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Bienvenue à nos lecteurs français: Lucire KSA now published in English and French

Filed by Jack Yan/September 16, 2021/5.41




Top and centre: Lucire KSA issue 31, in English and in French. Above: One of the articles in French inside the magazine.

I’m very grateful to the team at Lucire KSA, who have created the first Lucire in French this month. They had an opportunity to reach Francophone readers, and the first issue is now out in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
   We’re currently working with the crew there on the second issue, with our translators in Antibes, France and here in Wellington, New Zealand, and the hope is we’ll eventually craft some exclusive French content. As has been the case since earlier this year, the Lucire KSA team chooses their own covers to suit their market, and inside there’s the mix of fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle and culture that readers have come to know and love.
   As a Francophone myself, I’m thoroughly impressed by the quality of translation for Lucire KSA’s September 2021 number, which has set a high standard for our team to meet for October, our anniversary month.
   My small contribution this month was that I proofed the September issue before it was completed, and contributed the French titles of a number of films. Reading Cahiers du cinéma and Première all those years ago paid off.
   What we may see from October 2021 are some of the French articles online, letting you choose which language you want to read it in. We’re having a look at the template now—after all, the current web one dates back to 2013, which is a long time in internet terms.
   It marks the fourth language for Lucire: English being the first, followed by Romanian, and two issues in Qatar in Arabic over a decade ago. We briefly experimented with a Chinese-language website, but as it had a single article, I don’t think I can count it in this tally.
   I want to thank publicly a few Francophone Wellingtonians: Carine Stewart, Sylvie Poupard-Gould, and Geneviève Rousseau Cung, all of whom have played a part in Lucire over the years, and whose actions led to us finding the translation team. As some of you know, Sylvie named Lucire in 1997—little did we know I would be writing this message 24 years later.
   It feels like another step forward for us, with our five editions: this, the original web one, our New Zealand print edition (which was our second), Lucire KSA, Lucire Rouge over in the US with Elyse Glickman and Jody Miller, and now Lucire KSA en français. I thank everyone for their support and initiative. En avant!—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher

 


Panos’s new adventure: hearty, heartfelt food and exclusive beers at the Panos Panos Tavern

Filed by Lucire staff/September 14, 2021/12.33




Panos Papadopoulos, the founder of Panos Emporio and dubbed ‘the king of swimwear’ by the Swedish press, has announced his newest venture: the Panos Panos Tavern in Göteborg.
   Spurred by his own thoughts of good food and wanting to create a venue where people can socialize as they emerge from the pandemic, Panos took over the site of the acclaimed Thörnström’s Kitchen (Teknologgatan 3), which had closed due to COVID-19.
   He has breathed new life into the space, including painting some of the art that adorns his new restaurant, and offering a menu that celebrates his Greek heritage. Once again, he has confounded those who said it couldn’t be done: after doing the deal before the summer to take over the premises, he has managed to launch the Panos Panos Tavern before the end of September.
   Alongside a new menu of well cooked food made from locally produced ingredients, Panos has also developed two unique beers that are exclusive to his Tavern. Eros lager and Agapi IPA are Swedish-made craft beers that have been developed to complement the restaurant.
   Panos promises that the food has soul, with hearty dishes that are as ‘heartfelt and as healthy as something you will find in a good home in Greece and on the Mediterranean,’ but that there are new twists with the flavours.
   ‘We live in strange times and opening a restaurant in the wake of the pandemic may seem like an impossible task, given the longer delivery times, difficulties in obtaining materials and machines, getting hold of craftsmen, etc. Although those who have known me before know that I am embarking on the impossible. With hard work, perseverance and creativity you go a long way!’ he said.
   He worked many 18-hour days as his planned launch in mid-September neared, paying close attention to detail, a formula that netted him such huge success in the swimwear fashion market.
   Panos Panos Tavern opens on September 15. Reservations can be made at panospanos.se, via email at reservations@panospanos.se, or telephone +46 31 12-75-73. Opening hours are presently 5 to 11 p.m. seven days a week.











