After Asia, Europe and Australia the dance drama, Confucius, lands in New York. The China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) returned with a marvellous performance at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. The China National Opera and Dance Drama Theatre presented an inspiring feature, directed and choreographed by a 77th-generation descendant of Confucius, Kong Dexin. Written by Liu Chun with costume design by Yang Donglin, the set and its design make for a magnificent backdrop for this dramatic, expressive tale. The beautifully decorated Asian-influenced stage, upbeat traditional tunes and eye-catching outfits make the crowd yearn for more. The full 90-minute performance is divided into six parts: ‘Inquiry’, ‘The Chaotic Time’, ‘Out of Food’, ‘Great Harmony’, ‘Mourning for Benevolence’, and ‘Happiness’, each explicitly telling a tale, evoking philosophical concepts brought about by the arts. The renowned philosopherâ€™s life blossoms on the stage, sharing various profound messages. As dancers expressed the story, Confucius’ words of wisdom are highlighted on two screens on either side of the stage.â€”Lola Cristall, Paris Editor
Welcome to Lucireâ€™s 20th anniversary year.
Remember that if you donâ€™t see a news update (which will come with an RSS update), you can go to the main part of the website and check out our features.
In the last couple of weeks, weâ€™ve had Lola Cristallâ€™s 2017 living guide; an archive interview with Thor director Taika Waititi; one of Stanley Mossâ€™s best travel pieces to date, on five Italian centres, and another on Flemings in London; Elyse Glickman heading to Seoul, and Jack Yan testing the Mazda 3, or Mazda Axela. Weâ€™ve also looked at a natural skin care range, Kokulu, and made our picks from the springâ€“summer 2017 shows from New York Fashion Week.
And, of course, thereâ€™s our print edition: issue 36 features stories on Delikate Rayne and authorâ€“filmmaker Leslie Zemeckis, and itâ€™s a particularly strong issue on female power. Never mind the outcome of a certain countryâ€™s election: as Bhavana Bhim writes in the opening feature in issue 36, women have been increasing their power throughout the ages.
Expect to see more of our Golden Globesâ€™ suites coverage with Elyse Glickman this weekend in the news section, and more fashion, beauty, travel and living features through January.
Gigi Hadid poses naked, save for her Stuart Weitzman metallic satin ankle boots, in the company’s upcoming campaign for spring 2017, photographed by Mario Testino.
It’s not the first time the model of the moment (or the year, according to the British Fashion Council) has posed nude for the brand: its spring 2016 campaign featured her alongside model colleagues Joan Smalls and Lily Aldridge in a headline-grabbing shot by Mario Testino in December last year.
The boots are in Stuart Weitzman’s Clinger style.
A second shot sees Hadid wear a loose white blouse with white trousers, complementing her sparkling, jewelled sneakers.
The images were released prior to Stuart Weitzman releasing full details of its spring 2017 campaign.
Hadid has also signed up as a designer for Stuart Weitzman, with her first pair, the Gigi boot, making its first appearance in October.
Stuart Weitzman has also committed to build three schools, one each in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos, during the autumn 2016 season.
Fresh from her recognition as model of the year at the British Fashion Awards, Gigi Hadid appeared as the high-profile headliner #PerfectNever Revolution event for Reebok, for whom she is a spokeswoman. Hadid, along with Olympic medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman, actresses Lena Dunham, Ruby Rose and ZoÃ« Kravitz, joined broadcaster Jessica Mendoza as host in a panel discussion on the notion of perfection, tying in with Reebok’s Be More Human campaign.
The panel discussed the pressures of perfection and how they combat impossible standards. Originally streamed live, it can be viewed on Reebok’s website, at reebok.com/perfectneverpanel. For those who get redirected because of Reebok’s national websites, it is embedded below instead.
Hadid said, ‘A lot of people expect us to be perfect, and it’s often the times when we haven’t been perfect that have made us more human and more relatable.
â€˜My Mom always talked about growing in different areas, and I think that’s really important. I think that’s where sports became a really big part of my life, and I learned many ways that you learn from your mistakes that I use in every aspect of my life now.’
