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November 20, 2014

Expertly executed: the New Zealand School of Dance’s 2014 Graduation Season

Jack Yan/14.23

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Stephen A’Court

Top Samantha Vottari and Tynan Wood in Double Stop. Centre Wessel Oostrum’s The Speech, danced to the words of Charlie Chaplin. Here, Jeremy Beck dances. Above The challenge of dancing the Balanchine Ballet, Concerto Barocco, here with Samantha Vottari and Tynan Wood. Choreography by George Balanchine, and copyrighted to the George Balanchine Trust.

The New Zealand School of Dance’s Graduation Season for 2014, at Te Whaea Theatre in Wellington from November 19 to 29, is a must for anyone who appreciates dance and wants a glimpse of the next generation of performers.
   The six performances show vitality and variety, from the challenging Balanchine Ballet, Concerto Barocco, to the modern and energetic Trigger II: One Thing Leads to Another, created by the students themselves. While every dancer was on the money with their expertise, technique and stamina, we noted in particular Law Lok Huen in Concerto Barocco, William Keohavong in his solo in The Speech, Amanda Mitrevski in three of the pieces in the final Purcell Pieces, and Mason Kelly, who elicited spontaneous applause after his dance to Purcell’s ‘The Frost Scene’ from the opera King Arthur.
   Balanchine ballets are tough and are especially demanding with their technique, and the Graduation Season opened with one: Concerto Barocco, performed to Bach’s Concerto for two violins, strings and continuo in D minor, BWV 1043. We hadn’t expected to see a ballet but the principal dancers—in tonight’s case, Law Lok Huen, Megan Wright and Jack Bannerman—acquitted themselves expertly, especially as one of the techniques is to move “against” the music.
   In the first set, it was The Speech that captivated us, danced by William Keohavong. Choreographed by Dutch choreographer Wessel Oostrum, Keohavong’s movements were poignant, against the words from Charlie Chaplin’s finishing monologue from The Great Dictator. They were negative when Chaplin’s speech dwelled on negative subjects; more optimistic as they reflected on liberty and freedom. The words, too, seem very fitting for our times, when we question whether corporate greed is driving supposedly free societies. While Oostrom intended The Speech as a tribute to those who lost their lives in World War I, the contemporary choreography coupled with the Tramp’s monologue made it the most socially relevant performance of the night.
   Trigger II: One Thing Leads to Another got the second set off to an energetic start, with 18 dancers (from all years at the School) involved. Students appeared in dull greys and blues initially, and the costumes became more colourful and vibrant as the dance went on. This was an entertaining piece that any lover of modern dance will enjoy, thanks in good part to the direction of Malia Johnston, artistic director of the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art award show. However, it was Val Caniparoli’s romantic Double Stop, where Samantha Vottari and Tynan Wood gave a poetic duet. We were spellbound with their dance, and it was not surprising to see Qi Huan’s credit as répétiteur. Formerly with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Huan took up a teaching role earlier this year, after having appeared in some of our favourite lead roles over the years. Caniparoli had already created a beautiful ballet to Philip Glass’s ‘Song II’ that had premièred in 2011, but Vottari and Wood danced this with such passion that belied their status as students of the School of Dance.
   Excerpts from Rapt, which closed the second set, saw alumnus Craig Bary, who was in the original cast in 2011, return to teach the chosen sections to the NZSD dancers, before Douglas Wright, who created the original dance–theatre performance, and his assistant Megan Adams (an NZSD alumna) added the nuances. Being excerpts rather than the full 80-minute work, we focused more on the nine dancers’ considered and precise execution. Once again, we were impressed.
   With two sets having gone extremely well, the third, entitled Purcell Pieces, had to be of a very high quality to keep the audience happy. The School did not disappoint. Choreographed by Nils Christie, and a collaboration between the New Zealand School of Dance, the Queensland Ballet and Singapore Dance Theatre, Purcell Pieces is set to the music of Henry Purcell, but giving each piece a modern interpretation in dance. Loose, colourful costumes designed by Annegien Sneep and Noelene Hill and flowing movements characterized these final dances, with Amanda Mitrevski’s two appearances notable for her expressiveness, and Mason Kelly conveying the sense of solitude and coldness in his performance to ‘The Frost Scene’. Kelly was the stand-out for nearly the entire audience in the third set, judging by the applause. Purcell Pieces ended with rose petals coming down onto the stage, finishing the night on a high.
   The Graduation Season runs at Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington, New Zealand, till November 29, with performances nightly at 7.30 p.m., excepting Sunday and Monday. Matinees will take place on Sunday, November 23 and Saturday, November 29, at 2 p.m. Tickets are NZ$29 for adults, NZ$24 for students and seniors, and NZ$16 for children under 13. Tickets can be booked at www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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November 12, 2014

Georgia Alice wins 2014 DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship

Lucire staff/9.27

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Sam Lee

Top Megan Wildermoth (DHL), Georgia Currie (Georgia Alice), and Dan Gosling (Stolen Girlfriends’ Club). Centre Garments from Georgia Alice during the judging session. Above Georgia Currie explains her collection to the judges.

