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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

In brief: Deadly Ponies Man’s 2017 latest; Vivienne Westwood previews Berlin festival; Patricia Barker is new RNZB artistic director


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 13, 2017/21.01




Andrei; modelled by Henry Humphreys, hair by Lauren Gunn/Colleen, make-up by Lochie Stonehouse/MAC Cosmetics

Deadly Ponies Man has launched its latest collection for 2017, inspired by the ocean, using Ink bovine leather and shearling, and brass highlights. It’s meant to convey the idea of a ‘moody seascape’ and an ‘intrepid voyager’, which the promotional images suggest. That’s interpreted with classic items such as the Phantom duffle (now a weekender with zips going right down the side) and a range of travel accessories; and if the seascape idea isn’t evident enough, a notebook inside Deadly Ponies Man’s compendium has pastel blue and white hues resembling water washing up on beaches.




   Bread & Butter by Zalando previewed its second festival of style and culture in Berlin, with the theme of Bold. Jefferson Hack moderated the evening, with Dame Vivienne Westwood the VIP of the evening. Others who spoke included Zalando brand marketing VP Carsten Hendrich; and a panel featuring Aitor Throup, Adwoa Aboah, Erika Bowes, Fergus Purcell and MikeQ. A light show, an interactive mirror installation, and a real-time face-projection mapping photo booth followed, with a live performance by Abra and DJs Zora Jones, Bambii and Why Be concluding the night. Other guests included Marie Nasemann and Peaches. The main event takes place September 1 to 3 at Arena Berlin, with more updates via Bread & Butter’s Instagram and Facebook.
   Patricia Barker is the new artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and takes up her post this month, succeeding Francesco Ventriglia. Barker is a former prima ballerina and, most recently, artistic director of Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan. Ventriglia has programmed the RNZB’s 2018 national tours and Barker will realize these. Ventriglia is the guest choreographer for the company’s major commission, Romeo and Juliet, for which rehearsals begin now—the company says this will ensure a smooth transition with the outgoing and incoming directors working side by side for two months. RNZB board chair Steven Fyfe noted, ‘From a large number of excellent applications from New Zealand and all over the world, the board was greatly impressed by Patricia’s vision for all aspects of the RNZB’s activities, together with her experience as an artistic leader. Her knowledge of both contemporary and classical repertoire, as a dancer, coach and director also makes her an outstanding fit for the RNZB.’
   Barker is the RNZB’s 12th artistic director and the second woman to hold the position (after Una Kai in 1973–5).










Isa Foltin; Alexander Körner

London’s City Concours to show and sell rare, significant cars—Aston Martin, Ferrari, Bugatti represented


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 1, 2017/20.06


Tim Scott

The City Concours in London, taking place June 8–9, will host a selection of classic and iconic cars, some of which are for sale. An Aston Martin DB5 that had been used by Ogle Design to preview the DB6 interior from JD Classics, a DB2/4 Mk II FHC with a 3·7-litre engine and four-speed gearbox from Nicholas Mee, a Ferrari 458 Speciale with the optional Blu Nart Racing Stripe and titanium exhaust system from Romans International, and a 599 GTO from Fiskens are among those which visitors can walk away with. Organizers say there will be over 100 rare cars at the event, held at the Honourable Artillery Company grounds, near to the Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations. Tickets and hospitality are available at www.cityconcours.co.uk.
   JD Classics will also show a Ferrari 599 SA Aperta and a Mercedes 300SL; Romans will show a Ferrari 458 Speciale A and ‘two other ultra-rare modern Ferraris,’ according to organizers; and Fiskens will display an Aston Martin DB6 Volante and a Bentley 4·5-litre “short chassis”. Atalanta Motors, Clayton Classics, H. R. Owen, Stratstone of Mayfair and Will Stone Historic Cars will also participate. There will also be a Maserati Tipo 200SI, Jaguar D-type, Bugatti Veyron and McLaren P1.