Dunham said, ‘The reason that I started doing my job was to connect with other women, with other people, and to let them know that their flaws, their complexities and their darkness were an important part of who they are. So any time I can engage with something that busts open narratives, traditional narratives, about who women are supposed to be, I’m there.’
Ruby Rose said, ‘The #PerfectNever campaign resonated with me because I think that it embodies female empowerment and it’s about being authentic to yourself, being true to yourself and being the best that you can be. We are all so unique and if you can’t be true to that and be authentic to who you were born to be, then you are not living the life you deserve.’
Kravitz said, ‘The #PerfectNever campaign is important to me because I think it’s something we don’t see enough in the world. I think it’s important for women to embrace the fact that we’re not perfect and celebrate that.’
Mendoza called the event ‘one of the most powerful panels I’ve been on.’
Inga Stenta, senior director at Reebok, noted, ‘Reebok’s mission is to empower people to be the best versions of themselves not just physically, but mentally and socially.’
Hannah Jeter, Olivia Culpo and Shanina Shaik also joined the audience at the #PerfectNever Revolution, representing Six: 02.
Hadid then joined guests in a mass boxing workout with trainer and Gotham Gym owner Rob Piela. To conclude, guests saw an installation where balloons featuring negative ideas turned into positive ones, while social media commentary hashtagged #PerfectNever also featured.
‘Technology evolves but style is timeless’ is a value in which boutique watch designer brand Grayton strongly stand by. This is exactly what the brand has produced, raising the bar in what a classic watch can do with the release of their Origin mechanical watch, available for pre-sale beginning today on Indiegogo, with a commercial release slated for May 2017.
The unique selling-point of the Origin is its smart strap, which is interchangeable and connected to your smart phone. The Origin is crafted in a brushed 316L stainless steel case with polished accents, with a see-through back cover that gives a glimpse of the watch’s self-winding mechanism. Its power reserve is 41 hours.
The well hidden, built-in electronics make the strap indistinguishable from the best traditional leather straps. The accompanying app is compatible with both Iphone and Android platforms, and is ideal for receiving notification alerts in the office or recording workout fitness data at the gym, activity tracking, phone notifications, music control and more.â€”Cecilia Xu
Could you be the next Marc Jacobs Beauty social media sensation? Marc Jacobs utilizes its famous hashtag #castmemarc once again open to the world, and this time it’s all about beauty.
Marc Jacobs is a fun, vibrant and youthful brand, encouraging young people to push the boundaries in fashion and beauty. This is what the campaign is all about: to see how their global participants create their own style and become inspired, by anything.
Applicants over the age of 18 simply need to post a video on Instagram telling Marc what inspires them in beauty and fashion, and why Marc himself should pick them. Don’t forget to add #castmemarc on your videos to be considered. Entries are open until Friday, December 16, 2016 (11.59 p.m. PST).
In January 2017, 10 finalists will be flown to NYC to record a make-up application video for Marc and his judging panel, where Marc himself will then select three final artists to be apart of the spring 2017 #beautymarc video series. In addition to this, the chosen winners will each receive a year’s supply of Marc Jacobs Beauty products, invitations to all Marc Jacobs influencer events throughout 2017, and a MJ wardrobe and accessories’ allowance.
Get hash-tagging #castmemarc!â€”Cecilia Xu
Above, from top:Meistens Mozart. An excerpt from Political Mother. Pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty.
The New Zealand School of Danceâ€™s Graduation Season once again brings an expertly executed programme, mixing genres from classical to modern to experimental. Among the programme tonight were three premières: Helgi Tomassonâ€™s Meistens Mozart was performed for the first time in New Zealand, while Amber Hainesâ€™s Incant and Jiři Bubeničekâ€™s Dance Gallantries received their world premières on opening night of the season at Te Whaea. Meistens Mozart started the evening and showed that, with the right arrangement and choreography, the German language could be made cheerful. Songs by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Bernhard Flies and Jakob Haibel, sung by the Tölzer Boysâ€™ Choir, accompanied the six dancers, the standout of whom was George Liang. Liang had previously been at Canadaâ€™s National Ballet School, and we had seen him perform last month at the Republic of Chinaâ€™s National Day celebration. There were no opening-night jitters from any of the six, who instantly transported us to an alpine society, celebrating springtime love, courtship and playfulness.