Georgia Alice has won the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship for 2014, taking home the NZ$10,000 prize in international freight, along with coaching in freight and logistics. Sly Guild and Lucy McIntosh were first and second runners-up, with prizes of NZ$1,500 and NZ$500 respectively.
   Georgia Currie, the winning label’s designer, has been operating her label from Christchurch since 2012, after a stint in the development programme at David Jones and training at Christchurch Polytechnic. Georgia Alice is carried at 24 retailers worldwide, including ones in New York and Los Angeles, and has featured in Vogue Australia, Elle Australia, Russh and Oyster.
   Currie said in a release, ‘I am beyond thrilled to have been awarded the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship. Georgia Alice currently has stockists throughout Australasia and North America, and over the next 12 months with the amazing additional support from DHL, Georgia Alice will be able to confidently continue to export and maintain growth internationally. I am overwhelmed that my brand has been selected and so excited for the future. A huge thank-you to the judges who saw the potential in my brand, and of course to every girl out there wearing Georgia Alice.’
   Dan Gosling of Stolen Girlfriends’ Club, one of the judges and the inaugural winner of the DHL scholarship in 2008, said, ‘The momentum Georgia’s receiving reminds me of what it was like at the beginning with Stolen Girlfriends’ Club. She’s definitely at the tipping-point in terms of her brand. But at the heart of it her collections are strong—you can tell if a garment is a Georgia Alice piece. I could see her being the next Karen Walker.’


Sam Lee

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Filed under: fashion, Lucire, New Zealand
November 7, 2014

Top international hairstylist Richard Kavanagh presents Rodney Wayne’s summer ’15 looks

Lucire staff/14.43

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Top and centre The ‘Sunrise and Shine’ look from Rodney Wayne: cut and colour from NZ$250. Prep hair with Redken Rootful 06, blow-dry with a large flat paddle brush, flat iron for definition, and finish with Redken Fashion Works 12 hairspray. Above The ‘Dusk-oh’ look: cut and colour from NZ$280. For naturally curly hair, apply a generous amount of a styling paste such as Redken’s Rough Paste 12 to shampooed and conditioned, towel-dried hair. Hang head upside-down and dry with a hot hairdryer and diffuser attachment. Use a shine serum such as Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil for a little extra polish. Finish with Redken Control Addict 28 hairspray.

Rodney Wayne’s latest campaign, breaking this month, gets a jump on summer, with a bright 1970s pop-rock vibe mixed with an androgynous, rave-culture 1990s look, harking back to the international cultural influences of those decades.
   Entitled Do Summer, the campaign is proudly New Zealand in flavour despite its international inspirations, with Rodney Wayne’s global creative director Richard Kavanagh encouraging women to make a bolder statement this coming season with a new look. ‘The smart way to go is with fabulous hair that can take you from the pool to the party and places in between. Our latest looks are designed to help you make the most of the season in individual style,’ says Kavanagh.
   Kavanagh has driven the campaign, photographed by Steven Chee, directed by Lachlan McPherson, with Rodney Wayne’s Matt Butcher, Adrine Singh, Hannah McKenzie and Christie Beard assisting on hair.
   The five looks, ‘Sunrise and Shine’, ‘Dusk-oh’, ‘Honey Dipped’, ‘Twice the Nice’ and ‘Bourdin Patrol’, pay homage to the season, all using Redken products for preparation, finishing and protection.
   ‘Sunrise and Shine’ has been inspired by Annie Lennox and the rave culture of the early ’90s, with copper shades, using a halo technique of colouring, and shorter under-layers. ‘Dusk-oh’ was inspired by the 1970s’ soul sisters, enhancing curls à la Donna Summer and Lorde. ‘Honey Dipped’ takes its inspiration from Michelle Pfeiffer’s Elvira Hancock character in Scarface, with a centre part and honey-dipped ends. ‘Twice the Nice’ sees braids at the core, whether they are herringbonem four-strand, French or classic. Finally, ‘Bourdin Patrol’ takes its name from photographer Guy Bourdin and the 1970s’ hyper-real styles of the models in his shoots.




Top ‘Honey Dipped': cut and colour from NZ$280. Create lived-in luxury with Redken Duo Shield 07 before blow-drying hair with a large round brush. Add a little Redken Powder Grip 03 at the roots for body and texture. Carry some Pillow Proof Two Day Extender to keep your style fresher longer. Centre The ‘Twice the Nice’ cut and colour starts at NZ$280. Redken Rough Paste 12 will help control hair while it’s being braided. Blow-dry with Redken Satinwear 02 for heat protection and light control. Bottom Getting the ‘Twice the Nice’ look: set hair on a small curling iron using a heat-active texturizer like Redken Fabricate 03 for heat protection and light hold. Once hair is set and cooled, brush it out and spray generously with Redken Forceful 23 strong hold hairspray for extra shine and hold.

