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The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s grandest yet: Romeo & Juliet shoots for the stars with spectacle


NEWS  by Jack Yan/August 16, 2017/12.20


Top photo: Stephen A’Court; above: Ross Brown

Since announcing he would be leaving the Royal New Zealand Ballet as its artistic director in November 2016, it became evident that Romeo & Juliet, the new ballet that had its world première in Wellington tonight, would be Francesco Ventriglia’s love letter to the company. It takes all the talent that the company (and Orchestra Wellington) can muster, dials it up a notch, and Ventriglia injects his own artistry and connections to make this not only a wonderful, classical reinvention of the Shakespearean tragedy, but one that is visually and dramatically authentic.
   It wasn’t a simple matter of staging and choreography: Ventriglia worked with dramaturge Mattia Mario Giorgetti to get the historical and social context of fifteenth-century Verona right; and Academy Award winner James Acheson (Dangerous Liaisons, The Last Emperor, and Restoration) was asked to re-create an authentic Verona with colourful costumes that, in Ventriglia’s words, ‘are as true as possible to the Renaissance as ballet costumes, created in the 21st century, can be’. Jon Buswell (lighting designer), Gillian Whittingham (choreographic assistant), and Frédéric Jahn (guest ballet master) were part of the ‘dream team’, but special mention must be given to fight coordinator Carrie Thiel, whose knowledge of stunt work and swordplay gave Romeo & Juliet an extra edge. There were 13 scene changes and over 90 costumes: Romeo & Juliet was not just the RNZB’s biggest production of 2017, it could well be its grandest over the last several years. It fills its three hours (three acts, two intermissions) with extravagance; lovers of classical ballets will indulge in it.
   Acheson’s work was immediately evident with a bright, summertime Verona set that had more depth and detail than many other productions’; his sets also rotated and moved, easing the audience into each different scene. There was a beauty to these sets as well as a modularity, something that hadn’t been attempted successfully in previous ballets we’ve reviewed. Renaissance-inspired art featured in Juliet’s bedroom and in the church. Acheson is on top of his game, and the costumes and sets lent Romeo & Juliet a world-class flair.
   Opening night saw Joseph Skelton as Romeo and Madeleine Graham as Juliet, a well cast pair: both had caught our eyes in previous ballets. Skelton had an innocent quality as a young man falling in love; Graham gave her Juliet a mix of a childish wonder and determination. Let’s hear it for the boys: Massimo Margaria was on form as Romeo’s friend Mercutio, and his easy Italian charm almost stole the show; while Paul Mathews had a chance to showcase his villainy in Tybalt.
   While ‘villainy’ might be a strong word in some cases (but Sergei Prokofiev’s ‘Dance of the Knights’ certainly conveyed that in a masked ball scene taking place within the Capulet’s palazzo), it seemed to work here: the swordplay mentioned earlier took audiences from classical ballet to a fight scene in the first act that had the spectacle of Errol Flynn’s 1938 outing as Robin Hood; Ventriglia offered concessions to modernity by "freeze-framing" part of the action while allowing the central characters to continue, with Buswell’s lighting playing along, before gradually speeding it up again—something, we might add, that can only be accomplished with decent ballet dancers.
   Nevertheless, this isn’t a simple tale of good versus evil, but a love story. The pas de deux between Romeo and Juliet at the end of Act I was touching and tender, beginning with Juliet and her nurse preparing for bed in an upstairs room (another clever touch from Acheston), and Romeo performing some remarkable lifts once Juliet joined him.
   The always welcome Sir Jon Trimmer played Friar Laurence, and the church set was another triumph for Acheson with its simplicity and its crucifix (after Giotto) at its centre.
   Juliet’s solos were particularly moving: Graham’s performances in Act III were particular memorable, if tinged with sadness, when Romeo departs her bedroom after their secret wedding night; her contemplation of whether to take the Friar’s potion; and her despair on discovering that he had taken his life after thinking she had taken hers.
   Ventriglia gives a glimpse of the lovers gazing at each other before the final curtain, leaving the ballet on a more positive note, signalling that they are together in the afterlife. Some members of the opening night audience offered ovations to the cast and to Ventriglia, Acheson, Giorgetti and others. As a ballet that began life in October 2016 while Ventriglia was artistic director, it was a fitting valedictory work.

