San Francisco-based choreographer Robert Sund presents his take on Shakespeare’s classic farce Saturday night at the Granada.

David Bazemore

San Francisco-based choreographer Robert Sund presents his take on Shakespeare’s classic farce Saturday night at the Granada.

State Street Ballet Presents Taming of the Shrew

Updated Farce Runs One Night Only at the Granada Theatre

Thursday, October 24, 2013
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From the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate to 1999’s teen cult classic 10 Things I Hate About You, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew has been remade in so many genres and set in so many eras, even those who’ve never heard of the play are familiar with its story. The farcical tale centers on the wooing of Katherine (Kate) — the hot-tempered “shrew” in question — by the nobleman Petruchio, who eventually “tames” Kate’s feisty nature.

It’s not exactly a politically correct tale for modern audiences, which is why choreographer Robert Sund has done some adapting of his own. This Saturday, State Street Ballet (SSB) will unveil Sund’s version of the play at the Granada Theatre. For Sund, Taming of the Shrew is a comical take on the battle of the sexes and a chance for both male and female leads to flex their power. Interestingly, the dancers chosen to play the two lead roles, Kate Kadow and Jack Stewart, are a real-life couple.

In rehearsal at SSB’s studios last week, they worked on the grand pas de deux at the end of the ballet, when Petruchio has finally won Kate’s affection. As Stewart supported Kadow in a slow pirouette, they gazed into each other’s eyes and smiled. Minutes later, as the duet came to an end, Kadow lost her balance and slumped awkwardly to the floor. The two burst into giggles.

“I feel really comfortable dancing with Jack,” explained Kadow, for whom this production marks the first time she’ll dance the lead role in a full, two-act ballet.

“She was made for this role,” Sund said, pointing out that in addition to her lively spirit, Kadow shares a first name with her character.

Inspired by female movie stars like Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Rosalind Russell, Sund set his version of the story in mid-century America. The score features 1950s pop music and hula alongside Stravinsky and Ravel. Designer Christina A. Giannini is hard at work on costumes that will evoke the era of sock hops and soda fountains, and while Sund relies on the cast for their strong classical ballet technique, he’s also introducing elements of jazz and free-form dancing, athletic sequences, and highly demanding lifts, especially for the leads.

For a production like this, the cast’s acting ability is just as important as the technical requirements — it’s a funny, irreverent play, and Sund aims to evoke laughs.

For these young lovers and dance partners, Taming of the Shrew is far from a misogynistic story about the need to subdue unruly women. “I feel powerful in my role,” Kadow said. “I don’t feel that I’m tamed so much as I come around.”

Stewart worded it slightly differently: “She kicks my ass just as much as I kick hers.”

State Street Ballet presents Taming of the Shrew at the Granada Theatre on Saturday, October 26, at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call (805) 899-2222 or visit To learn more about the company, visit


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Since when were misandrist gender bigots (mainstream feminists) given the power to become the world's official PC police, to blanket the world with false accusations of misogyny, and to whitewash the works of great men like Shakespeare. It's high time for modern audiences to demand an end to the 'progressive' totalitarian tyranny that is PC. Educated adults are not infants to be talked down to, to be indoctrinated, or to be force fed a single sociopathic but PC worldview.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sealion: I'm an old school liberal who hates bigotry of ANY kind--whether it's again, EITHER gender, or any race. We don't have to demand anything; alll we have to do is speak the truth on any given occasion.

I think it's a good thing that we all can get into this sandbox of the blogesphere, exchange ideas, and make people--especially young people who have perhaps only heard one point of view--think.

PC relies on people not saying anything, when you speak up, it's like turning on the kitchen light when there are cockroaches in there.

I don't know anything about the particulars of this article, so I am not commenting on it, but on your perception that the PC world has anyone trapped. As I say, when we speak up as we do, we lessen the power of political correctness, but let's make sure we don't fall into the same elliptical world of intolerance.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 7:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bill: I'm glad you hate bigotry but I believe that the 'progressive' PC police will never stop trying to silence the rest of us before we demand our free speech is FIRE with Obama's bigoted Office of Civil Rights. Speaking truth to Big Lies IS indeed essential but far from sufficient in a world wherein PC is enforced by the Big Gun of the government...and wherein most of the lame stream press is in bed with the PC propagandists.

I like the blogosphere too but I'm still shocked by how many 'reputable' news sources shut down free speech. PC really relies on the enforced adherence to a single belief system at the expense of all others. To the extent that that cockroaches can keep people babbling the same ole niggardly nonsense ('rape is a crime of power not sex' for instance) AND prevent all opposition to said nonsense from surfacing, they win. Normal people ARE trapped with no valid alternative ideas with which to challenge the PC world view. PC also becomes even more dangerous when the state begins to authorize official PC in Canada, the EU, and in US academic institutions,

"It’s not exactly a politically correct tale for modern audiences, which is why choreographer Robert Sund has done some adapting of his own." The real reason for Mr. Sund's 'adapting' is probably that he is too scared to tell the PC police where to go. He's too scared because he probably figures, rightly or wrongly, that the PC police have the power to destroy him.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
October 30, 2013 at 12:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You're saying rape is not a crime of power but of sex? If sex drive determined rape our prisons would be full of 14-16 year olds.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 30, 2013 at 5:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Rape is a crime of sexual robbery NOT one of 'patriarchal domination'. Male rapists (and female rapists too?) overwhelmingly prefer to rape young sexually attractive people who are in or near their reproductive prime. 14-16 year old males are probably just too young to be good robbers of sex...particularly since their female peers are so far ahead of them erotically.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
October 30, 2013 at 10:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

From everything I've observed and read, it IS about power, not about sex. Look at warfare--one thing that comes to mind is when the Russians took over Germany at the end of WW2: The soldiers were raping women right and left.