The all-male He Taongaâ€”a Gift was an energetic and intense performance where drumbeats from Whirimako Blackâ€™s â€˜Torete te Kioreâ€™ soundtrack sparked sudden moves, a demonstration of control and strength from the 14 dancers. Choreographed by Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete, He Taonga was created for the School in 2009 and reprised tonight.
Opening the second section, Laura Crawford and Yuri Marques were like delicate dolls in their pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, Act III, with the choreography after Marius Petipa. Marilyn Rowe, OBE staged and coached, while Qi Huan was répétiteur. This was a tough ballet piece to get right and the pair got stronger as they performed, gaining confidence and drawing us into their romance.
Taking a complete tangent into modern dance was the solo performance of Glitch, a new work from NZSD tutor Victoria Columbus, whose talents we most recently saw at the World of Wearable Art, where she serves as director of choreography. The movements themselves were created by graduate Connor Masseurs, who performed the dance, playing the part of a “glitching” robotic man short-circuiting on stage with skilful, shuddering movements. Masseurs completely absorbed us with his solo: it wasnâ€™t just his limbs that Masseurs controlled, he extended the idea to facial movements, inventively finding new ways to glitch. Masseurs first performed the dance at the Grand Théâtre at the Maison de la Culture de Tahiti as part of a gala at the Académie de Danse Annie Fayn. Incant was mysterious, brooding, and ethereal: this all-female work saw dancers come together to generate new shapes, conveying to us notions of clouds, trees in a forest, or tunnels, at times passing a lit sphere between them. Hainesâ€™s choreography was meant to question traditional notions of beauty and got us successfully focusing on the collective moves of the dancers. â€˜This world,â€™ she notes in the programme, â€˜invokes a mesmerizing state of collective consciousness and celebrates the power and luminous beauty of shared intention.â€™ A captivating work, it ended the second set of dances. Dance Gallantries was another more traditional work, with 10 dancers telling more playful stories of romance, complemented by Otto Bubeničekâ€™s colourful costume design and solo violin music by J. S. Bach.
A group of 12 performed an extract from Political Mother, the eveningâ€™s one political work with jarring music and clever choreography by Hofesh Shechter. A couple merrily folk-dances in a town square, happy to be part of their society, but are they genuinely happy or manipulated by the state? Their expressions seem to suggest the latter, fooled into believing that all is well and happy in their naïveté. The action moves on to a prison, where the music is muffled and dancers ape being restrained by either arms or ankles. The final scene, with a large group of dancers back in the town, show that the entire society has succumbed to the illusion, raising their arms in acceptance. It makes you question about the times we live in, and whether intellectual discourse is suppressed in favour of simpler ideas, a population told to be happy without really knowing why.
Finally, Tchaikovskyâ€™s music from The Nutcracker was excerpted for the upbeat Tempo di Valse, with the NZSD returning to a ballet to finish the evening. The â€˜Waltz of the Flowersâ€™ was instantly recognizable, the 15 dancers showing classical movements. Nadine Tyson choreographed, while the colourful traditional costumes were designed by Donna Jefferis.
Depending on the show, the pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty may be replaced by Jack Carterâ€™s Pas de deux romantique, with music by Rossini; while Glitch may give way to The Wanderer, choreographed by Columbus and perforned by Liang.
The season runs from November 16 to 26 at Te Whaea in Wellington, New Zealand, with prices ranging from NZ$18 to NZ$33. Tickets can be booked at the New Zealand School of Dance, or online at nzschoolofdance.ac.nz/book-tickets. Weâ€™d rate it another must-see, especially to catch some rising starsâ€”we understand that some are off overseas, already snatched up by dance companies.â€”Jack Yan, Publisher