hyphenated identities. The nature of the theme makes the choreography in Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies fluid since a story changes with every retelling and every perspective. The dance is rooted in bharatanatyam, the art of southern India, in which choreographer/conceptualizer Thekkek has trained since childhood. The work is imbued with the concept of structured improvisation, a key element in Indian dance and music, and arguably, also pivotal to a community’s survival in a new country. Thus, as Bharatanatyam’s language of hand gestures, facial expressions, postures, and rhythmic footwork is harnessed to convey the expressions and experiences narrated in Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies, that dance language, like the people it represents, adapts and molds itself to a different time and space. 

Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies is an ensemble work of 7 dancers with a live original score by Roopa Mahadevan, Kalaisan Kalaichelvan, and others, created and produced by Nava Dance Theatre, and will be performing in Downtown Livermore on April 7. Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies is supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council, National

Endowment for the Arts, East Bay Community Foundation, and New Music USA. Sections of this work have been supported by the MAP Fund, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. Livermore Valley Arts is honored to be able to bring Nava Dance back to the Tri-Valley once again after their moving and well-received performance of Broken Seeds Still Grow in August of 2022. This is a universal performance, with experiences that have touched and affected more than just those onstage; as reviewer Jennifer Norris says, “Nava Dance Theatre has gracefully married tradition with modernity, allowing for the exploration of modern themes to be appreciated across cultural divides.” 

¡Que Vivan Las Mujeres! Enriching the medium as America’s first all-female mariachi ensemble over Cinco de Mayo weekend, Reyna de Los Angeles® will bring sensitivity, beauty, warmth, and vivacious spirit to the historic art of mariachi in Downtown Livermore. Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles® has blazed the trail for female mariachi musicians. In a musical landscape where songs are often written by men, from male perspectives, Reyna has created its own history. Established in 1994, the group had a strong beginning thanks to the mentorship of Lola Bertran, La Reina de La Música Ranchera. In these early days, Maestro Jóse Hernàndez saw the potential in this all-female ensemble and fostered the development of the group. Reyna de Los Angeles® has since gone on to record three albums, share the stage with world-renowned musicians like Vicki Carr, Guadalupe Pineda, and Lucha Villa, and perform for some of the world’s highest-profile celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, and Barack and Michelle Obama. The Bankhead is eager to host this groundbreaking group with their joyful musicality on May 4. 

Tickets for all shows in the 2023-2024 Bankhead Presents season are available online, by calling 925-373-6800, or at the box office windows. For a complete list of events, visit 

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Livermore Valley Arts is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit offering wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. The Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center are home to eight resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio

artists and cultural arts instructors. 

Show: Danú: Traditional Music of Ireland 

Date/Time: Saturday, March 16, 2024 at 8:00 pm 

Tickets: $25—$80 ($25 student/military personnel) Selling Fast! 

Show: Nava Dance Theatre: Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies Date/Time: Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 3:00 pm 

Tickets: $25—$65 ($25 student/military personnel) 

Show: Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles® 

Date/Time: Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 8:00 pm 

Tickets: $25—$65 ($25 student/military personnel) 

Dates, times, and ticket prices for other events available at