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November 3, 2014

News round-up: letter from Marrakech teased; Jessica Alba favours Jane Iredale; our road tests

Lucire staff/22.02

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images


Stanley Moss

Top Olivia Wilde, Jordan Hewson and Jessica Alba at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030, in Central Park on September 27. Above Paula Sweet photographs exclusively in Morocco for Lucire: the secrets of Berber Saffron Tea. From left to right, Amanjena GM Gabriel Louzada, Paula Sweet, Abdelhadi.

In an upcoming edition of Lucire: letter from Marrakech. An exclusive report from travel editor Stanley Moss which includes a private visit behind closed doors at the original home of Yves Saint Laurent in the Medina, then the lost recipe for saffron tea, a Berber delicacy prepared for our readers at Amanjena in Marrakech.
   In beauty news, Jessica Alba has publicly declared her love of Jane Iredale’s real gold shimmer powder in OK. Says Alba, ‘If I’m going to show some leg, I’ll mix a little into my body lotion too. It creates a subtle shimmer that makes cellulite lumps and bumps a tad less noticeable.’ The powder is the headline product commemorating the brand’s 20th anniversary year. And they really mean ‘real gold': it contains 24 ct gold leaf and mica, and it’s available alongside silver and bronze shimmers in a limited-edition Jane’s Signature Gilded Collection tin (£32). The gold and silver can be used on top of the cheekbones as a highlight, while the bronze can be applied over the body.
   Meanwhile, publisher Jack Yan has been testing more cars in the ‘Living’ section in Lucire. There’s the BMW 116i here, a real driver’s car for those seeking something small, while he dons his halo and channels his Simon Templar in his test drive of the Volvo S60 T6 AWD R Design Polestar.





Paula Sweet

Above, from top One of several hidden courtyards at Saint Laurent’s house. An elegant sitting room in St Laurent’s home in the Medina. Saffron, rarest of spices, more expensive than gold, used in an exclusively brewed tea at Amanjena, Marrakech. An elegant tabletop displaying traditional tea-making ingredients at Amanjena.


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October 30, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet performs A Christmas Carol, the feel-good ballet of the season

Jack Yan/14.03

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Ross Brown/RNZB

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s final season for 2014, sponsored by Vodafone, sees Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol brought to life. Created for the Northern Ballet, it’s a true crowd-pleaser and the perfect family outing.
   The RNZB’s Christmas performance has often been a spectacular that audiences of all ages can enjoy, and A Christmas Carol is no exception. The familiar Yuletide tunes and original music by American-born composer Carl Davis, CBE make A Christmas Carol musically accessible. Davis’s work will be familiar to television and film audiences (he scored The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and, most recently, an episode of the 2012 continuation of Upstairs, Downstairs), and he brings a similar lyrical, orchestral style to the ballet.
   The familiarity of Dickens’ novel also helps: the characters are well known, especially to children, and this version, created for the Northern Ballet, stays close to the original Victorian setting. The humour is distinctly English: the second act’s dance between Mr and Mrs Fezziwig (played by Rory Fairweather-Neylan and Brontë Kelly on opening night) is Carry on in nature, while the Ghost of Christmas Present’s (MacLean Hopper) tendency to throw glitter made him the least frightening of the trio that visit Ebenezer Scrooge.
   Paul Mathews, in the lead, exuded energy and still yielded surprises despite the well known storyline, but it was the flashback scene with a pas de deux between Young Scrooge (Shane Urton) and Belle Fezziwig (Lucy Green) that was the most touching and graceful in the ballet.
   Belle, knowing the relationship had come to an end, expressed a lifelessness as she moved en pointe away from Young Scrooge, ever focused on finance.
   The loss of love between the two was poignant, and the point at which Scrooge became the miserable character at the beginning of the story. It gave an extra element, almost a humanity, to Scrooge, that was seen in the novel.
   Bob Cratchit, played by Kohei Iwamoto, was perfectly cast.
   Each set was lovingly created, with production design by Lez Brotherston, the backdrops faithful to the emerging industrialization of the Victorian era, and the lighting by Jon Buswell (presumably following the original design by Paul Pyant) was used to eerie effect on two occasions: the emergence of Scrooge’s business partner’s ghost (light streamed up in a ghostly form before the dancer playing Marley appeared) and the Ghost of Christmas Past (who appeared to float as he visited Scrooge). Transitions between sets were cleverly handled, particularly Scrooge’s grave in the last act.
   This is the first performance Lucire attended where the company sings, and young Wilson Jack, as Tiny Tim Cratchit, performs a touching solo of ‘How Far Is It to Bethlehem?’ (and never mind that it was composed outside the Victorian era). Nigel Gaynor, conducting Orchestra Wellington, excelled handling this extra dimension.
   It was the finalé that was the most upbeat of any recent Royal New Zealand Ballet season, something that could be seen not just with the lengthy applause but the smiles on the audience’s faces as members began departing the St James Theatre.
   The Wellington performances began October 30 and run till November 8 inclusive; Dunedin is from November 15 to 16; Christchurch from November 20 to 22. A Christmas Carol then returns to the North Island, in Palmerston North on November 26, Napier on November 29 and 30, Auckland on December 3 to 7, and Takapuna from December 13 to 14. Full details of dates and venues can be found on the Royal New Zealand Ballet website.
   The late Christopher Gable directed the original production for the Northern Ballet, with choreography by Massimo Moricone; Daniel de Andrade serves as producer. It is the first ballet by the RNZB performed after the appointment of its new artistic director, Francesco Ventriglia, who takes up his new position during the run.—Jack Yan, Publisher


