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Hula into the Future 

Wednesday, Jul 18 2012
Hawaiian culture is intrinsically tied to its land, which has slowly been gleaned from Hawaiian control that some preservationists’ ballyhoo its inevitable extinction. All this anxiety skews people into two camps: advocates and abandoners. In the world of Hawaiian dance, or hula, if you’re not keeping to strict traditions, then you’re camp, kitsch, or somehow treading on the sacrosanct. So how do you preserve a culture that desperately needs to evolve? Enter Patrick Makuakane, founder of the Bay Area’s most unconventional hula troupe, Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu. Makuakane’s blend of traditional and contemporary styles with theatrical, non-Hawaiian elements is uncomfortable, but nevertheless innovative. For nearly 30 years, Na Lei has struggled for acceptance in both the worlds of hula and high-minded avant-garde dance. It now takes on the 21st century. If you can’t make it to the islands this summer, Na Lei is certainly the next best thing.
Sat., July 28, 1 p.m., 2012

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Jessica Hilo

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