Twenty-two performances have been scheduled from the première on August 16 till September 24, in Wellington (with Orchestra Wellington), Christchurch (with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra), Auckland (with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra), Rotorua, Dunedin (with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra), Invercargill, Palmerston North, and Napier.
   The season is sponsored by Ryman Healthcare. More information can be found at www.rnzb.org.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Jaguar launches E-Pace by breaking record—David Gandy, Sienna Miller, Winnie Harlow help promote new model


NEWS  by Lucire staff/July 13, 2017/22.46



Nick Dimbleby; Antonio Salgado

Jaguar has announced its platform counterpart to the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, dubbed the E-Pace. The launch at ExCeL London saw the E-Pace enter the Guinness World Record books with a bang.
   Terry Grant, who holds 21 Guinness World Records’ titles, achieved a barrel roll, leaping 15·3 m and 270 degrees, not unlike the famous scene in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.
   Unlike the film, Grant did the stunt with a standard, production-line E-Pace.
   Grant had a 160 m run-up to the ramp and experienced 5·5 g during the roll.
   The stunt required extensive computer programming and CAD modelling.
   Grant now holds the record for the furthest barrel roll in a production vehicle.
   Celebrities such as David Gandy, Vicky McClure, Winnie Harlow, Lady Mary Charteris and Jaime Winstone lent their presence to the E-Pace official launch, Sienna Miller was the VIP at a pre-launch event, while Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra performed the Ibiza Classics at the official première at ExCeL. Tong collaborated with Raye to perform ‘You Don’t Know Me’ by Jax Jones at the event.
   Jaguar has been mindful to have the E-Pace take its styling cues from the F-type, rather than the larger F-Pace SUV. First, it signals the car’s sporting intent, despite being based on a front-wheel-drive platform. Secondly, it demonstrates that Jaguar, unlike its chief German rivals, is not wedded to a single “face”: a Jaguar is signalled by its proportions and design more than what the grille up front conveys.
   This technique has been employed before: in the 1950s, Jaguar created its 2·4 saloon (later retrospectively named the Mk I) by using styling cues from its successful XK120 sports’ car.
   Inside, the E-Pace has 4G wifi and a large central touchscreen as standard. The retail price begins at £28,500, with orders commencing online now for UK customers.


The Jaguar E-Pace Guinness World Record barrel roll by Lucire












Peter Macdiarmid, Nick Dimbleby, Anthony Cullen









David M. Benett


David Gandy at the Jaguar E-Pace launch by Lucire


Winnie Harlow at Jaguar E-Pace launch by Lucire


Terry Grant on barrel-rolling the Jaguar E-Pace by Lucire


Jaguar design boss Ian Callum on the E-Pace by Lucire

Erdem is H&M’s next guest designer—director Baz Luhrmann will helm the film campaign


NEWS  by Lucire staff//16.04


H&M

H&M’s latest designer collaboration is with Erdem—and if that wasn’t big enough news, the Swedish giant has enlisted the visionary Australian director Baz Luhrmann to create the film to promote the new range.
   The two talents are perfectly suited: Erdem, created by the Canadian-born, UK-based Erdem Moralioglu, focuses on the ideas of history and personal narrative, finding him favour aming celebrities including the Duchess of Cambridge, Jessica Alba, and Kate Bosworth, while Luhrmann’s films tell fantastic stories that embody imagination and startling visuals. The new collection, which débuts on November 2 in selected stores and online at hm.com, promises to have a spectacular kick-off.
   As with his predecessors, Moralioglu will reinterpret his earlier collections for the collaboration and, for the first time, he will create a menswear collection.
   H&M says he will reinterpret his most celebrated prints and textiles for the Erdem × H&M collection.
   ‘I am so happy to collaborate with H&M, and to explore my work on a whole new scale including a menswear collection which I have never done before. It’s also such a thrill to work with Baz Luhrmann, one of the most important storytellers of our time,’ said Moralioglu.
   ‘For me, fashion is always about more than just clothing, it is a form of expression—a standalone art form. I am excited to be collaborating with Erdem and H&M to reveal the story of this unique collection,’ said Luhrmann.
   H&M’s creative adviser, Ann-Sofie Johansson, said, ‘From the moment we started talking with Erdem about the collaboration, I was captured by his vision. For Erdem × H&M he has created an enchanting world full of beauty, delicacy and rich details. These are special pieces you will want to wear forever.’


