The Royal New Zealand Balletâs The Nutcracker is a new take on the Tchaikovsky classicâset in a childrenâs hospital ward.
Both fashion editor Sopheak Seng and I called it âbrilliantâ when we chatted about it post-show: it really is a fresh and entertaining take thatâs cleverly directed and choreographed. Coupled with the Vector Wellington orchestra, which didnât miss a beat, the production is a must-see.
The credit for the clever direction and choreography is that of artistic director, Gary Harris, who departs the Royal New Zealand Ballet after this production. Adrian Burnett provided additional choreography, while Kenneth Young conducted.
Tonia Looker, as Clara, and Paul Russell, as Fritz, were particularly expressive as the children who begin the ballet opening their presents on Christmas Day.
The audience, meanwhile, reserved most of its applause and delight for Sir Jon Trimmer as the Matron in the ward. Sir Jon was the Prince and the Russian for the Royal New Zealand Balletâs ﬁrst performance of The Nutcracker in 1963.
And we must applaud the costumes, which brought The Nutcracker in to the 1930s, with smart menâs and womenâs suiting and dresses.
Harrisâs successor, Ethan Stiefel, will have big shoes to ﬁll when he takes up his role. Interestingly, Stiefel, too, recently staged and choreographed a version of The Nutcracker for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. A recipient of the Statue Award of the Princess Grace Foundation (1999) and a Prix de Lausanne juror (2001), he takes up his role in September 2011.
The RNZBâs The Nutcracker is at the St James in Wellington till November 6, and travels around the country to Invercargill (November 11â13), Christchurch (November 17â20), Palmerston North (November 23â4), Napier (November 27â8), Auckland (December 1â5) and Takapuna (December 8â9).âJack Yan, Publisher
Hopefully this video host (SmugMug) wonât disappear. On that note, hereâs the 2011 BMW X3, which is larger than the model it replaces (whose role is taken over largely by the new X1). The videos were issued by BMW several days ago.
Made in Spartanburg, South Carolina, alongside the X5 and X6, the X3 has two engine variants at launch: a four-cylinder diesel developing 184 bhp (135 kW) and a straight-six petrol engine developing 306 bhp (225 kW).
The videos below show the X3 Xdrive20d going through its paces off-roadâwhere its ability is, arguably, limitedâand some exterior footage.
Earlier this month, we opted not to cover the hoop-la around the latest version of the Victoriaâs Secret diamond bra, as worn by Adriana Limaâas there were some busy news days and catch-up work to do after the many fashion weeks around the world.
However, weâve noticed that there are many search-engine hits coming to this website, and all visitors are seeing are 2008âs design by Martin Katz. So, here it is: the 2010 edition, dubbed the Victoriaâs Secret Bombshell Fantasy Bra, modelled once again by Miss Lima, this time created by Italian jeweller Damiani.
The bra âonlyâ costs US$2 million, compared with the US$5 million price tag put on the 2008 version. It features 3,000 brilliant-cut white diamonds, light blue sapphires and oval-shaped topazes, set in 18 ct white gold. There are 60 ct of diamonds and 82 ct of sapphires and topazes, says Damiani. Over 1,500 hours of labour were put in to the bra.
It will appear in the Victoriaâs Secret Fashion Show annual telecast, airing this year on November 30 on CBS in the US, and the companyâs 2010 Christmas Dreams and Fantasies catalogue.
There have been pricier Victoriaâs Secret bras. In 2005, the fantasy bra was valued at US$12Â·5 million, modelled by GisÃ¨le BÃ¼ndchen. The 10th anniversary version in 2006 featured 2,000 diamonds weighing a massive 800 ct, valued at US$6Â·5 million, modelled by Karolina KurkovÃ¡.
Above Mayor Michael Bloomberg addresses a small group of media on New York Fashion Weekâs move from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center, joined by (from left to right) Katherine Farley, Ted J. Forstman and Diane Von Furstenberg. The unveiling of the Fashion Line sign at the New York subway stop nearest to Lincoln Center.
New York Fashion Week is a seven-day event that is assisted by many; viewed and remembered by so many more. However, whenÂ we think of NYFW, we may think of the famous Bryant Park, a walk from Broadway and from the fashion district. This season, we experienced a change. NYFW found its new home in a new location: Lincoln Center.
