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January 17, 2016

Indulging in the arts at Lincoln Center: La vie parisienne and Dragon Boat Racing

Lola Cristall/14.18



Chris Lee


藝想天成文化傳媒

Above, from top Makato Ozone on piano at La vie parisienne at Lincoln Center. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Dragon Boat Racing presented by the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble.

There were many ways to ring in the New Year but one sophisticated approach saw melodious tunes and laughter. The New York Philharmonic celebrated in style with La vie parisienne at the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. The beautifully organized spectacle paid homage to the spectacular city of lights with poetic tales and songs in both French and English. The talented comedian and two-time Tony winner Nathan Lane narrated Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of Animals, written by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, adding humour and irony with each animal symbolizing a New York figure. Alan Gilbert energetically conducted the performance while Inon Barnatan and Makoto Ozone were the magnificent pianists of the soirée. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham sang uplifting songs including ‘C’est ça la vie, c’est ça l’amour’ from Toi c’est moi, ‘Ah! que j’aime les militaires’ from La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein and Edith Piaf’s ‘La vie en rose’. As 2016 fast approached, guests stood up to sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, while a large glimmering image of the Eiffel Tower reflected in the background. The setting was a marvellous escape into an evening à la française with a joyful, energetic and a high-spirited crowd impatiently waiting for the New Year to emerge.
   From a conductor’s baton to a dancer’s fast paced feet, Lincoln Center is the home of such performances. The beginning of January marked a memorable occasion to celebrate a talented group of dancers, during the China Arts and Entertainment Group’s Dragon Boat Racing presented by the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble. Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater welcomed the limited-time presentation to the stage. They featured phenomenal choreographed dance moves to the tune of traditional Cantonese music. The majestic ambiance was exquisite. Directed and choreographed by Zhou Liya and Han Zhen with music by Du Ming and scenario by Tang Dong, the spectacle blends the beauty of traditional and contemporary features on one stage, as the artistry of the east meets the modernity of the west. The production was vibrant and uplifting, as the dancers conveyed a love story where the main character, Nian (Li Xing), is torn between Ling (Li Yanchao), the woman he adores, and Ying (Wang Minrui), the woman Nian’s father wants his son to marry. The feud and adoration are expressed through the performers’ agility while the melody underlined the story’s elements.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor





Chris Lee










藝想天成文化傳媒

December 3, 2015

Miss Universe New Zealand represented on inaugural Philippine Airlines flight from Auckland

Lucire staff/11.29




Jack Yan

Top Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 second runner-up Gabrielle Manaloto, who was born in the Philippines, at Auckland Airport before boarding her flight on Philippine Airlines to Manila. Centre Gabrielle Manaloto with the captains of the Airbus A320. Above Gabrielle Manaloto and Miss Universe New Zealand CEO Nigel Godfrey.

Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 second runner-up Gabrielle Manaloto, who was born in the Philippines, winged her way back to her birthplace tonight on Philippine Airlines’ inaugural flight from Auckland to Manila.
   Accompanying her on the journey was Miss Universe New Zealand CEO Nigel Godfrey.
   The service sees the 156-seat Airbus A320 stop off in Cairns en route, flies every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
   At Auckland Airport earlier tonight, Miss Manaloto had her photograph taken with the captain of the aircraft, who will pilot the A320 on its first leg to Cairns.
   A native Tagalog speaker, Miss Manaloto found herself easily conversing with the crew of the A320 prior to their flight out of Auckland.
   Flying Philippine Airlines’ very comfortable business class, Miss Manaloto and Mr Godfrey were treated to the friendly welcome that the Philippines are known for, giving them a taste of the hospitality that awaits them when they touch down in Manila.
   Philippine Airlines cites the large number of Filipino expatriates as a reason for entering the market-place. It is the most convenient route to the Philippines for the 44,000-plus Filipinos residing in New Zealand.
   It is the second time Miss Universe New Zealand has experienced the hospitality and service of Philippine Airlines. During the Miss Universe New Zealand finalists’ retreat in September, Philippine Airlines flew the Top 20 to and from Manila, as they visited Cebu and Bohol.
   Miss Manaloto is the second Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 finalist to depart from Auckland Airport this week. On December 2, the winner of this year’s competition. Samantha McClung (below), flew to Las Vegas, Nevada, to compete in Miss Universe 2015. The finals for Miss Universe take place on December 20.
   Entries for Miss Universe New Zealand 2016 are now open at www.nextmissnz.com.