Erdem × H&M teaser, by Baz Luhrmann by Lucire

Royal New Zealand Ballet promises an ‘epic’ production with Romeo and Juliet, opening August 16


NEWS  by Lucire staff/July 6, 2017/21.15



Ross Brown

The most anticipated ballet of the year in New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet, set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev and choreographed by the company’s outgoing artistic director, Francesco Ventriglia, has its world première on August 16 in Wellington. The sets and costumes have been designed by three-time Academy Award-winning designer James Acheson (who won for Dangerous Liaisons, The Last Emperor, and Restoration).
   Other talents behind the full-length, three-act ballet are dramaturge Mario Mattia Giorgetti, choreographic assistant Gillian Whittingham, and guest ballet master Frédéric Jahn. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s associate conductor Hamish McKeith will conduct orchestras in Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland and Dunedin.
   The company’s biggest production of the year, there will be 13 scene changes and over 90 costumes.
   It is Ventriglia’s second full-length ballet for the RNZB, with work beginning in October 2016. His successor, Patricia Barker, has started as the new artistic director as the reins are handed over, noting, ‘It’s a very exciting time to have joined the RNZB—this production promises to be exquisite while it transports us to the heart of Verona. The energy in the studio is captivating. I have enjoyed getting to know the RNZB dancers and I’m looking forward to seeing them inhabit these iconic characters.’
   Ventriglia said, ‘To create a brand new classical ballet of one of the greatest stories and the most beautiful scores is so invigorating. I’m taking great care to respect Shakespeare and Prokofiev’s great works plus drawing inspiration from Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 multi-Academy Award-winning film. I’m also working with a dream team of collaborators and the very talented artists of the RNZB, who I’d like to thank for their incredible work.
   ‘James Acheson’s magnificent sets make me feel right at home, like I’m in Verona in the height of an Italian summer. All of the costumes are exquisite. We have been very true to the Renaissance period and I know audiences will also be transported to the time and place where our star-crossed lovers meet.’
   The production promises to be ‘epic’, with 22 performances scheduled from August 16 to September 24 in Wellington (with Orchestra Wellington), Christchurch (with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra), Auckland (with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra), Rotorua, Dunedin (with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra), Invercargill, Palmerston North, and Napier.
   The season is sponsored by Ryman Healthcare. More information can be found at www.rnzb.org.nz.

Game of Thrones’ and X-Men’s Sophie Turner named Wella Professionals’ brand ambassador


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 21, 2017/21.24

Sophie Turner, the 21-year-old actress who rose to fame in the HBO TV series Game of Thrones, is the new brand ambassador for Wella Professionals.
   Turner boasts a five million following on Instagram, as well as having a profile through Game of Thrones and the X-Men film series.
   The company says she was chosen because she pushed ‘style boundaries, , making fearless and bold hair-colour transformations.’
   Turner said, ‘I’m honoured to be named the face of Wella Professionals, an iconic beauty brand that encourages women like me to be bold in their choices. Working with them is a great creative collaboration because it gives life to my on-screen characters and allows me to express my personality off-screen, as well.’
   Kicking off next month, she will appear in Wella Professionals’ summer and autumn campaigns. Wella Professionals’ global artist, Sonya Dove, worked with celebrity hairstylist Christian Wood on the campaign. Turner will also appear in global marketing, print and digital advertising, in-store displays, and social media (hashtag #sophiexwella).
   Wella Professionals is targeted at the trade, focusing on salon hair products, professional hair colours and beauty services.
   Laura Simpson, chief marketing officer for Coty Professional Beauty, said, ‘She’s an exceptionally talented artist who represents a generation of women which like to express themselves by wearing premium-looking, sophisticated hair colour. Exceptional hair colour results are only possible in the salon and using the best products and services, something which Wella Professionals proudly offers Sophie as well as millions of women and men around the world.’
   Previously part of Procter & Gamble, Wella was sold to Coty, Inc. in 2015, alongside Max Factor, Cover Girl, Clairol, and P&G’s fragrance business.
   The brand itself dates back to 1880.

