In 2009, So You Think You Can Dancefeatured traditional Russian folk dancing (dont ask us how we know this) and it bombed, spectacularly. Primarily because American audiences have little patience for folk dancing that is not Riverdance, but also because traditional dancing should be done by traditional dancers, not by breakdancers after a days practice in a studio gone toxic with made-for-TV sexual tension. The Hula Show doesnt have this problem; Na Lei Hulu, a 40-strong dance company with a 25-year history in San Francisco, steeps its members in the ancient style. And then it turns them loose with hula mula, which pairs hula with decidedly non-hula music, including opera, electronica, alternative, and pop. This years show goes especially eccentric: After jumping from India to Turkey to Spain, it lands at home with the Golden Gate Mens Chorus providing a cappella accompaniment onstage. Dont be scared few understand their first bite of Spam sushi, either. Another, more traditional highlight is Hanohano Kapalakiko, an original suite of chants celebrating the historical relationship between San Francisco and Hawaii, written by composer Puakea Nogelmeier.
Fri., Oct. 21, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 22, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 23, 4 p.m., 2011