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Three by Ekman: the Royal New Zealand Ballet shows its witty, ingenious side


NEWS  by Jack Yan/May 20, 2017/12.01



Stephen A’Court

Swedish-born choreographer–director Alexander Ekman, it transpires, was the first person Francesco Ventriglia called when he was first appointed artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Ekman, says Ventriglia, creates choreography that is ‘different, brave, intelligent, witty and fun,’ and he sees the work as being the equivalent of ‘good food’ for the dancers. The three ballets in Three by Ekman are certainly that: modern and relevant, yet somehow also timeless in their appeal. Tuplet, Episode 31 and Cacti keep audiences gripped, while taking us on a journey into unexplored territories.
   They aren’t fully unexplored, mind: regular RNZB attendees will remember Cacti from last year’s trio of ballets in Speed of Light, but seeing it again this time was a renewed pleasure, and connecting it to two more Ekman ballets gives it an extra dimension. As the third ballet, Cacti was a fitting conclusion: when you’re in Ekman’s world, you almost want to stay in it in an attempt to understand the creativity that drives this talented and important modern choreographer. It’s a world that’s energizing, spontaneous, but cheekily self-aware.
   The first foray into that world is Tuplet, a clever 18-minute introduction where the dancers’ own breaths, voices, and the sounds of their bodies become the rhythm. Composer (and a fellow Swedish-born international talent) Mikael Karlsson’s music has a dose of Bart Howard’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ as performed by Victor Feldman helped set the mood. Video projections, which were also designed by Ekman, feature slowed-down black-and-white clips of jazz musicians, highlighting the improvised nature of the dance, performed by six dancers standing on white square mats. New Yorker and Parsons alum Nancy Haeyung Bae designed the costumes, which aided the movement well, and Amith Chandrashaker the lighting, which balanced the the dancers with the video screens above. The conclusion was clever and a taste of Ekman’s humour: he showed silent films of audiences applauding as the live one at the St James Theatre did the same while the curtain fell.
   A video introduction to Episode 31 followed, showing the RNZB’s dancers learning the ballet. It’s a tradition of Episode 31, where a short film is made in the city in which it is performed. The film shows that the dancers were not restricted to the studio, as they ventured out from the Theatre in flash-mob style to various Wellington landmarks such as the cable car and the Botanic Garden; Mayor Justin Lester is caught walking by as the company vigorously dances Episode 31 on the waterfront. (The video is below, though we recommend you don’t spoil the experience.) The dance is a celebration of youth, energy and pace, fitting given its origins as a piece created for Julliard (and first performed in 2011; the video there made use of New York City landmarks such as the Subway). Karlsson once again composed the music, with costumes by Julliard’s Luke Simcock, and lighting by Nicole Pearce. Simcock’s visually deconstructed black and white costumes happily mix genders (e.g. skirts and collared dresses with prints of jackets), as does the make-up on the dancers (mustachioed faces on pale white). The pacy performance itself is contrasted with one dancer who moved in slow motion across the front of the stage; the curtain rose and fell to show vignettes of the action going on behind, leaving you wondering: are we really seeing vignettes or are the dancers repositioning themselves intentionally in preparation for the next reveal? The lighting rig came down, flooring was lifted up and moved, and a second slow-motion dancer wandered with a sign reading ‘Beautiful’ in a stark, all-cap Helvetica (the design of this sign itself is an exercise in irony). As with other Ekman ballets, spoken words accompany the action, with poetry (and this is the programme’s list) by Christina Rossetti, William Allingham, Eleanor Farjeon, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Hughes Mearns and Edward Lear.
   A second video came after the interval, where Ekman is seen on a ferry to Somes Island in Wellington, contemplating choreography and its connection to its surroundings. Will I affect the island or will the island affect me? You can’t but help find Ekman’s quirky personality endearing and you form a connection with the choreographer—and understand that there is a method here, from a man who constantly looks for ways to push ballet forward.
   There’s less chaos in Cacti than in Episode 31. Here, spoken word also features, in an unsubtle dig at postmodernism and the pretentious reviews modern dance might get (one only hopes this article is not an example), with a recording written and voiced by Spenser Theberge. The New Zealand String Quartet accompanies the action here, with both composed and improvised music, at least for the first part of Cacti, before classical music (Haydn, Schubert, and Beethoven) takes over. The 16 dancers move their white tiles, shouting and clapping as they added to the rhythm, before bringing in cactus plants on-stage. Ekman himself designed the set and costumes; Tom Visser also worked on the set and designed the lighting. The second part, a duet between characters Aram and Riley, is another humorous Ekman take, where the audience can hear the streams of consciousness from the pair (played by Alexandre Ferreira and Laura Saxon Jones today). As noted in our review last year, Cacti breaks down the pretence and complexity of ballet into basic statements: the two characters are disengaged from any story and just want to get the dance done. The stuffed cat that is thrown on stage still surprises on a second viewing, and we note that it was a different colour this time.
   When Cacti was part of Speed of Light, we only got a dose of Ekman’s style. This time, we were immersed, and Three by Ekman feels more satisfying and complete. It’s one of the RNZB’s most enjoyable modern ballets, and it’s consistent throughout, not just in the expertise of the dancers, but in the tone and ingenuity of the three works.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Three by Ekman tours till June 15. For venue and booking information, visit www.rnzb.org.nz.

