Not Your Grandma's Hula: New Book Looks at the Evolution of Hawaiian Dance

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Hula master Patrick Makuakane performs. (Photo: Lin Cariffe)

The stereotypical image of a hula dancer often features a woman in a grass skirt on a beach. But Patrick Makuakāne says that's a far cry from 21st-century hula. The Hawaii-raised and San Francisco-based hula master's shows are elaborate stage productions weaving in everything from opera and electronic music to '90s pop. His newest show, "The Natives Are Restless," looks at the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and the native resistance that followed. He and his dance troupe, Na Lei Hulu, are also the subject of a new book by the same title, by local author Constance Hale. She and Makuakāne join us to talk about the evolution of hula and what it means to be Hawaiian in the 21st century.

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Patrick Makuakāne, kuma hulu and director, Na Lei Hulu; "The Natives Are Restless"

Constance Hale, author, "The Natives Are Restless: A San Francisco dance master takes hula into the 21st century"