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ka·nei·see collective's 'Nevertheless' A Bold Statement Against Sexual Harassment

by Joanna G. Harris
April 24, 2018
Joanna G. Harris Author, Beyond Isadora: Bay Area Dancing, 1916-1965. Regent Press, Berkeley, CA, 2009. Contributor to reviews on culturevulture.net
Harassment…is a vital “now” subject and the ka·nei·see collective tackled it with song, story and dance in their latest work "Nevertheless," April 22 at CounterPulse in San Francisco.

In sixteen episodes contained within the work, the troupe's dancers along with Bay Area’s all-women Cat Call Choir, presented a variety of serious, sad, funny and alarming instances and episodes that dealt with women and subjects of sexual harassment. It’s all important, but some of the episodes got too clever, too cute and felt a little to in your face. Despite that "Nevertheless" was a bold production.

The dancers, Clarissa Dyas, Mallory Markham, Madeline Matuska, Rebecca Morris, Emma Salmon and Vera Schwegler were dressed in short tunics and pink panties. Even the costumes make them appear vulnerable. As the choir (dressed in graduation black robes) sang and chanted various bits (Lick your Lullaby, Stop telling Women to Smile, She Had it Coming, Itsy Bitsy Titties, etc.), the dancers responded with long phrases of contemporary dance moves on the floor, rolling, supporting and handling one another. It was moving, morose and well demonstrated.

The last section, based on true stories, (Grab her by the Pussy, Safety First) ended with the collective group touching one dancer until she was seemingly stripped of any feeling and response. It was the most poignant of the events, leaving the audience empathetic and shocked. But contemporary harassment is just such. ka·nei·see collective is to be congratulated for their handling of the subject and making it public in this artistic format.

Tanya Chianese is credited with choreography; Heather Arnett as song writer; Linda Baumgardner, lighting, Carol Salmon, costumes. Credit is also given to Fox News, March 11, 2017 for Mitch McConnell quote in sound score. This group is certainly into the news.
(Center) Dancer Madeline Matuska and ka·nei·seecollective in 'Nevertheless'.

(Center) Dancer Madeline Matuska and ka·nei·seecollective in "Nevertheless".

Photo © & courtesy of Robbie Sweeny

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