Just today I was listening to a talk show were there is some demonstration down south near L.A. about some serial rapist who is to be released. Among victims mentioned was an 80-year-old woman.

You're going down the same path that feminists you so despise go down which is you're making this about sex. Since that's the case, would you support the militant feminist approach of castrating rapists? (Which as I've pointed out in other posts, would do no good since the action is mental and not sexual)

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 30, 2013 at 5:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You are confusing ends and means which is precisely what feminist gender bigots have been so happy to help us all with in these retarded 'Rape Culture' times. In rape, sexual robbery is the goal and power is simply the means. Were (male) rapists interested in simply 'dominating' a woman it would be whole lot easier, less messy and less risky to hit her or to shoot men do to men routinely in male-male power plays...but 'power violence' rarely happens at all in (male-female) rape cases...and then usually only enough needed to commit or to conceal the s-e-x crime itself. Even the Russian soldiers stopped raping the German women after relatively short term but satiative orgies of repeated mass sexual robbery. Of course, there are always rare outliers in terms of the age of rape victims or true 'sexual violence' but the stats clearly show that (male) rapists prefer to rape young, sexually attractive, non-pregnant women in their reproductive prime and that most (male) rapists are non violent. Interesting 2/3 of women have rape fantasies as well, so go figure. Bottom line: there's a lot more to rape reality than stupid (and very very bigoted) feminist "Rape Culture" slogans reflect.

You are confused about where I'm going probably because you have a lot of your own personal projections about this very loaded topic. I'm making rape about sex because rape has always been and always will be a SEX crime not a power crime. The ability of feminist gender bigots to rape rape reasoning and to reverse 'power' and 'sex' so that everyone believes the big 'sexual violence' lie (as opposed to the sexual robbery reality) is truly remarkable...until one understands the power of PC policing...and the huge gains said sex ('gender') bigots realize from shifting the focus away from vice....which is the primary female form of power...and onto 'violence' which is the primary form of male power.

And no, you can be fairly certain that there's ALMOST nothing in the feminist agenda I support. But since some studies have shown that the majority of (male) serial rapists have histories of repeated rape or molestation by filthy older women in their childhoods...I'd simply work on catching and caging the original filthy old female rapists who create the cruel child sexual abuse conditions which breed future male serial rapists. For (female and male) rapists in general, I'd channel some Alice Miller so as to better understand and to transform the mental, emotional, social, and sexual reasons why some people choose to rob sex rather than buy it (retail on the street or wholesale in marriage), or rather than offer sex for sex (which is relatively rare). Castration is an option for male rapists only if we are prepared to hack apart a female rapist's vagina as well. We live in the feminist age of equality, remember.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 12:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

No Sealion, I'm not "confused" about this issue at all, nor do I have any "projections", I merely don't see this issue the way you do.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 12:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"You're going down the same path that feminists you so despise go down which is you're making this about sex."

Well, this is a very confusing statement. Feminists believe rape is about power not sex. So you might show me how I'm really going down the same path as do feminists.


Sealion (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 9:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Answer to your question: You obsess about women, just as militant feminists obsess about men.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2013 at 12:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I do detest fascist feminist bigots...many of whom are also misandrist MALE Michael Kimmel, Joe Biden, or Barak Obama. The mass of women are mildly interesting to me. A few of the most interesting women do deserve an occasional fleeting obsession...but those are so rare in the Western world these days, that I don't obsess much.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2013 at 1 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sealion, are you a Tom of Finland fan?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2013 at 1:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Where would Camille Paglia fit in?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2013 at 7:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Volok: I'm so glad you show an interest in Scandinavian culture. This song that I am about to post is a beautiful tribute to the land of Paavo Nurmi and others.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2013 at 7:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken: I'm a CONDITIONAL Paul Elam fan: Are you so blind that you cannot see how gender feminism has destroyed both women and men everywhere it has spread it's ugly tentacles? Stop with the homosexual slanders already and go do some manly digging so that you too can help free the world from these fascist female supremacist bigots or you alone can enjoy the covert scorn and overt ridicule from the indispensable Superior 'Gender' ....scorn and ridicule which are so common in a town run by (mostly) feckless feminist females and by their traitorous male-feminist flunkies. And by the way the term 'feckless' to describe our local female leaders came from one of our dearly departed FEMALE News Press journalists...not from me.

Bill: As you probably already know, Paglia is not a mainstream feminist. She has been mercilessly mocking the asinine cult of gender feminism for decades now...and happily shooting down it's monkey-brained leaders. She's interesting because she thinks independently and castigates the culture in academe which destroys old school liberalism. Another lovely in this class is Daphne Patia...who brings rigor where Paglia brings rants.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2013 at 10:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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