HM Queen Elizabeth II presents Cartier Queen’s Cup 2017; Lara Stone, Geneviève Gaunt, Caroline Winberg among VIPs


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 20, 2017/1.18





Antony Jones

The third royal-connected polo match of the season took place on Sunday, June 18, at the Queen’s Ground at Guards’ Polo Club, Windsor Great Park, with RH Polo beating La Indiana 10–9 in the Cartier Queen’s Cup. It was Adolfo Cambiaso who broke the 9–9 tie. Most Valuable Player was Tommy Beresford, who celebrated his 21st birthday a few weeks ago; Best Playing Pony was Cataquena, owned and played by Cambiaso.
   HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh were in attendance. RH Polo were presented the trophy by the Queen, who has attended and presented the Cup since the 1960s.
   Cartier has supported polo for over three decades—this was its 33rd Queen’s Cup. This year’s event remained as star-studded as previous years’ events. Cartier champagne was served in the company’s enclosure, along with a lunch created by Cellar Society.
   VIPs included Lara Stone, Lily Cole, Geneviève Gaunt, Caroline Winberg, Jessica Hart, Skepta, Candice Lake, Nicholas Kirkwood, Marcus Wareing, Lady Kitty Spencer, Katie Keight, sisters Lady Alice Manners and Lady Violet Manners, Tori Cook, DJs Hugo Heathcote and Mark Ronson, Jilly Copper, Malcolm Borwick, Eduardo Novillo Astrada, and Facundo Pieres.
   The lunch consisted of goat’s curd with Wiltshire black truffle, zucchini flower beignets, Regent’s Park truffle honey followed by roast fillet of Hereford beef, chargrilled summer vegetables, minted peas and Anya potatoes, and finished on a sweet note with Hedgerow berry pavlova, whipped jersey cream and fresh mint.
   Heathcote performed at the close of the event, along with saxophonist Ben Barnett and percussionist Tom Carr, followed by Ronson.






















































Antony Jones

Prince Harry, Karen Gillan, Gemma Chan, Joanne Froggatt attend Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup in Singapore


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 5, 2017/23.08




Chris Jackson

HRH Prince Harry, British actresses Karen Gillan, Gemma Chan and Joanne Froggatt (with husband James Cannon), former New Zealand prime minister Sir John Key, polo players Nacho Figueras, Malcolm Borwick and J. B. Lee, nez Barnabé Fillion, blogger Chris Burt-Allan, and Torquhil Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll were among the celebrities and VIPs attending the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup held at the Singapore Polo Club on Monday.
   Sentebale is a charity cofounded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, helping children and young people affected by HIV–Aids in Lesotho, and, as announced in 2016, Botswana. The polo event is a regular fund-raiser for the charity. To date, it has raised over £4·5 million and supported over 2,000 children and adolescents.
   Guests observed a minute’s silence for the victims of the London terrorist attacks that happened on Saturday evening.
   Prince Harry’s ISPS Handa team defeated the St Regis team, captained by Nacho Figueras, with a score of 5–2. The best playing pony was awarded to Caldera, played by Nacho Figueras.
   Borwick, who serves as the Royal Salute world polo ambassador, also played. Figueras is a Sentebale and St Regis ambassador.
   Both the newly knighted Sir John and Gillan handed out bottles of Royal Salute Polo Edition to the team, and Gillan presented the winner’s trophy.
   At the post-match dinner at the St Regis Singapore, Prince Harry said Sentebale’s Let Youth Lead programme aims to have all youth in sub-Saharan Africa know and manage their HIV status by 2020.
   Peter Moore of Royal Salute and Sentebale CEO Cathy Ferrier were also present. Royal Salute itself has donated over £1·5 million.
   A Royal Salute 21 Year Old Polo Edition whisky, donated by Royal Salute’s director of blending Sandy Hyslop, in a hand-illustrated wrap by artist Natalie Reid, is being auctioned online with a reserve of £7,000. Netizens can bid on the entire auction lot until June 14 at www.royalsaluteauction.com.
   ‘Through youth-led campaigning, training and advocacy, the initiative allows young people affected by HIV–Aids to be heard. We hope this will create a platform where the needs of young people in the region are listened to, from the need for adolescent-friendly health services, more trained counsellors in rural areas and better sexual reproductive health education in schools. Young people know what works for them and their friends, so we must listen and take note,’ he said.
   Both the Prince’s father and paternal grandfather, HRH Prince Charles and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, have played at the Club.
   Other sponsors of the event were ISPS Handa, St Regis Hotels & Resorts, BMW, and British Airways.
