Naturally organic, inside and out


NEWS  by Lola Cristall/May 6, 2017/22.41


Josh Madson

There is nothing like the feel and smell of natural, organic products. Tiffany Andersen’s Salts Alive Bath and Body collection is all about being organic, vegan, toxin-free and it’s an absolutely fresh sensation. Mineral cell salts, alƓ vera juice and other healthy ingredients come to life in their range of shampoos, conditioners, body lotion, face and body polish as well as hand soap.

   Trilogy is a skin care line celebrated for its range of natural and highly rich products. Its new Rosapene Radiance Serum helps to repair the user’s skin, working deep within the pores. Sea algĂŠ, alƓ vera and rosapene work together to protect the skin from harmful attributes. Trilogy’s new Rosehip Oil Light Blend strikes a balance to regulate the skin’s oil production while targeting wrinkles and fine lines. The oil penetrates into the skin, leaving it feeling silky, clean and healthy.
   All Good started in 1997 with the simple All Good Goop healing balm that aimed to relieve skin ailments including blisters, scars, cuts, scrapes and more, made exclusively for founder Caroline Duell, as well as her family and friends. Eventually the brand launched All Good Goop to the public, along with a number of other products including lip balms, sunscreens, body lotions and deodorants predominantly based on simple, organic and natural ingredients. Each product has a luxurious, creamy texture and a velvety consistency.



   Gaia Herbs have taken the herbal market by storm with an array of natural and organic products. The MacaBoost, with cacao and ginger or vanilla chai flavours, features energy-boosting supplements that can blend into a daily smoothie for the extra stamina needed to recharge for the day. Another effective powder blend is their Turmeric Boost, where a dose of curcumin aims to support key organs. Gaia Herbs’ Supreme Cleanse is a two-week-long programme that aims to cleanse and relieve the body from waste and toxins. The brand’s thorough Liver Cleanse also incorporates a number of active components such as dandelion, artichoke, black radish and milk thistle to detoxify internally.

The American eco-lifestyle magazine Organic Spa Magazine organizes a biannual event from Los Angeles to New York, bringing media and a number of highly anticipated brands together under one roof. The Conrad Hotel in Lower Manhattan welcomed guests at an event where they can get up close and personal with product representatives as well as brand founders.
   Aura Cacia returned with their pure essential oils and powerful chakra-balancing oils. The chosen scents are designed to awaken all the senses to alleviate the mind and soothe the soul. Frankincense, meroli, myrrh, patchouli and rose produce particularly powerful and robust aromas. KPS Essentials, a luxury skin care line, includes ingredients such as argan, coconut, jojoba seed, rosehip oils, green tea and honey, reviving and restoring skin. SpaRitual, launched by Shel Pink in 2004, embraces an eco-friendly concept. Its new limited-edition Passionfruit Agave body collection include a sugar scrub, exfoliating cleansing oil, nourishing oil for body and hair, as well as a body soufflĂ©. For a gorgeous manicure, SpaRitual also presented its innovative long-lasting nourishing vegan nail polish shade that works to fortify one’s nails while making them grow longer. The blend includes red tea and seaweed extract.
   A number of other brands to discover included Boiron USA, Columbia Skin Care, Cancun Tourism, NeoCell, Riviera Maya, Shire City Herbals’ Fire Cider, MyChelle, Nubian Heritage, Deer Lake Lodge, Rejuva Minerals, and more. While some introduced hair and skin care products, others presented hot-spot zen-like destinations.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor











Alex Lucas

Doutzen Kroes and Hunkemöller launch wanderlust-themed bikini collection at Berlin party