 


Pamela Anderson joins Antartica2020 to advocate for the Southern Ocean

Filed by Lucire staff/September 1, 2021/22.04

Actress and activist Pamela Anderson is lending her voice to Antarctica2020, a group calling for the protection of the Southern Ocean and its wilderness.
   She joins other luminaries such as Philippe Cousteau, Sylvia Earle, Slava Fetisov, José Maria Figueres, Geneviève Pons, Ashlan Gorse Cousteau, and others, who are already members of the group.
   ‘The world is warming, and the polar regions are warming the fastest. The Southern Ocean—which has buffered humanity from the full extent of climate change—is reaching a tipping point. Thousands of the world’s leading scientists overwhelmingly conclude that if we don’t take immediate action to tackle the nature and climate crises, ice melt will accelerate, and sea water will rise and warm to terrifying levels. This will have disastrous and irreversible impacts on ocean life and threaten human existence,’ said the group in a release.
   Anderson added, ‘I have been an activist for more than two decades and see more and more how important it is to radically rethink our relation towards nature and animals. The state of our planet affects all our lives. Many people don’t realize that even Antarctica, one of the remotest parts of the world, plays a major role in how our planet functions. We need to do everything we can to safeguard it, which is why I have joined this campaign.
   ‘The climate crisis is melting Antarctica’s ice much faster than predicted. This is already having disastrous impacts on its amazing wildlife such as penguins, seals and whales, all of which are struggling to keep alive amid all these rapid changes to their home. It is absolutely terrifying, as we are speeding towards a number of tipping points, that are the point of no return for the region and the planet.
   ‘We really need world leaders to step up their game and show real political leadership. They can make history this year by protecting these areas in Antarctica and securing the greatest act of ocean protection ever. We must fight for action for ourselves and future generations because there’s too much to lose if we don’t.’
   The ocean current around Antarctica regulates the entire planet’s climate system, keeping it cool and liveable.
   Antarctica2020 works with Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), the Pew Charitable Trusts, Ocean Unite, Sea Legacy and Only One, among others, to protect the Southern Ocean. They have proposals to protect areas in the East Antarctic, Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula, covering 4,000,000 km², or 1 per cent of the ocean.

 


Kristen Stewart wears spring 1988 Chanel haute couture re-creation on Spencer poster

Filed by Lucire staff/August 31, 2021/23.11

There’s been a tremendous amount of interest in Diana, Princess of Wales of late—especially around the time of what would have been her 40th wedding anniversary to HRH Prince Charles. The Crown has added to interest in the People’s Princess, and the latest encroachment on her memory is Pablo Larraín’s Spencer, a biopic with Kristen Stewart in the role of Diana. Larraín had made Jackie (with Natalie Portman) and Neruda, both released in 2016.
   In Spencer’s poster, Stewart, a Chanel ambassador, wears a beige organza evening gown embellished with gold and silver round, oval or leaf-shaped sequins forming floral branches from the Chanel spring–summer 1988 haute couture collection. It was re-created entirely by hand for the movie by Chanel, requiring 1,034 hours of work (700 hours for embroideries) by five full-time seamstresses.
   Chanel notes: ‘This strapless, boned dress has a straight neckline trimmed with a delicate pleated tulle ruffle and a frieze composed of ovum and florets, an appliquéd satin belt with a bow at the front, a skirt fitted down to the hips then gathered and longer at the back, as well as multiple tulle flounces mounted on an organza petticoat. Embroidery by Lesage and Pleating by Lognon.’
   Spencer premières in competition at the Biennale di Venezia, the Venice Film Festival, on September 3.


 


Is the sun setting on Alarm für Cobra 11: die Autobahnpolizei?