Usain Bolt, Chanel Iman, Nina Agdal celebrate Kentucky Derby at G. H. Mumm event in NYC


NEWS  by Lucire staff/May 7, 2017/1.19




Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Storied champagne house G. H. Mumm has again shown off its new, award-winning bottle design for Mumm Grand Cordon, with Olympian Usain Bolt doing the honours in New York during the Kentucky Derby. Other VIPs attending the event were models Chanel Iman and Nina Agdal, and actor–comedian Mario Cantone.
   The new bottle has been designed by Welshman Ross Lovegrove, with the iconic red sash indented into the glass, with no front label. The design has already won gold at the Grand Prix Stratégies du Design.
   Bolt is Mumm’s “CEO”, or Chief Entertainment Officer, a newly coined title as a celebrity spokesman for the brand, and led the celebrations at the launch.
   The party atmosphere even saw Mumm cellar master Didier Mariotti engage in a battle on the turntables with Bolt, when the pair took over from DJ Chelsea Leyland.
   Mumm Grand Cordon celebrates its 140th anniversary this year. Mumm is the Derby’s official champagne partner.


















Andrew Toth/Getty Images

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, alÅ“ 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 algæ, alÅ“ 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 soufflé. 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

National Audobon Society hosts 2017 gala: US$1·1 million raised for wildlife and nature


NEWS  by Lola Cristall/April 14, 2017/3.03




Camilla Cerea/National Audobon Society

This year’s National Audubon Society gala took place at the Gotham Hall in New York City in an absolutely elegant setting. Statues of birds and other details contributed to a stunning atmosphere. Loyal members and a number of other attendees, including Audubon board chair Margaret Walker and the organization’s president and CEO David Yarnold, gathered throughout the evening to celebrate the society’s hard work while promoting their important mission. Guests congratulated Frances Beinecke as the proud recipient of the Audubon Medal as well as Nathaniel P. Reed, who received the Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership.
   A non-profit organization, the National Audubon Society, is applauded for its extensive work preserving and helping promote the conservation of birds as well as other wildlife and ecosystems nationwide. Appropriately named after John James Audubon, a Franco-American artist, ornithologist and naturalist of the nineteenth century, the organization is strongly committed to the preservation of birds and the natural environment. Audubon groups were formed in the US more than a century ago, predominantly in the state of Massachusetts, eventually expanding nationally over a short period of time.
   With almost 300 guests proudly celebrating the evening, more than US$1·1 million was raised, dedicated to the Society’s conservation endeavours as well as their climate change programme.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor








Camilla Cerea/National Audobon Society

Mandy Moore, Priyanka Chopra, Taylor Swift, Riley Keough among sexiest celebs on Victoria’s Secret list


NEWS  by Lucire staff/April 13, 2017/17.28


Above: Riley Keough is on Victoria’s Secret’s ‘What Is Sexy?’ list, as its sexiest break-out star.

Victoria’s Secret has released its 2017 ‘What Is Sexy?’ list, with Mandy Moore, Priyanka Chopra, Taylor Swift, Margot Robbie and Riley Keough among the celebrities named.
   On social media, netizens voted for their Sexiest Social Stars, naming Tone It Up as the sexiest fitness star, Desi Perkins as the sexiest beauty star, and Rocky Barnes the sexiest fashion star.
   The full list is detailed below.

Sexiest actress: Mandy Moore
Sexiest fitspiration: Nikki Reed
Forever sexy: Margot Robbie
Sexiest red-carpet look: Priyanka Chopra
Sexiest entertainer: Taylor Swift
Sexiest festival style: Jamie Chung
Sexiest sense of humour: Billie Lourd
Sexiest smile: Victoria Justice
Sexiest cast: The Royals, E!
Sexiest author: Chrissy Teigen, Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat
Sexiest style risk-taker: Vanessa Hudgens
Sexiest break-out star: Riley Keough
Sexiest snapper: Catt Sadler
Sexiest songstress: Lady Gaga
Sexiest US city: Palm Springs
Sexiest DJ: Alexandra Richards
Sexiest street style: Olivia Munn
Sexiest rising songstress: Bebe Rexha
Sexiest mogul: Lauren Conrad, founder and designer of LC Lauren Conrad, PaperCrown, PaperCrown Bridesmaids and TheLittleMarket.com
Sexiest late-night host: James Corden
Sexiest athlete: Julie Johnston

   Coinciding with the announcement is Victoria’s Secret’s push of its Sexy Little Things collection, available in B to DDD and S, M and L sizes.

