San Francisco's Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu Announces I MUA: HULA IN UNUSUAL PLACES
Kumu Hula Patrick Makuakane and his award-winning dance troupe, Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, return to the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre(3301 Lyon St., San Francisco) for four performances only with their entirely new show, I Mua: Hula in Unusual Places. Na Lei Hulu's newest production takes audiences on a journey from the Black Rock Desert and San Quentin Prison to New York City's Times Square and the San Francisco Opera House, sharing an authentic expression of culture that is inclusive and beguiling. The performance schedule is as follows: Saturday, October 20 & 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 21 & 28 at 3 p.m.Tickets are $35-$40 for regular performances and $15 for the family matinee. Tickets to the opening night champagne reception on Saturday, October 20 are $90. Tickets for the gala benefit Lu'au and silent auction on Saturday, October 27 are $200 and include VIP seating at the performance. Tickets are on sale now through City Box Office at 415-392-4400 and on the web at cityboxoffice.com. In I Mua, Makuakane expands his artistic vision, showcasing hula that escapes its familiar context. In a complete departure from its previous productions, the entirety of the show will be in Na Lei Hulu's trademark "hula mua" style. Translated to "hula that evolves," this distinctive style blends traditional movements with non-Hawaiian music such as opera, electronic, dance, alternative, and pop, while retaining an authentic native undercurrent. "This show is a vibrant reminder of how tradition and innovation can coexist in surprising and meaningful ways," says Makuakane. "Over the past 33 years, Na Lei Hulu has continued to evolve and explore the boundaries of our craft, from the music we dance to, to the places we perform in. I Mua is a tribute to our spirit of openness to change." I Mua draws inspiration from a variety of Makuakane and the troupe's experiences. There is a number inspired by Makuakane's time teaching at San Quentin State Prison, a segment about the troupe performing in the Black Rock Desert, and a "Hit & Run Hula" number, based on flash-mob performances the halau did in San Francisco and New York. Multiple music styles are incorporated into the show, including a performance of "The Flower Duet" from the opera Lakmé, performed by local soprano Maya Kehrani and counter-tenor Cortez Mitchell of Chanticleer; an act which honors powerful women who have influenced Makuakane's work through their music, dance and cultural relevance, with songs and dances from Billie Holiday, Bette Midler, Beverly Noa, ?Iolani Luahine, andMyrtle K. Hilo; a hula-goes-swing segment with Hawai?i-based Kahulanui, a big-band orchestra that will set the stage afire with a ferocious blast of swinging Hawaiian jazz and Lindyhopping hula dancers; and more.
Photo Credit: Ron Worobec