Jack Yan

Above Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 Samantha McClung on Wednesday morning as she prepared to depart from Auckland to Las Vegas, Nevada to compete in Miss Universe.

November 27, 2015

Op–ed: Kiribati’s waking nightmare

Lucire staff/11.22

November 27, 2015

Rt Hon John Key, MP, Prime Minister
Hon Bill English, MP, Deputy Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings
Wellington
New Zealand

Dear John and Bill,

I’m having a nightmare. I want to tell you guys about it—to tell you to wake me up; shake me if you have to. Scream me awake, and when I am, I want you to tell me it’s not as bad as it seems.
   I’ve landed in Tarawa, Kiribati, where news from New Zealand awaited me that John has declared his faith that climate change can be addressed with technology—scientists have told him the technology isn’t far off.
   At an official dinner, people look at me as though I have some glorious technology news to pass on. I don’t. I went to bed that evening feeling hollow; figures screaming through my head, the voice of that pesky Jim Salinger uttering the most terrifying words I’ve heard in many years: ‘The world has now entered abrupt climate change.’ You know Jim right, the guy with the Nobel Peace Prize? Gosh, I wish he would shut up with all that sense he talks.
   In the same nightmare I wake the next day to be told that 90 per cent of drinking water wells have been contaminated with E. coli, that the crops at vital plantations are no longer growing due to saltwater poisoning the ground. That lagoons which once fed villages have become infested with E. coli, killing a large bounty of marine life. That the ocean-warming and acidification has killed a majority of the coral atoll that forms the very ground I’m stood on. It’s like a really bad apocalypse video game—I’m anxious that zombies are going to duck out from behind the door. I look around at homes whose front doors the ocean now laps, at dead fruit trees once laden with produce killed by the salt seeping into the soil. I’m failing to see what Tony Abbott found so comical about this situation.
   In this nightmare I wonder what kind of technology could possibly solve this. I then remind myself of John’s track record of absolute reliability, and I feel comforted. The law can’t solve this. I mean, even if it could and there were laws to protect these people, there are no lawyers, and they’d be unaffordable for these people if there were. So, technology must be the saving grace.
   I visited the hospital to witness first-hand what an infant mortality rate 10 times that of New Zealand’s looks like. Have you ever seen such a thing? It’s completely shocking; it hit me with a force a hundred times that of any image of a child lying washed up on a shore a world away. I tried to fight back the tears, and the numbing coldness that consumed my body. I tried not to vomit—but later in the privacy of my room I did find solace in a Fiji Airways sick bag. I sat there and waited for the moment I’d be shaken awake. I desperately wanted John to ride in and tell me that the threat of climate migration is many years off and not something to be worried about. I wanted Bill to sit down and tell me that none of it was real, and the sea levels were not rising.
   John, could you go tell that mate of yours Obama to stop being a bloody alarmist; that according to Bill, there’s no proof Alaskan villages are vanishing into the ocean. That entire nations are not facing forced-extinction from the ocean swallowing them alive. You go tell that puffed-up American know-it-all that he’s alarming the masses, causing me nightmares and unwanted anxiety.
   Bill, could you go tell all those apparently credible scientists who’ve won those fancy awards, that 2015 is not the hottest year in history and they’re just plain wrong. Round them up with Malcolm across the ditch (because they give him a hard time as well) and be done with them. Bully them into submission a bit harder. Just shut them up.

Thanks in advance,

Pearl

§

I imagined the response coming back something a little like this.

