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February 3, 2016

Royal New Zealand Ballet kicks off Speed of Light, with première at the New Zealand Festival

Lucire staff/1.29

The Royal New Zealand Ballet kicks off 2016 with Speed of Light, a mixed bill of three works, to feature at the New Zealand Festival and the Auckland Arts’ Festival, before touring the South Island. It marks the first programme put together by Francesco Ventriglia since he joined the company in 2014.
   The first work is William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, originally commissioned by Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1987. It will be the RNZB’s first time dancing this ballet, and the second time it has been performed in New Zealand. Ventriglia himself was once selected by Forsythe to dance one of the lead roles at La Scala in Milano. The music of J. S. Bach accompanies this ballet; Julien Tarride created the composition and sound design.
   The second work is Andonis Foniadakis’ Selon désir, which the RNZB performed when on tour in the UK and Italy in 2015. New Zealand audiences will see the company give this Selon désir its New Zealand première this work during the New Zealand Festival. Music is by Thom Willems in collaboration with Les Stuck, staging by Thierry Guiderdoni, and technical supervision by Tanja Rühl.
   Finally, Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, makes up the third work, with the New Zealand String Quartet joining the RNZB. A parody of contemporary dance’s excesses, Ekman created this work for 16 dancers in 2010. It has been nominated for a Swan Award in Holland for best new dance production, the Critics’ Circle Award and an Olivier Award. Lighting and co-set design are by Tom Visser, music is by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and staging by Ana Lucaciu.
   Dates for Speed of Light are: Wellington, February 26 to 28 inclusive; Auckland, March 2–6; Christchurch, March 10–12; Dunedin, March 16. For booking information, visit www.rnzb.org.nz.
   The world première of the Ryman Healthcare Season of The Wizard of Oz is May 4 in Wellington, choreographed by Francesco Ventriglia, with music by Francis Poulenc, and design by Gianluca Falaschi.

January 12, 2016

News in brief: Susan Sarandon for L’Oréal; Toxit’s hand-made sunglasses; lecture by fashion historian at Massey University

Lucire staff/12.30




Top Susan Sarandon for L’Oréal. Centre From Toxit’s latest campaign for its hand-made sunglasses. Above Passage #5 coat-dress and belt, from the Dior spring–summer 2011 haute couture collection by John Galliano, from the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum.

Although it’s been known since December 31, L’Oréal Paris has only this week made it official in a lot of its markets: Susan Sarandon is its new spokeswoman, stating, ‘An Oscar winner, mother, activist, entrepreneur, fighter, and a beautiful example of what it means to age with grace, Sarandon is a true woman of worth. Highly respected by her peers and adored by the public, Sarandon is proving that age is just a number and that happiness is the ultimate beauty tool.’
   â€˜Susan is a cinematic icon. She is strong, charismatic and talented and has a compelling sense of self. Her outspoken activism, captivating film work and authentic charm continues to inspire women to be fearless and believe in their convictions,’ said Cyril Chapuy, L’Oréal Paris brand global president in a release. ‘She is a real woman of worth inside and out. We are honoured to have Susan as a new L’Oréalista.’
   Toxit is a new sunglasses’ brand from Italy with one notable point of difference: they’re made by hand. Italian companies are involved at each stage: the Som Occhiali company in Calalzo di Cadore is in charge of the production process; Toffoli di Toffoli Costantino, in the same town, manufactures the acetate parts; the plastics come from Mazzucchelli SpA; the lenses are made by Sel Optical Divisione Filtri Solari; the cases by Pikappa in Vicenza; and the packaging is made by Scatolificio 2 G, near Padua. The products are 100 per cent reliable and safe, says Toxit.
   Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand advises that on February 9 at 6 p.m., Dr Alexandra Palmer, Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Senior Curator and Chair of the Veronika Gervers Research Fellowship in Textiles & Costume at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), will present a lecture at ‘The Pit’, Te Ara Hihiko, Block 12, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington on Frock Coats, Redingotes and Dior: Fashion in the Royal Ontario Museum, 1909–2016. Palmer will discuss the significance of ROM’s collection of western fashionable dress collected over the last 100 years, and contextualize it within the museum’s larger textile and costume collection.
   She will also give stories on how key items, both historical and contemporary, were acquired, including ROM’s commission of a spring–summer 2011 Christian Dior haute couture gown, Passage #5, by John Galliano.
   A RSVP to V.Karaminas@massey.ac.nz is essential to secure a place.