This year, the city decided to celebrate the change by âkicking offâ with an eventful debut, with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as host. The intimate welcome was held between the mayor and a small group of press. It took place a day before the ﬁrst day of fashion week on September 8, 2010.
Other than Mayor Bloomberg attending this eventful day, the Council of Fashion Designers of America president (as well as world-renowned designer)Â Diane Von Furstenberg was also present. Others included theÂ Lincoln Center chair, Katherine Farley, and the chairman and CEO of IMG, Ted J. Forstman. They each had something to smile about: the time when people around the world could call Lincoln Center home when thinking about fashion. They also took the privilege in temporarily calling the metro stop near Lincoln Center âthe Fashion Lineâ.
In his speech, Bloomberg mentioned that âLincoln Center is a great solution.â He continued, âFashion is art and fashion is performing art; itâs the right place at the right time.â
Mayor Bloomberg went on in saying, âNew York City has more fashion houses than any other city.â
Similarly, Von Furstenberg explained, âLincoln Center is part of art and culture.â
In a general perspective, they are glad to take Fashion Week by the hand and allow Lincoln Center to hog the attention away from historical Bryant Park.
Lincoln Center is ofﬁcially the new home base for people of the fashion world. The question that we could focus on answering is: was it or was it not the move to make? Metaphorically speaking, one move in a game of chess can either destroy or allow the king to conquer all; on the other hand, the move from one location to another could change the vibe for better or for worse.
Nineteen ninety-four represented the year where Bryant Park welcomed NYFW with opened arms; 16 years later Lincoln Center does the same. The beautiful arrangements in the main check-in area were wonderfully set with a warm sensation of welcome to the stunning people who entered the doors. Adapting to the technological additions in the area were difﬁcult to get used to: there was a system to scan and go to the next scheduled show.Â
As it was the ﬁrst timeÂ NYFW was held atÂ Lincoln Center, there were a fewÂ pointsÂ that could have been adjusted, but on the whole, the move was worth it.Â The Lincoln Center tentsÂ wereÂ set upÂ in a more orderly fashion;Â and, as many stiletto wearing women might say, the ﬂoors they tread onÂ were more comfortable, with their no longer needing to suffer stone-made ﬂooring.
I hope that certain aspects, including organization, improves in the future at our new home. We are ﬁnally happy to call Lincoln Center our own as we await to see how the next seasons in the near future will turn out.âLola Saab, Paris Editor
Above, from top Scenes from last yearâs Addington races: organizer Angela Stone on the far left with some of the supporters of the 2009 event. Lynne Robertson, Miss Lindauer, representing one of the sponsors, with one of the 2009 Best Dressed winners. Carly Flynn, TV3 anchor.
I hadnât planned on a big night. I attended the inauguration of Mayor Celia Wade-Brown in Wellington, New Zealand, and joined her and some of her newly sworn-in councillors at St Johnâs Bar earlier tonight. But on the way to the latter, we got word that The Hobbit, the troubled Warner Bros. production that had threatened to leave New Zealand shores thanks to union issues, would remain, thanks to intervention by the government. There was another partyâan unscheduled one, but equally joyousâon what proved to be a big night out in Wellington.
When I left the Matterhorn bar just before midnight, some members of Wellington ﬁlm crews, Gerry Brownlee MP, Minister of Economic Development, and his team were still celebrating.
The two Hobbit movies, based on the J. R. R. Tolkien novel and produced by, inter alia, Sir Peter Jackson, were budgeted for US$500 million, with the New Zealand Government providing greater tax breaks to secure them staying on-shore.
The tax breaks announced by the Prime Minister, John Key, include an extra NZ$20 million on top of the NZ$45 million that had already been pledged. A labour law change will be presented before Parliament to secure the deal and to end the threat of a strike.
The informality of the Hobbit party at the Matterhorn almost overshadowed the dignity and ceremony of the inauguration tonight. The Hobbit is the prequel to The Lord of the Rings. Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Sir Ian McKellen and Mark Hadlow have been cast.âJack Yan, Publisher