Ellie Goulding launches Range Rover Velar into US market with exclusive NYC performance


NEWS  by Lucire staff//3.31

Ellie Goulding launched the mid-sized Range Rover Velar SUV into the US with an exclusive live performance from New York shown on her Facebook page.
   Arriving in Manhattan, Goulding was the first person to drive the Velar Stateside, performing ‘Love Me Like You Do’ as part of its reveal to the US public.
   Goulding’s performance precedes a charity auction of the vehicle at the East Side House Settlement annual gala on April 13. Proceeds from the auction go to the East Side House Settlement, a non-profit organization providing education and social services in the Bronx and north Manhattan, improving the lives of 10,000 people.
   The winner of the charity auction will be among the first to own a Velar in the world.
   New York is, says Jaguar Land Rover, Range Rover’s biggest market.
   Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer, Gerry McGovern, said, ‘Velar is now the compelling, stand-out design in the class, showcasing perfectly optimized volume, powerful, taut surfaces and a stunning silhouette.’
   The Velar had its world première last month at the Design Museum in London. Five engines are offered, from a 180 PS two-litre diesel to a 380 PS supercharged V6 petrol.


Ellie Goulding drives the Range Rover Velar by Lucire

Shay Mitchell continues repping Bioré Skincare—we try one of the products


NEWS  by Nathalia Archila/March 21, 2017/2.56



Bioré Skincare has announced that actress Shay Mitchell will continue as its ambassador for 2017, supporting the brand’s lines of iconic pore strips, charcoal products, baking-soda cleansers, and the new acne collection.
   â€˜I’m so excited to continue my partnership with Bioré Skincare, a brand that has innovative products and ingredients that help me keep my skin looking picture perfect,’ said Mitchell. ‘Bioré has always been a part of my skin care routine—it has never let me down.’
   Mitchell usually posts videos on Snapchat and Instagram (where she has over 15·4 million followers) of her using the products as part of her skin care routine. But do we know that it’s these products on her flawless skin doing the job? I decided to give one of them a try and see if the results were true.
   In the past I have tried many brands’ blackhead masks, and they don’t seem to work for me. I purchased the Bioré Skincare pore strips and Mitchell doesn’t need to make up any claims for the sake of promotion: they work! Unlike the blackhead masks, which usually turned out really messy, they are really easy to use. You just make your nose wet, put the strip on, and after 20 minutes you take it off (it’s uncomfortable, but doesn’t hurt), and that’s it, you have a clean nose.
   Mitchell is the star of one of the TV drama series Pretty Little Liars, which will air its final season on April 18, 2017.–Nathalia Archila

Emily Ratajkowski leads DKNY’s intimate apparel campaign; Anna Nooshin models Hunkemöller’s swimwear


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 14, 2017/0.40



Sebastian Faena

DKNY has announced its spring–summer 2017 intimates, hosiery and sleepwear campaign featuring model Emily Ratajkowski, photographed by Sebastian Faena in New York.
   The first image was released today, along with a film starring Ratajkowski and styled by Clare Richardson, set in a Manhattan apartment. Ratajkowski walks out of her apartment to walk her dog wearing a DKNY unlined demi bra and boy short from its lace collection. The promotional film appears at DKNY.com and at locations around the city.
   The campaign, #GoodMorningDKNY, also sees Ratajkowski wearing a sheer lace bralette and low-rise bikini, with a mesh Litewear bodysuit paired with a fishnet thigh-high in nude.
   The collections are priced between US$12 and US$62, and are available at DKNY, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor and Macy’s, on- and offline, and at select international retailers.
   Meanwhile, Hunkemöller has released its swimwear collection, modelled by Dutch new-media star Anna Nooshin, who can claim 358,000 followers on Instagram and 130,000 subscribers on YouTube.
   Nooshin models items from the spring–summer 2017 range in Aruba. The swimwear features embroidery, appliqué detailing and lace-up details. Hunkemöller predicts the season’s key colour is mangosteen.
   She has designed accessories, including a kimono and clutch, to complement the swimwear. Hunkemöller has hashtagged the campaign #AnnaforHKM. The range is available online now via www.hunkemoller.co.uk.











www.hunkemoller.co.uk

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