Filed by Jack Yan/August 3, 2021/12.10

It does seem the sun is setting, after 25 years, on Alarm für Cobra 11: die Autobahnpolizei on RTL.
   Last Thursday, the network released three episodes from 8.15 p.m., and to heck with the low ratings of the last episode which would be far too late for younger viewers. They’re doing the same this week, and finishing up the season next week with the two last ones made.
   It’s no secret that the viewer numbers have been falling year after year, especially after the departure of Tom Beck, and the long-running actioner costs a lot to make—too much for a show that now nets around the 2 million mark each week, with increased competition from other networks and forms of entertainment.
   Last year, the show was revamped again, but unlike previous efforts, this was a very bumpy and massive reset. Shows don’t always do well after this, especially a revamp that was bigger than Martial Law abandoning most of its original cast in season 2 as well as not resolving the season 1 cliffhanger. Or each of the incarnations of Blackadder.
   Cobra 11 survived most earlier revamps, such as the seasons with Vinzenz Kiefer, because it maintained some continuity. We didn’t mind the anachronisms and the inconsistencies as long as the heart of the show was there. Over the first two decades, there was a humanity to the show, regardless of how much haters think it was a shallow actioner, and by that I refer to the home life of the main character, Semir Gerkhan, portrayed by Erdoğan Atalay.
   Viewers invested a lot into Semir and Andrea, and even with the 2014–15 seasons, we could count on that behind the emotional core of the series. It didn’t matter that the bright, cheerful years of Beck had become a sombre-keyed drama, with the happy couple’s marriage on the rocks, Semir sporting a full beard and not his goatee, and a major story arc.
   It was a return to the action–comedy tradition in 2016 with Daniel Roesner taking over from Kiefer, who I was surprised to see later in Bulletproof.



Semir and Andrea: the emotional heart of Alarm für Cobra 11.

   With Roesner’s departure, producers sought to get rid of everyone else on the show, wrapping up their storylines, so that 2020 would begin with only Atalay and Gizem Emre, who joined the cast in 2014, reprising their roles. We can deal with Semir pairing up with a female partner for the first time in 24 years (Vicky Reisinger, played by Pia Stutzenstein), having a new boss (a disabled character played by an able-bodied actor, Patrick Kalupa; and since we never had an episode about how the character became disabled, it seems a slap in the face to not cast a disabled actor), and an irritatingly dark set. But Andrea and the kids have been written out, not mentioned again; enter Semir’s estranged mother, who only became estranged a couple of seasons ago, since the character said previously that he called her every Christmas. To all intents and purposes, this was a new show with little connection to the old. And I think they may have gone one step too far in their efforts to present something new to viewers.
   There is a slight return to the structures of the older scripts in this second block of season 25, with an emphasis on the stories over the action (as there had been at the start). There are moments where you even recognize the show. But if the first half of the season had put you off, you never would have found out, especially since RTL hasn’t even bothered to show the action scenes in many of the press photos.
   The scheduling is exactly what you’d expect a network to do in order to kill a show, to say that the average viewer numbers had dropped again, too far to be viable. It’s the sort of show that might have a TV movie or two later on, but for now, I’m not that surprised there are statements that this 25th season (28th, if you believe the network) is the last ‘sein wird’ (for now). Another retooling for the 26th so it could return? Or time to wrap it all up?
   I don’t think it bodes well for us fans, unless they can tap into the Zeitgeist again for something that modern viewers are going to love.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher

 


The Firebird a triumph for the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Loughlin Prior

Filed by Jack Yan/July 29, 2021/14.49







Stephen A’Court

Every element came together for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s The Firebird