Dear Pearl,

You are far too much of a pretty wee thing to be travelling to such far-flung and irrelevant places like Kiribati in your nightmares; to spend time worrying about such things. Why don’t you pay heed to the advice I gave Keisha Castle-Hughes: try visiting the salon for a bad blow-dry instead?
   Don’t worry about other people. By the time New Zealand starts feeling the full effect of climate change we’ll have the technology available to deal with it.
   I’ve also got Malcolm under control—he’s going to share Nauru so we’ve got somewhere to put all those helpless fellow human beings in the Pacific fleeing the rising sea-levels and food shortages. The ones who think they’re right to turn to us for help. I’m going to stop the boats.
   Meanwhile, the Kardashians have a new season, vote for the fern, and use our new buzz word: technology.
   In the meantime, here’s a Live Lokai bracelet. Hold on to it, because before long the Dead Sea and Everest will be things for the history books.

Merry Christmas,

John

§

That’s kind of how this piece came about. I thought I’d write a wee letter. The problem is, the more I wrote and decried the blind buying-in of the latest spin to come out of the ninth floor, the more ridiculous it felt, and the more scared I became in turn. If I’m completely honest, the realization that many—possibly even some reading this piece—didn’t know how absurd the spin had become, worried me to the point of physical sickness. Thanks again Fiji Airways, your sick bags are truly first-class.
   I’m writing this from Kiribati. I’m fully awake. I’m awake in a nightmare. I went to the hospital. I waded through water at high-tide to cross the road infested with human fæces to get there before what they call the ‘morgue’ closed. In a bag at the other end of the room was a pile of clothes and a pair of trainers I never want to see again. I was going to turf them out, but a young woman tasked with showing me around asked if she could have them, since for her wading through the stench of death and fæces was an everyday reality.
   Don’t get me wrong, Kiribati is absolutely beautiful and if it weren’t for the damage wreaked by rising sea levels and climate change, I would focus only on its beauty, but the reality is these threats make the situation people face here far from idyllic. It’s a dire situation, it’s a nightmare.
   A real-life nightmare, there is no amount of shaking that can wake me; though shaking I am, believe me. Shaking from incredulity at the sheer scale of the situation. The problem is I’m not the who needs to be screamed awake. That’s right: if you have ever for one moment entertained the illusion that sea-levels are not rising; that climate change is not the single biggest threat facing humanity; that you can carry on shirking the responsibility to aid in the fight for human survival and dignity, you need to be screamed awake. Will the humanity in you please wake up?
   I’m not saying this with any political leaning. I believe that most of our politicians are drastically failing us all. Who knows what will happen if we leave this to them. I mean, half of those reading this may freak out at the thought of the Green Party controlling the economy, but don’t blink an eyelid at them leading on the issue defined as ‘the single greatest threat to mankind’ by every serious world leader. Why is that? How will the economy exist without our planet?
   Climate change is no longer some far-off theory or problem. It is happening right here and widely through our Pacific backyard. Right now. As you read this climate change is already disrupting our agriculture and ecosystems, our food and water security, our energy, our infrastructure, our health, our safety. Today. Tomorrow. Some more than others but make no mistake it is happening to all of us. It is the issue. An issue that affects all issues, economic included. Everything is and will be impacted. And it becomes more damning with each passing year.
   This matter is far too important to be surrendered to the political domain. This is about humanity. If you think the devastation wreaked by ISIS is as bad as it gets, then please contemplate Mother Nature.
   If the images of parents putting their children into boats because the water was safer than the land left you reeling, then please consider that in the not-too-distant future this will become a reality for many small island states; that many nations in the Pacific will not survive the two-degree cap that Paris is gearing up to gain commitment for in the coming week. They will have to put their children into boats because the water is safer than the land. We have already signed them up for that, and every moment that each of us stands by maintaining the status quo we sign them up for worse—exponentially.
   They will have to flee their homes, forced to migrate due to the lack of food security. Rising sea-levels, along with drastic weather disturbances will make a boat safer than their homes, and these boats will head for our shores.
   Despite this cold hard reality our leaders head into Paris in support of watering a climate agreement down. There’s talk of steps to make the agreement not legally binding. Not many would agree to a marriage or business deal on such terms, I wonder why we are willing to let them negotiate humankind’s survival on such flippant terms.