Chris Jackson

AmFAR Gala at Festival de Cannes day nine: Rita Ora, Iris Mittenaere, Jasmine Tookes, Bella Hadid at charity do, raising €20 million


NEWS  by Lucire staff/May 26, 2017/20.23




Gareth Cattermole; Anthony Ghnassia; Daniele Venturelli

The AmFAR Gala is traditionally the biggest do during the Festival de Cannes, and this year was no exception.
   The events had kicked off on Wednesday with a party for Persol, the Torino-founded eyewear brand, which celebrated its centenary. In partnership with AmFAR, the event took place on a yacht berthed in Port Pierre Canto, and was attended by Will Smith, Adrien Brody, Toby Maguire, Bérénice Béjo, Jasmine Tookes and Eva Longoria, with Dionne Warwick kicking off the celebrations.
   But all eyes were on last night at the AmFAR Gala, with support from Moët Hennessy, Harry Winston, Bold Films, Persol, Renault, and Harvey Weinstein, held at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Celebrities and VIPs included Will Smith (who livened up the evening by carrying out one of the auctions), Diana Ross, Dustin Hoffman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman (in Chanel), Christoph Waltz, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jessica Chastain (in Prada), Tobey Maguire, Chris Tucker, Bella Hadid (in a very sheer Ralph & Russo), Diane Kruger (in Alexander McQueen), Eva Longoria (in Elie Saab), David Beckham, Harvey Weinstein, Coco Rocha, former Miss France Laury Thilleman, reigning Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere, Nicki Minaj (in Roberto Cavalli), Adrien Brody, Uma Thurman and her Levon Roan Thurman-Hawke, Irina Shayk, Doutzen Krœs, Olivier Rousteing, Lara Stone, Petra Němcová, Karolína Kurková, DNCE, Lindsay Lohan, Cindy Bruna, Kiwi Victoria’s Secret model Georgia Fowler, Sophie Taylor, Millie Mackintosh, Maria Borges, Valery Kaufman, Carine Roitfeld, Elsa Hosk, Hana Jiříčková, Hailey Baldwin, Jon Kortajarena, Paz Vega, de Grisogono boss Fawaz Gruosi, Jasmine Tookes, Praya Lundberg, Sonia Ben Ammar, Leo Bahadourian and Anne-Sophie Bahadourian, footballer Juan Arbelaez, incoming Hennessy master blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, Jean-François Michel, Tommie Pegues, Hani Farsi, Alex Dunnet, Sylvain Ercoli and Dali Ercoli, Costadis Spyropoulos and Elmina Spyropoulos, Nathalie Normand, Camille Charriere, Kanako Sakai and Kouka Webb. Rocha presented the auction lot from Moët Hennessy, featuring a unique lot (no. 84 of 250) of Hennessy 8, a blend of rare eaux-de-vie and a unique companion sculpture signed by artist Arik Lévy, who also attended. Hadid, meanwhile, served champagne on stage, and the AmFAR fashion show, which featured, inter alia, Kurkova, Shayk, Kaufman, Baldwin, Hadid, Hosk, Tookes and Jiříčková, curated by Roitfeld, earned over €3 million for the dresses. Other performers on the night included Ross, Ora, Minaj, and DNCE.
   A Timothy White photo of Elizabeth Taylor went for €80,000. One successful bidder paid €350,000 to play soccer with Beckham, and another paid the same amount for a five-day trek to visit HH the Dalai Lama. A 1958 Jaguar XK150 sold for €600,000, beating a Richard Hambleton-painted van that sold for €250,000. A week in the Maldives sold for over €700,000 (note: it was for 60 people), as did a huge JR sculpture of an Olympic diver. A week on board a Serenity yacht for 30 guests went for €450,000. A Haas Brothers sculpture went for €500,000. A collection of George Hurrell Hollywood portraits sold for €2 million. Some €20 million (down on previous years’ dos) was raised at this year’s gala, the funds going to Aids research.































































Gareth Cattermole; courtesy de Grisogono; Anthony Ghnassia; Cyrille George Jerusalmi; Daniele Venturelli; Tristan Fewings; Pascal le Segretain

Persol centenary









Antony Jones; Jacopo Raule

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