Loughlan Prior’s The Firebird is a triumph for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, one that raises Prior’s own high standards, perfectly suited to the strengths of the company and its regular collaborators.
   Its première at the Opera House in Wellington last night was paired with the classic Paquita, which opened the show. Each ballet is roughly an hour long, with a 20-minute interval in between.
   With the hour’s run time, this is the version of Paquita that’s more regularly seen today, comprising a single act, and letting the dancers shine. It has been staged by Michael Auer and RNZB artistic director Patricia Barker, with Laura McQueen Schultz as ballet master. The costumes by Donna Jeffris and Barker are sumptuous and in the Russian tradition, with a bright set designed by Howard C. Jones and lit by Jon Buswell. Because it has been reduced to the final act, the traditional narrative is gone, but it remains a ballet that demonstrates the skills of the dancers, and there is plenty of energy, thanks to Marcus Petipa’s choreography keeping audiences enthralled.
   Mayu Tanigaito, in the pas de trois on opening night, is one of the RNZB’s greatest assets today as her performance and skill continue to rise, while we also have to note Kirby Selchow’s solo, showing her control and strength. But it was over to Kate Kadow and Laurynas Véjalis to do the most complex moves in the ballet: Kadow spent large parts of the grand pas de deux en pointe, and she executed an impressive series of pirouettes as part of the grand pas variations in the finalé. Véjalis, meanwhile, is a powerful, graceful dancer whose made some impressive and technically difficult leaps.

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Stephen A’Court

   As enjoyable as Paquita was, we weren’t prepared for the dramatic impact and choreographic quality of The Firebird. This is the fourth version of the Stravinsky ballet performed by the company, reimagined completely for the 2020s, and with a message that is directly relevant to audiences today.
   Prior has set his version of The Firebird in a dystopian wasteland, led by the tyrannical Burnt Mask (Paul Mathews, in an excellent turn as the antagonist). The Scavengers from the settlement head out in search of food and water, and it’s on the search that Arrow (Harrison James), left behind by the pack, encounters the Firebird (Ana Gallardo Lobaina).
   It’s a direct contrast to Paquita, with extensive use of animation and graphics by POW Studios’ Marie Silberstein and Tim Hamilton, while Tracy Grant Lord’s costumes and set design place audiences right into the desert of the wasteland. The Firebird’s flames are cleverly projected on her, bringing her powers to life; they have a natural, organic effect. The image of a burning orb is a motif here, signalling both fire and rebirth; NASA imagery of the sun served as an early inspiration. Buswell, here, too works his lighting magic to great effect, taking the colours from the animations and letting both performers and animations do their work. Every aspect came together perfectly with Igor Stravinsky’s score.
   The Firebird is great storytelling at its heart, an intense drama that held us spellbound, that the precise techniques and movements of the dancers served to enhance. Lobaina’s Firebird was largely en pointe as the mythical creature whose feathers could draw water; and with James’s Arrow there are romantic pas de deux moments that, with classical movements at the core, highlighted innovative approaches in Prior’s choreography.
   When the Firebird is brought by the Burnt Mask and his scavengers back to the settlement, there are suggestions of violence danced out on stage. Neve (Sara Garbowski), Arrow’s partner, and Elizaveta (Kirby Selchow), the Burnt Mask’s second in command, play their roles convincingly, especially the final confrontation between the Firebird and the principal antagonists. Here, Lobaina has a chance to shine as the Firebird regains her strength, portrayed by the addition of four ballerinos who add volume to her wings.
   Buswell very cleverly turns off the lights at The Firebird’s final moment, leaving things on a powerful high, and we were left breath-taken with the intensity of the one hour’s drama that had just unfolded.
   Prior wants to remind us that we are fortunate to live in the conditions on Earth that we currently do, and The Firebird is a warning of a world where things have gone drastically wrong for all life on the planet. We have a symbiosis with all earthly life, in which climate action and conservation must be at the fore of what we do. In the uncertain vacuum of a post-pandemic era, The Firebird suggests what could happen if no action is taken.
   No wonder there were members of the audience standing at the end, and numerous curtain calls for the dancers and the team. There is no exaggeration when we say, ‘If you can only see one ballet this year, make it The Firebird’—if we gave star ratings, this was a deserved 10 out of 10.—Jack Yan, Publisher

The Firebird with Paquita tours New Zealand from July 29 to September 2. It runs in Wellington till July 31 inclusive; then heads to Napier (August 6–7), Auckland (August 12–14), Dunedin (August 21), Christchurch (August 26–8), and Palmerston North (September 2). Tickets are available here.

 


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