Constance Hale / The Natives Are Restless: A San Francisco Dance Master Takes Hula Into the 21st Century

Event has passed (Mon Nov 14, 2016 - Mon Nov 14, 2016)
The Booksmith
7:30 PM
Dance, Literary, Ethnic Dance, Author Appearance


A first-of-its-kind book, Constance Hale's The Natives Are Restless explores the largely untold story of Hawaiian hula—how it has roared back as an authentic art form after two centuries of overt suppression, benign neglect, and tourist cliché—using the choreography and teachings of San Francisco dance master Patrick Makuakane. In the background of the book is the tragic story of an indigenous people and the threats to its culture. In the foreground is groundbreaking choreography and exuberant theatricality that Makuakane invents to tell that story. The crisp narrative, complemented by fourcolor photographs and stunning page design, makes Makuakane’s exuberant, fierce, sensuous dance style come alive on the page.

Publication of The Natives Are Restless is timed to coincide with the 2016 premiere of an all-new version of the show of the same name, which showcases the edgy choreography and electric staging of Makuakane’s troupe, Na Lei Hulu i ka Wekiu.

“Constance Hale is a beautiful writer with a sensitive appreciation of Hawaiian culture. Combining her deep knowledge of Hawaii with her talents as a prose stylist, she is following in the footsteps of the late James D. Houston as one of our most profound thinkers on island history and culture.” — Julia Flynn Siler, journalist and author of Lost Kingdom


Constance Hale is a Hawaii-born, San Francisco-based journalist who has been writing about Hawaiian culture for more than twenty-five years. Her award-winning features on slack-key guitar, the sovereignty movement, the Hawaiian language, Big Island cowboys, and Spam sushi have appeared in The Atlantic, National Geographic Adventure, Afar, Smithsonian, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Honolulu. She has also worked as a staff reporter and editor at the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Examiner, Wired, and Health magazines. She has written three books on language and literary style, including the best-selling Sin and Syntax, and her eight-part series on writing a sentence is on the New York Times “Opinionator.” Hale started dancing the hula at seven and performed each year in May Day festivals at Hale‘iwa Elementary School, switching to ballet and jazz dance while at Punahou School and Princeton University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a master’s degree from UC Berkeley. She has studied hula with Patrick Makuakane for twenty years and edits the halau’s annual newsletter, Kaholo‘ana.

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  1. The Booksmith
    1644 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA

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