Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu and Spark Press Publish THE NATIVES ARE RESTLESS, 10/11

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 2, 2016) - Today, co-publishers Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu and Spark Press announced the release of "The Natives Are Restless: A San Francisco Dance Master Takes Hula into the 21st Century," an innovative, first-of-its-kind coffee-table book exploring the rich ethnic dance tradition of Hawaiian hula. Written by Hawaii-born, San Francisco-based journalist Constance Hale, the stunning book's narrative uses Makuak?ne - a visionary in the hula world - to tell the largely untold story of hula, examining how it has roared back as an authentic art form after two centuries of overt suppression, benign neglect, and tourist cliché. In addition to its rich narrative, the book features extraordinary photography, archival material, and illustrations. The Natives Are Restless will be released on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 and will be available in bookstores, on Amazon, and through Na Lei Hulu i ka W?kiu. It is distributed nationally by Ingram and will receive a national media campaign.

"Constance Hale is one of those rare writers who can make you think she's writing and painting at the same time," says Nan Weiner, a longtime editor in the San Francisco Bay Area who edited the book. "She creates scenes with such precision and lively language that you can practically see them in your mind's eye. Also, her love for hula, and her history with the dance, inform her prose on every level. This book is a perfect match between subject and writer."

The book release coincides with the return of N? Lei Hulu I Ka W?kiu to San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts Theatre with its iconic show, also titled The Natives Are Restless.Featuring some of the original groundbreaking numbers, as well as over 15 new choreographed pieces and live music provided by the award-winning Hawaiian music duo, Kupaoa, the show presents an epic tale of Hawaiian resilience and draws upon many of the same themes as the book.

Telling a new, post-renaissance, post-sovereignty story about a new generation of Native Hawaiians who came of age during the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance, "The Natives Are Restless" probes in book form the question of what it means to be Hawaiian in the 21stcentury, showing how a new cohort of restless activists and artists are using Hawaiian culture to protest the "occupation" of the islands by the U.S. and insisting on a very Hawaiian kind of innovation. Author Constance Hale digs into the life of Kumu Hula Patrick Makuak?ne, a pioneer of this new cohort, to tell the story in a narrative way, mixing biography, dance ethnography, profiles, scenes, and dramatic dance writing. She upends the mainland stereotype of hula as a dance of lythe young women in grass skirts and reexamines the binary view of hula as kahiko (traditional hula) and auana (contemporary hula) bringing Kumu's new form, hula mua (traditional hula movements paired with non-traditional Hawaiian music), into the spotlight. Hale writes that hula mua - literally translated as "hula that evolves" - has propelled Hawaiian dance into the 21st century by finding new ways to recount ancient Hawaiian legends and historical events, while at the same time advancing the dance form into the future. She argues that perceptions developed in the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance, and carried on by institutions like the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, are changing today. In the background of the book she weaves in the tragic story of an indigenous people and the threats to its culture. In the foreground is groundbreaking choreography and exuberant theatricality that Makuak?ne invents to tell that story. The crisp narrative, in language that is both lyrical and muscular, is complemented by four-color photographs and stunning page design. Makuak?ne's exhilarating, fierce, sensuous dance style comes alive on the page.

"Patrick Makuakane's dance company is a San Francisco institution," says acclaimed author and longtime San Francisco resident Armistead Maupin. "Is that a strange claim to make for a hula troupe? Not when you see it and experience its transcendent blend of ancient and modern, the sweeping humanist themes of its stories, the glorious variety of the bodies on stage. I know people who claim that one night at Na Lei Hulu changed their lives. I have no reason to doubt them."

Publication of "The Natives Are Restless" is timed to coincide with the return of N? Lei Hulu i ka W?kiu's iconic show of the same name. Originally premiering in 1998 to rave reviews, the stage version of The Natives Are Restless is a full-length, multimedia production featuring several of the original groundbreaking numbers, as well as over 15 new choreographed pieces and live music provided by the award-winning Hawaiian music duo, Kupaoa. The production explores the interlocked issues of imperialism, sovereignty and occupation in Hawai'i and showcases Makuak?ne's innovative choreography. It also examines Western influence and impact on the Hawaiian Kingdom-from the arrival of the missionaries, to the oligarchy which overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy and the native resistance that galvanized an entire nation. Performances of The Natives are Restless take place at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts Saturday, October 15 and 22 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 16 and 23 at 3 p.m. Tickets range in price from $35-$45 and are available through City Box Office at 415-392-4400 or online at

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