December 22, 2015

Win a luxury skin care pack with Lucire and Skin Institute

Lucire staff/23.57




Before 2015 is out, Lucire has the pleasure of announcing another giveaway, this time in association with Skin Institute.
   Skin Institute is a multi-disciplinary specialist centre focusing on cosmetic medicine, skin cancer detection and treatment, clinical dermatology, vein treatment and surgery, and its 18th clinic has recently opened in central Wellington.
   To commemorate the opening of the new clinic, we have a luxury skin care pack to give away, compromising an Aspect Dr ABC Essential Skin Kit, Cherry Black zinc sunscreen and two Coola Liplux SPF lip balms. The value of this pack is NZ$310.
   To find out more about the new Wellington clinic or to book a free cosmetic consultation or mole spot check, visit www.skininstitute.co.nz or call 64 4 499-8001.
   To enter, become a fan of the Lucire Facebook fan page, then like the post where we’ve detailed this prize. This is for New Zealand-based readers only. We’ll draw it on January 22, 2016.

November 18, 2015

A masterful Graduation Season at the New Zealand School of Dance, with two world premières

Jack Yan/14.14



Stephen A’Court

Top Concerto, part of the New Zealand School of Dance Graduation Season 2015. Above Sarah-Foster Sproull’s Forgotten Things, with the unfamiliar sight of a string of fists, waving in the space.

The New Zealand School of Dance Graduation Season performances, which began tonight (Wednesday), are always a highlight. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work from second- and third-year students, and the six performances this year offer a very entertaining mix, especially for lovers of classical ballet.
   In previous years, the NZSD has put more contemporary dance on the menu, but the mixture in tonight’s programme was equally welcome. Paquita, the grand-pas, kicked off the evening, choreographed by Anna-Marie Holmes after Marius Petipa. The students showed immense promise, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see many of them dance professionally in ballet before long. Yayoi Matches, in the title role, and Yuri Marques da Silva, who hails from Brazil, danced the role of Lucien, increasingly captivated us during the performance. The costumes were hand-made by Donna Jefferis, assisted by the students of the Diploma of Costume Construction at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School, according to the NZSD.
   Forgotten Things took us to the other end of the spectrum with an incredibly inventive contemporary performance. With bare arms and hands, contrasting the black outfits worn by every dancer, we were exposed to unusual shapes: what does a string of fists look like as they wave in mid-air like the legs of a squid in the sea, or the hands of two dozen dancers opened out in antler formation? The idea behind the dance was to show cell division, phagocytosis and metamorphosis, translating the microscopic to human size. The beauty came from the fluid movement unusual shapes that we form with our arms, legs and hands when they are put together en masse, and we’d go so far as to say this was the cleverest dance of the evening. Sarah Foster-Sproull, a graduate herself, choreographed in her fourth commission, collaborating with the students: although trained in classical dance while at NZSD, she now choreographs contemporary dance, and, based on what we saw, very successfully. The second- and third-year students here gelled, and this dance showcased their coordination. The level of rehearsal in Forgotten Things, a world première, was evident.
   Cnoditions of Entry (the misspelling is intentional) was another contemporary première, and hugely enjoyable. NZSD alumnus Thomas Bradley (class of 2012), choreographed and provided the score made up of electronica and bass noises, and even designed the costumes along with Jefferis. Bradley’s notes indicate that the dance was in two parts: the first created a mutual understanding between them; the second conveying ‘exhaustion suspension apology and defeat’. It began in darkness, with orange-hooded, androgynous dancers huddled in a group. Abrupt movements, angular, backwards steps conveyed a confusion, as though the society that had been formed was suddenly devoid of structure or rules, feeling like the aftermath of war. Rectangular lights shone on the two sides of the stage as dancers struggled to move toward it, escaping their personal prisons; the term ‘techno-dystopia’ came to mind.
   Tarantella, a George Balanchine ballet with the masterful (and new father, with a one-month-old baby) Qi Huan as the répétiteur, saw us say at the conclusion of the pas de deux: ‘Hire these two now.’ Danced by Megan Wright and Jeremie Gan, this light-hearted yet passionate ballet needed the pair to master some very quick steps and changes of directions, and while inspired by Neapolitan street dance, the foundation is classical. It is not an easy ballet but we couldn’t fault either Wright or Gan.
   Playing the game of contrasts in the programme, the contemporary As It Fades, originally commissioned by T.H.E Dance Company of Singapore and created by Kuik Swee Boon in 2011, was an energetic performance, and showed what the dancers were capable of, with strong, purposeful movements, accompanied by the strings in Max Richter’s ‘Jan’s Notebook’ and ‘November’, which painted a world struggling to understand itself. The tension sharply vanished at the end where a dancer was surrounded by the others, caught in a chair, exhausted, breathing heavily, conveying that notion of defeat and solitude. As the performance ended, the Richter score did not feel out of place in a bleak science-fiction film from the turn of the 1970s, with credits rolling as a dancer walked off-stage into the darkness, making us wonder what lay beyond the abyss. It was very clever, and got us ready for the final performance.
   That final performance was Concerto, an abstract ballet choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan after he joined the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, with a musical score by Dmitri Shostakovich (many audiences will know his work not from ballet but from the theme tune of Reilly: Ace of Spies; this was his ‘Piano Concerto No. 2 in F’), that premièred in 1966, staged here by Lynn Wallis and coached by Stephen Beagley. Two pianists provided the Shostakovich score, while the 29 NZSD dancers were resplendent in yellow, orange and red, in costumes courtesy of the Australian Ballet. How could one not feel upbeat? The three movements began with the allegro, the corps de ballet doing a well coordinated en pointe, with Yeo Chan Yee and George Liang as the central couple performing some very skilful, quick turns. By this point the classical dancers were all in the swing of things, and there was not a single hesitation as Concerto moved to the andante and a romantic pas de deux from Lola Howard and Jerry Wan, before the final movement that opened with a beautiful solo from Georgia Powley before the ensemble brought the performance to a spirited, optimistic close.
   The Graduation Season runs till November 28 at the New Zealand School of Dance at at Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington, New Zealand. Each performance is at 7.30 p.m. except for Sunday and Monday; matinees are at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 22 and Saturday, November 28. Tickets are NZ$33 for adults, NZ$25 for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more, and NZ$18 for children under 13. Bookings are available online.—Jack Yan, Publisher