NEWS  by Lucire staff/May 1, 2017/1.47



Hunkemöller.co.uk

Hunkemöller and spokeswoman Doutzen Kroes launched Doutzen’s Summer Stories, a bikini range in which the celebrity model has had a hand in designing, at Fabrik 23 in Berlin on April 18.
   Doutzen’s Summer Stories’ collection captures the Zeitgeist perfectly: it’s inspired by the wanderlust theme, or ‘backpacker chic’, as the company calls it. It’s very fitting in an age of international travel and exploration, and their social media documentation. What often appears on social media isn’t a coordinated, styled look, but something thrown together, based on the wearer’s comfort. What if a collection actually offered that look? It’d save hunting around—and that’s likely what Hunkemöller’s banking on for spring–summer 2017. Officially: ‘From beach to festival, the entire collection has been designed so that you can create complete looks whatever your plans are.’
   The Fabrik 23 party was along the same lines, with guests dressed as though they were taking a faraway island holiday, and a Cuban band performed live along with Latin dancers. Kroes joined in with the dancing.
   The collection has details such as fringes, tassles, coins (we love this detail) and shells, with colours in tints of red, blue and pink (entitled Arabian Spice, Deep Lagoon, and Coral Wash respectively), black (Nero) and off-white (Snow White). The collection also includes crochet dresses, tunics and a one-suit. It goes on sale online at hunkemoller.co.uk on May 2, and in stores on May 5.


Doutzen’s Summer Stories launches in Berlin by Lucire






Hunkemöller.co.uk

Lamborghini Museum at Sant’Agata Bolognese to host Ayrton Senna exhibition from April 12


NEWS  by Lucire staff/April 2, 2017/12.43

The Lamborghini Museum at Sant’Agata Bolognese will host an exhibition honouring the late Formula 1 champion, Ayrton Senna, beginning April 12 and running to October 9, 2017.
   Ayrton Senna: the Man and the Legend commemorates Senna’s test drive at Estoril in 1993, in a McLaren MP4/8 with a Lamborghini V12 engine.
   The museum will display every type of single-seat race car driven by Senna, including a white McLaren identical to the one tested at Estoril, his first kart, two Formula Fords, the Ralt F3, a Toleman, a black Lotus JPS that he drove in his first victory, the McLaren that helped him to his wins, and his final Williams.
   There will also be a photography exhibition, entitled Ayrton Senna: the Last Night, curated by Ercole Colombo and Giorgio Terruzzi. The photos show Senna’s career, from his start in kart racing, his Formula 1 dĂ©but, his key victories and defeats, his friends and rivals, his relationship with Alain Prost, his personal life and faith, to his final hours on the track.
   While Senna liked the racing car, he never got to finish the season with the engine, when negotiations fell through.
   Lamborghini chairman and CEO Stefano Domenicali will host the media presentation on April 12, along with Colombo and Terruzzi, and Mauro Forghieri and Daniele Audetto, who were present at the 1993 test drive.
   Senna died on May 1, 1994, aged 34, during the San Marino Grand Prix, when the steering column in his car failed.
   Lamborghini will also display two current models, the Aventador S and HuracĂĄn Performante. The exhibition also marks the beginning of a partnership between the museum and Pirelli.
   The museum is open daily, including Sundays, from 9.30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Paris editor’s diary: a treat for the body, mind and soul at Kona Kai Resort & Spa


NEWS  by Lola Cristall/March 30, 2017/12.07




Kona Kai Resort & Spa

Whether for business or pleasure, guests can enjoy the beauty and grace of an exclusively trendy setting. The Kona Kai Resort & Spa in San Diego, California, is more than just a place to stay: it can be thought of as an opulent escape with stylish, contemporary furnishing. The site is surrounded by the Pacific. The hotel comprises a a private beach, a swimming pool, a tiki bar, beach fire pits, 24-hour concierge service, 129 guest rooms, a fitness centre as well as the phenomenal 7,020 ftÂČ SpaTerre, providing facial treatments, massages, and more. Whether in a room overlooking a marina view, a premium bay view, or a pool view, guests will enjoy a scenic prospect that will make their stay even more satisfying.
   SpaTerre’s quality takes one back into a relaxed, zen and calm setting. Other than their exquisite services that incorporate original treatments such as the Himalayan salt stone massage, Balinese massage, the Ancient Earth Cleanse, the Javanese Royal Treatment and even Cleopatra’s Milk Ritual, the spa’s piĂšce de rĂ©sistance is its innovative heated quartz sand bed that is sure to relieve and deeply calm one’s aching muscles. It’s only one out of sixteen available in the US.
   Guests can also indulge in an enticing meal at the Vessel restaurant. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the savoury American cuisine, meticulously prepared by executive chef Roy Hendrickson, is made of local and seasonal ingredients.—Lola Cristall, Paris editor