   During the explosion of the refugee crisis into mainstream media we witnessed both the most hopeful and depraved responses to others’ suffering. I couldn’t help but wonder about the rationale for stopping the boats, for refusing the asylum and migration of those most in need—those least at fault in the destruction of our ecologies, but who will continue to pay the highest price. What possible excuse will we give to keep them out? Do we convince ourselves they’re all terrorists, rapists and murderers to render them exempt from the right to our sympathies, to human dignity? It’s a sad state of affairs that anyone would have to wonder such a thing.
   Leading into the sustainable development goals, New Zealand took a step towards supporting the Pacific, coming out strong and vocal on Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14), which focuses on the conservation and sustainable use of ocean, sea and marine resources. This focus was well warranted, and an open acknowledgement of our responsibility within the region, and our understanding of how many lives depend on the ocean ecologies. I was proud to stand in the General Assembly and hear John Key announce the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. It was an important step, but we must be clear that it was but one step in the marathon of steps we need to build a better world.
   In the words of Jim Salinger and virtually every other expert of climate science in the world, the world has entered abrupt climate change. We have already reached tipping-points we cannot mitigate. We are already signed up for things that are going to drastically change life as we know it, this is a cold hard fact. The question that remains now is whether we can summon the courage to turn around and fight for survival. Life is already going to change; but whether we tumble over yet more tipping-points points and the scale of the consequences we face from them is up to us. Sometimes we have little option but to wake ourselves up.
   We have a choice. We can surrender that choice to those who hold offices of power, or we can take that choice into our own consideration. Some say the whole endeavour to pull back from this is hopeless. I’m not willing to accept that. I simply refuse to stand by and let life go without a fight.
   John Key used very interesting rhetoric this week. He used the word ‘faith’. He is placing his faith in technology. Instead I am going to place my faith in humankind—the creators of technology. I am going to place my faith in our ability to comprehend the magnitude of what we face, and choose survival. I ask you to join not just myself, but others around the world in doing so. We still have a fighting chance to make things better. They won’t get better unless we take action and inspire others to do the same. No one is without power: everybody has the capacity to take a few steps.
   I’ve written this for those who know how to challenge the status quo intelligently. The doers, the thinkers, the problem-solvers. I’m not asking anyone to climb something or break laws, just that each person reading this ponders for a minute about how they can contribute, what steps they can take.
   So as we lead into the COP21 talks, billed as a defining moment in human history, at a time when recent events have given us ample reason to desert our faith in our own kind, I encourage every single person reading this to ask themselves what they can do to take action. This weekend millions of citizens around the world are exercising their rights, their freedoms, using their voices and taking to the streets to send world leaders an imperative to act and take meaningful action.
   Mark my words: a decade or possibly two from now it won’t be the Rugby World Cup final you remember with pride. What will be etched in your memory is whether you answered humanity’s call for survival, whether you were one of those who actually did something. Sometimes that something is simply the act of showing up to show solidarity with humankind. In Paris where world leaders have gathered there can be no march, because the worst of humanity put on a display that has left millions of innocent people terrorized. So in the coming week I will be keeping my eyes firmly on Paris, I am marching, I am lending my effort to reinforce the very best in humanity, because if there’s one thing the world needs right now, it’s more of the good.
   It’s only so big, it goes around and we are all on it—Earth. I believe it’s worth saving, do you?—Pearl Going


Disruption, excerpt: ‘Tipping Points’ from Disruption on Vimeo


Above Kiribati President Anote Tong with his TED discussion, ‘My country will be underwater soon—unless we work together’. Click above to watch.

Guest contributor Pearl Going is a global communications’ strategist who has worked broadly across entertainment, human rights and environmental issues. Her most recent work includes the Mercy Campaign, Rohingya Slavery and SIDS. She is an avid climber and has climbed five of the seven summits.