Stephen A’Court

Top New Zealand School of Dance student Yuri Marques da Silva. Above Georgia Rudd and Christopher Mills.


Amber Griffin

November 13, 2015

Footwear shopping: Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner choose Uggs; Snkr launches in New Zealand for sneaker aficionados

Lucire staff/9.13




Michael Simon

Kendall Jenner and her sister Kylie shopped for Classic Slim styles at the Ugg Australia flagship store at 600 Madison Avenue, New York. The sisters are Ugg fans, Kylie choosing the black Bethany design and Kendall the chestnut-coloured Amie. The Classic Slim line has a slimmer silhouette, as the name implies, and has improved arch support and traction, says the company. Kendall also chose the Ugg Shearling Trapper hat, Alena slippers and the Ugg Classic boots, while Kylie bought the Scuff slipper and Classic boots.
   The Banks Group has launched Snkr, a footwear retailer that focuses exclusively on sneakers, recognizing that they are fashion statements unto themselves. In the words of the company, ‘It’s a celebration of the art of sneaker design and the undying love of sneaker collectors. It’s a place where sneaker addicts feel understood.’ Brands include Nike, Adidas, and New Balance, among others. Like all new retailers, you have the option of ordering online at snkr.co.nz—though Snkr also has physical branches in Wellington (Lambton Quay store shown), Lower Hutt and Riccarton, New Zealand.




Michael Simon




Nike Air Max Thea Premium, NZ$179·99.


New Balance 530 Athleisure in white, NZ$199·99.


Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Lux Missoni Mid, NZ$159·99.

November 9, 2015

Be in to win with She Loves Golf: Lydia Ko, Toni Street, Laura McGoldrick, Jamie Curry, Amber Peebles promote the sport

Lucire staff/23.17

New Zealand is promoting women’s golf during November, in the wake of Kiwi Lydia Ko regaining her world number-one position after winning the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship, with a month of activities—while Lucire readers can get a fantastic giveaway as part of the She Loves Golf campaign (hashtagged #shelovesgolf).
   The campaign, with Ko, Toni Street, Laura McGoldrick, Jamie Curry, and former Lucire contributor Amber Peebles as the five spokeswomen, will be showcasing their golf experiences around the country. Each woman will document them through their social media channels.
   There are pop-up events to take place in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington on November 13, 22 and 26 respectively. The website at www.lovegolf.co.nz shows what activities women can participate in nationally, as well as gear they can buy and prizes they can win. Clubs are running their own events and offers, all of which can be found on the website.
   All you need to do to be in to win the following prize pack is to like our Facebook page and the post where we mention #shelovesgolf: on top of the golf introductory lessons, there are plenty of goodies. We’re only shipping to New Zealand addresses, and we’ll take entries till the end of November. We’ll draw one name from the likers. Enter now—and enjoy your next round of golf on us!