Countdown to the Oscars: more beauty secrets are out at the Secret Room Red Carpet Luxury Lounge


NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/February 23, 2017/23.02




Elyse Glickman

Even with savvy Amy Boatwright surprising us every awards’ season with her magic in putting together the Secret Room Red Carpet Luxury Lounge, finding new beauty discoveries (and being treated to an amazing array of treatments ranging from Botox to hair services) never stops being exciting. As we’ve come to expect, the pampering and products for people were nicely balanced with fundraising and awareness for the Best Friends Animal Society and No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) shelters, both dedicated to ensuring cats and dogs get the medical treatments, owners and fur-ever homes they deserve.
   However, as this is part of the countdown leading up to Hollywood’s biggest night, the 2017 Academy Awards, the ladies once again pulled out all the stops with sweets and 100 per cent arabica bean coffee from Wolfgang Puck and beauty treatments (including Botox!) from Pasadena-based Parfaire Medical Æsthetics who did a fantastic job of introducing prospective clients to their services and practitioners, and topped it off with a US$50 gift certificate for VIPs. Other services that transformed the suite into a spa included Cecilia Alcala’s massage services, braids and up-dos from Toni & Guy stylists, and Celebrity Gold face masks, and dĂ©colletĂ© and hand treatments from European Skin & Massage Studio.
   However, the best beauty surprise of all was the return of Chaz Dean to the main stage at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. A decade ago, he opened his house (that is, his Hollywood bungalow house-turned-salon) to Lucire and other outlets for pre-award show beauty lounges that are still the stuff of awards’ week legend. He introduced us to the wonders of all-purpose, all-in-one products under the Wen line. Although Chaz had been through a lot in recent years, including a fire at the salon and some controversy surrounding his products, he’s bounced back in a big way, with lavish new formulas for Wen, as well as pet grooming products, elegant fragrances, and body care in an ever-changing offering of seasonal aromas as well as year-round scents.
   Speaking of magic gardens (specifically, Chaz’s assortment of fragrances), guests learned about one of Los Angeles’ best hidden treasures, the Gottlieb Native Garden, in a stunning coffee-table book. Located a few minutes drive from the SLS, this inspired hideaway open to the public features California native vegetation as well as once-lost forms of wildlife returning to this new habitat. Other nice things ripe for the picking included skin care from Dermatologic Cosmetics Laboratories, Axia Medical Solutions, Dermis RX Skincare, EstheProLabo HerbZyme Elixir, Allomind’s 3-D movie viewing glasses, and luxury items and other incentives to visit Croatia from the Croatian Tourist Board. There had to be something special for pets, and Sally Snacks‘ Venison Dog Treats fit the bill.
   Repeat “nominees” returning to the lounge included Australia-based Auspect Skincare International with full travel kits filled with their all-purpose line, starring anti-ageing serums for fine lines and wrinkles and eye cream for dark circles to solutions for rosacea and acne-prone skin. Forever in My Heart Jewelry by Mira, whose founder was also devoted to animal welfare, returned with more chic silver statement pieces and pet-oriented baubles. We also enjoyed a second helping of Storm Rejuvenate Pro’s tidy box of perfect gel primer serum packet whose contents erase the appearance of wrinkles and loose skin, and a double dip of gourmet peanut butter from Julie’s Real Foods, Pasta Chips and Goodie Girl cookies.
   At many Secret Room events, media guests can pick up extra bonus products to try. However, this go-round, Amy gave the familiar “and wait 
 there’s more” sentiment a lift by sending press away with an L. L. Bean tote brimming with such desirables as make-up palettes from Anastasia Beverly Hills, a free year-long subscription to New Beauty, vitamins from Hero Nutritionals, a gift certificate for Sasaki Advanced Æsthetic Medical Center, a gift certificate for shoes from Hey Lady Shoes, and some hand-crafted home dĂ©cor items. It was a grab bag worthy of being treated with kid gloves.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor





















Elyse Glickman

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