November 11, 2015

Sponsored video: Dublin, second best means first in experiences

Lucire staff/1.51

A Lucire special promotion



Elyse Glickman

The World Travel Awards are the “Oscars” of tourism, and leading the honours for Europe’s leading city break destination was Genève. Meanwhile, Sydney was named the World’s Friendliest City.
   But trust the Irish to heavily promote the fact that Dublin came second on both counts. Dublin is home to a lot of seconds, including the country’s second most important river, and apparently it’s the second best place for Americans to live. It’s second in terms of property investment and partying, too, according to the cheeky Visit Dublin promotion, but all of this just makes it more appealing—because it’s all there, in a compact form, so close to the mountains and the sea. It mightn’t have come first, but it does have an awful lot of things that some of the winners of these separate categories can’t boast, all in one spot.
   There are, after all, firsts: Dublin’s incredibly walkable, with great museums and landmarks all within walking distance of St Stephen’s Green, Dublin Castle and Trinity College. The food is fantastic, with world-class restaurants, and if you want to shop, Grafton and Nassau Streets in town are destinations for the savvy fashionista. Louise Kennedy, Fran and Jane, and some impeccable tailors can be found in Dublin.
   It all ties in with Dublin’s tagline, ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’, and a fresh new logo promoting the city. A €1 million push sees Dublin go from a party city to one where there’s everything for everyone, a place that’s spontaneous, and, as the latest promo underlines, just a little distinct and irreverent.


Post sponsored by Visit Dublin

Filed under: travel, Volante
October 10, 2015

Classic and Sports Car—the London Show to celebrate Aston Martin with seven landmark models

Lucire staff/10.28

Aston Martin might not have the freshest range out there as it readies its next generation of supercars, but its marketing machine is at the top of its game this quarter, with a celebration at Classic & Sports Car—the London Show from October 30 to November 1 at Alexandra Palace—days after its bespoke DB10 gets its screen début in the 24th EON James Bond feature, Spectre.
   The show will feature the oldest surviving Aston Martin, the 1921 A3, joined by the DB Mk III, DB5, V8, DB7, V12 Vanquish and DB9 GT in a display sponsored by EFG International. The cars have been supplied by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, Desmond J. Smail, Aston Service London, Aston Sales Kensington and Aston Martin.
   Complementing the Aston Martins will be 300 of the world’s most prestigious classic cars from collectors and retailers, including a collection of Sir Stirling Moss’s British single-seat racing cars.
   The A3 was the fourth prototype by Aston Martin founders Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin, and the only survivor.
   The DB Mk III, which appeared in the Ian Fleming James Bond novel Goldfinger, is one of 500 built between 1957 and 1959. The DB5, perhaps the most famed Aston Martin of them all thanks to its appearance in the film adaptation of Goldfinger, appears in the show in silver birch, matching the colour of the cars from the Bond films.
   The William Towns-styled V8, derived from the DBS V8, had a very long-running production, from 1972 to 1989. The DB7 marked Aston Martin’s renaissance, with its beautiful Ian Callum styling over a Jaguar XJS base: 7,000 were built between 1994 and 2004.
   The V12 Vanquish, which also made a James Bond appearance (in the film Die Another Day), was a more muscular grand tourer, débuting in 2001 and ran till 2007. The DB9 GT, the ultimate DB9, is the one current Aston Martin on display.
   James Elliott, Classic & Sports Car magazine group editor, said in a release, ‘We’re thrilled that the inaugural Classic & Sports Car—the London Show is able to celebrate Aston Martin’s position as one of the greatest British manufacturers with seven important cars from its glorious production history. From the 1921 A3, kindly loaned to us by Aston Martin Heritage Trust, to the latest DB9 GT, these seven automotive icons are sure to represent a star attraction for visitors to our inaugural Alexandra Palace event.’
   The show will also announce the results of a worldwide poll to find the Best British Car Ever, and feature a Live Stage in partnership with Smooth Radio. Tickets are available via www.classicandsportscarshow.com or 44 844 581-1275.