Bill Cooper

Above An image from the Northern Ballet’s production of A Christmas Carol.

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October 28, 2014

Georgia Alice, Lucy McIntosh, Sly Guild named as finalists for DHL scholarship

Lucire staff/21.09

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Above A design from the Georgia Alice look-book.

Georgia Alice, Lucy McIntosh and Sly Guild are the three finalists for this year’s DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship.
   Judges Dan Gosling (the inaugural winner, seven years ago, as co-founder of Stolen Girlfriends’ Club), John Kelly (Max Fashions), Paul Blomfield (Fashion Industry New Zealand) and Megan Wildermoth (DHL) will judge, and will announce their decision on November 12.
   The winner will receive NZ$10,000 in international freight, along with coaching in freight and logistics. The second prize is NZ$1,500, and the third valued at NZ$500. All will receive export mentoring and a membership from FINZ. For more information, visit www.dhlfashionscholarship.co.nz.

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Filed under: fashion, Lucire, New Zealand
October 21, 2014

Sarah Michelle Gellar to judge Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year in New Zealand

Lucire staff/9.22

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Sarah Michelle Gellar is the New Zealand judge and ambassador for Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year.
   Gellar, best known for her role in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and who made a notable impression in last year’s The Crazy OnesLucire’s favourite US sitcom of ’13—alongside the late Robin Williams, joins a panel of judges including designer Alex Perry, TV host Jeremy Corbett, and Specsavers’ style ambassador Pip Edwards.
   The competition is a search for the country’s most stylish spectacle-wearer, celebrating confidence and the love of glasses.
   ‘I can’t wait to see New Zealanders stylish entries and help choose a winner,’ said Gellar in a release. ‘As an actress and a glasses-wearer myself, I know how important it is to be proud of your style and to love your frames. I like to look at glasses as an extension of individual style, a way to express a part of your personality that you can have fun with.’
   The winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Hollywood, including NZ$1,000 spending money, and a new wardrobe of designer glasses from Specsavers.
   Six finalists will each win a trip to Auckland to meet Corbett and a gift bag, including a voucher for an item from Fairley jewellery and two pairs of designer glasses from Specsavers.
   Entrants are asked to submit selfies to the 2014 Spectacle Wearer of the Year website, at loveglasses.specsavers.co.nz.
   Christina Hendricks had previously served as a Specsavers ambassador.

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October 20, 2014

Stoneleigh launches limited-edition, early-release Nature’s Collection wines

Lucire staff/22.43

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Stoneleigh has launched a new, limited-edition, early-release wine series, called Nature’s Collection, comprising 2014 vintages of sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, chardonnay and rosé, retailing now at NZ$17·99 in New Zealand.
   The Collection’s labels feature artwork with distinctive symbols, signifying flora, fauna, forest and coastline. The images within the symbols were taken by New Zealanders and uploaded to Stoneleigh via an app earlier this year.
   The Nature’s Collection name is not a marketing ploy: Stoneleigh began with fruit from the stony vineyards in Raparua in Marlborough. Winemaker Jamie Marfell (left) has used techniques that heighten the natural flavour and aroma.
   The sauvignon blanc, made from grapes from low-cropping vines, has a ‘complex flintiness’, with very little done to the wine to maintain the purity of the flavour. The pinot noir has a similar ‘natural brilliance,’ says Marfell, while large-format oak cuves have fermented the chardonnay for three months. The rosé has also been fermented with oak.
   ‘Our stone-studded vineyards are a constant source of wonder, producing grapes for wines with incredible flavours and aromas. We wanted to celebrate not just our wonder of nature but all of the natural wonders in New Zealand,’ said Marfell.

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