2 × Whittaker’s chocolate
2 × L’Affarè coffee packs and keep cup
Neutrogena sunscreen
Vita Coco, 1 litre
Faby nail varnish
5 × Schwarzkopf products
IOG 30-minute intro to golf voucher x 2 (value NZ$180)

October 19, 2015

Royal New Zealand Ballet 2016 programme headlined by Francesco Ventriglia’s The Wizard of Oz première

Lucire staff/13.38


Courtesy RNZB


Rahi Rezvani


Ross Brown

Top The Emerald City in Francesco Ventriglia’s The Wizard of Oz. Centre row Cacti, part of Speed of Light. Above Shane Urton and Lucy Green in Giselle.

The New Year will see Royal New Zealand Ballet artistic director Francesco Ventriglia overseeing his first full season for the company, including the world première of The Wizard of Oz, which he created.
   Originally devised for Maggio Danza in Firenze, the production was not performed due to ‘an accident of fate,’ says the RNZB. It is set to music by Francis Poulenc with sets and costumes by Gianluca Falaschi. Opening in Wellington on May 4, the Ryman Healthcare season of The Wizard of Oz will tour to Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Blenheim, Rotorua, Auckland, Palmerston North and Napier.
   It is preceded by Speed of Light from February 26 to March 16, 2016, a mixed bill that sees the RNZB perform as part of the New Zealand Festival. The performances include Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, with music by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert, performed by the New Zealand String Quartet; William Forsythe’s celebrated In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, originally commissioned by Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opéra Ballet, with music by Thom Willems, in collaboration with Les Stuck; and Selon désir, choreographed and designed by Andonis Foniadakis to the music of J. S. Bach. Speed of Light will also be part of the Auckland Arts Festival and will tour to Christchurch and Dunedin.
   Former artistic director Ethan Stiefel’s much beloved Giselle, which was even turned into a feature film by Toa Fraser, returns for a season from August 11 to September 9.
   Ventriglia said in a release, ‘I’m very happy to have this opportunity to share with you my first season—an expression of what I believe is vital in this world: balancing tradition with innovation. To have major classical repertoire in the same programme as amazing works by choreographers such as William Forsythe who changed ballet forever, is the embodiment of that. It’s a special occasion for NZ audiences and enables me to continue to grow our talented dancers.’
   The company will tour Asia with Liam Scarlett’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which had its world première in New Zealand, at the end of the year.

October 7, 2015

It’s fine and dandy: Rembrandt shows a classy, complete spring–summer 2015–16 menswear collection

Alex Barrow/14.07



Rembrandt’s spring–summer 2015–16 collection boasts an array of quirky prints, fine Italian shoes, and an æsthetically pleasing mash-up of modern and traditional in the tailoring of their suits. Since their opening in Wellington in 1946, Rembrandt has cemented its fine tailoring reputation throughout Australia and New Zealand, having opened ten main stores between the two countries, as well as a number of outlet stores. A fourth Auckland store at 41 Shortland Street will open in December.
   This year’s collection puts a modern twist on the British dandy of the nineteenth century with an array of less traditional coloured suit jackets, double-buckled leather shoes (we rate the double monk, made in Italy for Rembrandt), silk ruffle lapel pins, and eccentric printed shirts, ties and pocket squares.
   The company has identified marsala as the colour of the year, with it appearing through its accessories’ range as well as its Bryan dinner jacket.
   Rembrandt’s Wayward Heir line, targeting a younger wearer, has straight lines and narrow fits for the season.
   Rembrandt’s forte lies in dressing for black tie events, making the wearer of their suits stand out. With the option to purchase off the rack, order a made-to-measure suit, or hire one for an event, Rembrandt has its customers’ suit needs covered to a high standard. Furthermore, the menswear company also offers high-quality clothing for everyday casual wear.
   With the motto ‘bespoke is in our blood’, the history of Rembrandt draws back to the world wars of the early twentieth century where immigrants from Holland came to New Zealand, specializing in tailoring. With an opportunity on the horizon the company was started and have spent almost seventy years building tailoring knowledge and expertise to create the reputation they have today of fine craftsmanship.
   With the reputable work and class of Rembrandt, the company has partnered up with the Wellington Phoenix, South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand All Whites in officially tailoring the teams. Rembrandt gives back to the fashion community by proudly co-sponsoring the Fashion and Textile award of the ECC Student Craft–Design Award for 2015.—Alex Barrow










































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