Filed under: Lucire
August 20, 2015

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: where talent surpasses itself

Jack Yan/16.19



Stephen A’Court

Top Dancers Tonia Looker and MacLean Hopper in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Above Tonia Looker and Harry Skinner.

If you ever wish to see the Royal New Zealand Ballet when everyone has reached beyond what you knew was their peak, then A Midsummer Night’s Dream presents that very opportunity: a ballet where the quality is jaw-droppingly magnificent, where choreographer, designer, lighting designer, and musical director have surpassed themselves, and where the dancers have revelled in bringing a production to life.
   In tonight’s (August 20) world première, Tracy Grant Lord’s designs are the first thing you notice, a galactic image of the night sky projected on to the curtain before the action is revealed, then a set that can only be described as her best work reviewed by Lucire to date. Set in a fairy dell in the wood, Lord’s imagination takes us into a world of cabanas and fungi, with electric blue shades offsetting the dark, night sky. It is the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s largest set, complete with bridges, multiple staircases, even a pole from which Puck slides down. Lord notes that her design ‘includes particular structural, decorative and technical elements that exist only for this production, and have all been developed and manufactured in the company workshops.’ This is a unique interpretation, a master-class in ballet set design, all the more impressive when one considers that Lord had a budget to work to. She envelopes us with her world even before the dancers take their first step.
   Kendall Smith’s lighting design comes into its own with Lord’s set, keeping the cabanas’ interiors dark when unused and lighting them subtly when dancers appear. His moon, in Act II, appears as a round, fluorescent ring, emerging from behind the mesh. With Lord employing a single set for the entire ballet, Smith’s lighting gave the production a sense of variety and change throughout. We noted earlier that Smith employed 4,000 LEDs and 2,000 m of fibreoptic cable, and we can certainly say they were put to excellent use. Smith, whose résumé includes lighting for Andrea Boccelli and Luciano Pavarotti, and some of the most respected companies in the US, was flown out with the support of the US Embassy, giving another world-class aspect to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
   Lord also stretched her imagination with the costumes, giving the initial illusion that the fairies were petite; it was only when Oberon and Titania appeared that you began realizing their true scale. Oberon’s and Puck’s costumes had a more cinematic, modern bent than seen in other interpretations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the former having a plunging neckline and a science-fiction feel to it. The fairies’ wings and headgear had metallic detailing, again taking us beyond the typical dell and going past the usual, traditional elements that earlier productions tend to rely on.
   Rising star Liam Scarlett did not disappoint, either, with choreography that expresses a witty yet respectful take on the Shakespeare play. Whether it was transforming Bottom into a donkey, and his subsequent comical pas de deux with Titania, having Puck swing down à la the cinematic Tarzan to commence his antics in the second act, or the strongly romantic pas de deux between Oberon and Titania, Scarlett’s interpretation brought the Mendelssohn score to life, matching movement masterfully to music.
   The music, too, saw RNZB musical director Nigel Gaynor go further than he typically has. Mendelssohn’s score was insufficient for a full-length ballet. Gaynor and Scarlett collaborated, choosing additional Mendelssohn pieces to give the characters greater depth and the story more completeness. Various opuses have been added along with incidental music, and Mendelssohn fans will recognize them and marvel at just how well they have been incorporated, not least how fittingly the choreography has been applied. It’s this characterization which marks out Scarlett’s work. The interactions between the characters—Oberon and Puck, Titania and Bottom, Hermia and Lysander, Helena and Demetrius, and the comical pursuit by both Lysander and Demetrius toward Helena—gives the RNZB’s production exceptional entertainment value. Like its The Nutcracker of 2010, the dance techniques are rich enough for the adult ballet-goer to appreciate, while the structure and comical elements give children plenty to enjoy.
   Adding incidental music from Mendelssohn is not new—Balanchine did the same in his version—but the level of dedication is apparent.
   And all this before commenting on the dancing itself, which was exquisite.
   MacLean Hopper had the commanding nature of Oberon on opening night. Tonia Looker’s Titania had a beauty and elegance that never diminished even when dancing with a donkey, thanks to her control. However, Kohei Iwamoto arguably stole the show as Puck, with an irreverence that the audience loved. Harry Skinner’s Bottom may have had a relatively minor role but his transformation, complete with tail, ensured he was remembered. Lori Gilchrist (Hermia), Joseph Skelton (Lysander), Abigail Boyle (Helena) and Demetrius (Paul Mathews) contrasted each other’s emotions through simple movements; when both men are entranced by Helena, Boyle’s movements conveyed her shock at the energetic pursuit—accompanied by an equally energetic rejection of Hermia. Scarlett was never too clever for his own good: he kept to the story and the score, and delivered through the characters in subtle ways, a sign of a choreographer who works in close collaboration with his dancers.
   It was a privilege to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Wellington as a world première; after its New Zealand tour (which runs till September 20), it will next be performed by the Queensland Ballet, with whom the RNZB co-produced, in 2016.
   The Vodafone season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs through August 23 in Wellington; Christchurch sees the ballet from August 27 to 29; it opens in Auckland on September 2, running to September 6. It reaches Rotorua for a single performance on September 10, Palmerston North on September 16, and Napier on September 19 and 20. Full details can be found at www.rnzb.org.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher



Top Promotional image for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Above Forget retro: the sketch for Oberon’s costume.

August 9, 2015

Footnote New Zealand Dance celebrates its 30th anniversary this August with première and events

Lucire staff/14.02


Above Footnote at its home at 125 Cuba Street.

Footnote New Zealand Dance celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and on August 28–9, it will première 30Forward at the Wellington Opera House to mark the anniversary.
   The première will take place in Wellington, before heading to the Christchurch Arts Festival, Auckland’s Tempo Dance Festival, then to Gisborne, the Kokomai Creative Festival in Carterton, and the Tauranga Arts Festival.
   The production features highlights from past works, as curated by founding director Deirdre Tarrant, and a new commission from choreographer Malia Johnston.
   Footnote will begin its celebrations on August 21 with The Art of Footnote, at a venue on Cuba Street to be announced during August. This exhibition shows posters, programmes and concept designs from Footnote over the last three decades, and runs till August 30.
   A Pecha Kucha event at the Wellington City Gallery, focusing on the culture of movement (covering dance, music, visual art and performance) takes place on August 27. The Tarrant Dance Studios at 125 Cuba Street, Wellington welcomes visitors on August 29 to an open house, while the August 29 performance of 30Forward will be followed by a function.
   The Christchurch dates are August 31–September 1; Auckland on October 15 and 17; Gisborne on October 21; Carterton on October 24; and Tauranga on October 30.
   Tickets are on sale now—visit footnote.org.nz for ticketing information.


Above Rehearsing in 2012.

July 29, 2015

Classic & Sports Car London Show gets an iconic poster by artist Tim Layzell

Lucire staff/13.55

Motoring artist Tim Layzell was commissioned to create an artwork for Classic & Sports Car magazine’s inaugural London Show, featuring a Jaguar E-type, Bentley Speed Six and McLaren F1 at Alexandra Palace.
   The iconic sports cars are among those in a public poll for the magazine, where readers are invited to name the ‘Best British Car Ever’. Other cars in the running include the Mini Cooper S, the Range Rover, and Jaguar XKSS. The winner will be revealed at the Show at Alexandra Palace, from October 30 to November 1.
   The Show will also feature over 300 classic cars from world-famous collectors and retailers.
   ‘It’s a real honour to be asked to produce a one-off piece for this amazing new event,’ said Layzell. ‘With such an incredible line-up of icons on the shortlist for the Best British Car Ever and such a stunning location as Alexandra Palace, this commission has been a motoring artist’s dream. I’m so looking forward to the event; with the experts from Classic & Sports Car behind it, it’s going to be a must-attend show.’
   Layzell’s image will be used on all marketing and promotional material for the event.
   Tickets are available from www.classicandsportscarshow.com.

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