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Bienvenue à nos lecteurs français: Lucire KSA now published in English and French

Filed by Jack Yan/September 16, 2021/5.41




Top and centre: Lucire KSA issue 31, in English and in French. Above: One of the articles in French inside the magazine.

I’m very grateful to the team at Lucire KSA, who have created the first Lucire in French this month. They had an opportunity to reach Francophone readers, and the first issue is now out in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
   We’re currently working with the crew there on the second issue, with our translators in Antibes, France and here in Wellington, New Zealand, and the hope is we’ll eventually craft some exclusive French content. As has been the case since earlier this year, the Lucire KSA team chooses their own covers to suit their market, and inside there’s the mix of fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle and culture that readers have come to know and love.
   As a Francophone myself, I’m thoroughly impressed by the quality of translation for Lucire KSA’s September 2021 number, which has set a high standard for our team to meet for October, our anniversary month.
   My small contribution this month was that I proofed the September issue before it was completed, and contributed the French titles of a number of films. Reading Cahiers du cinéma and Première all those years ago paid off.
   What we may see from October 2021 are some of the French articles online, letting you choose which language you want to read it in. We’re having a look at the template now—after all, the current web one dates back to 2013, which is a long time in internet terms.
   It marks the fourth language for Lucire: English being the first, followed by Romanian, and two issues in Qatar in Arabic over a decade ago. We briefly experimented with a Chinese-language website, but as it had a single article, I don’t think I can count it in this tally.
   I want to thank publicly a few Francophone Wellingtonians: Carine Stewart, Sylvie Poupard-Gould, and Geneviève Rousseau Cung, all of whom have played a part in Lucire over the years, and whose actions led to us finding the translation team. As some of you know, Sylvie named Lucire in 1997—little did we know I would be writing this message 24 years later.
   It feels like another step forward for us, with our five editions: this, the original web one, our New Zealand print edition (which was our second), Lucire KSA, Lucire Rouge over in the US with Elyse Glickman and Jody Miller, and now Lucire KSA en français. I thank everyone for their support and initiative. En avant!—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher

 


Tailor Skincare revitalizes the eyes with Awaken

Filed by Lucire staff/August 31, 2021/12.01

Wellington, New Zealand-based Tailor Skincare has launched a brightening eye cream, Awaken, which has natural ingredients including caffeine extract, hyaluronic acid, and milk thistle ester. It also contains golden mica, sourced responsibly from the Responsible Mica Initiative in India.
   The ingredients—all natural and cruelty-free—are said to add a glow to the eye area, as well as hydrate it, reduce dark circles, and fight the early signs of ageing.
   Founder Sara Corleison (née Quilter) said, ‘While our Hydrate Eye Gel and Facial Serum is already a cult classic, we understand that puffiness and dark circles around the eyes is a cause for concern for many. Our last new release, Illume, sold out within 24 hours, and we hope Kiwis will be just as excited to get their hands on Awaken.
   ‘At Tailor, we want everyone to be able to embody self-confidence through skin health, and we know that Awaken will help many Kiwis feel their best—even first thing in the morning! We formulated our new caffeine-infused eye cream to leave you feeling revitalized and ready to take on the day, and in less time than it takes your morning coffee to brew.’
   As well as the new product, Tailor has teamed up with Mojo Coffee New Zealand, who have created a limited-edition Brazilian single-origin coffee. For a limited time, online orders will see Awaken come with a complimentary gift set that includes one Tailor Skincare × Mojo Brazil coffee, and an Acme 300 ml porcelain cup in Milk.
   Awaken is priced at NZ$49, available at Tailor’s website at www.tailorskin.co and at selected retailers from September 1. Find out more at tailorskin.co/products/awaken-eye-cream.

 


The Firebird a triumph for the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Loughlin Prior

Filed by Jack Yan/July 29, 2021/14.49







Stephen A’Court

Every element came together for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s The Firebird

Loughlan Prior’s The Firebird is a triumph for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, one that raises Prior’s own high standards, perfectly suited to the strengths of the company and its regular collaborators.
   Its première at the Opera House in Wellington last night was paired with the classic Paquita, which opened the show. Each ballet is roughly an hour long, with a 20-minute interval in between.
   With the hour’s run time, this is the version of Paquita that’s more regularly seen today, comprising a single act, and letting the dancers shine. It has been staged by Michael Auer and RNZB artistic director Patricia Barker, with Laura McQueen Schultz as ballet master. The costumes by Donna Jeffris and Barker are sumptuous and in the Russian tradition, with a bright set designed by Howard C. Jones and lit by Jon Buswell. Because it has been reduced to the final act, the traditional narrative is gone, but it remains a ballet that demonstrates the skills of the dancers, and there is plenty of energy, thanks to Marcus Petipa’s choreography keeping audiences enthralled.
   Mayu Tanigaito, in the pas de trois on opening night, is one of the RNZB’s greatest assets today as her performance and skill continue to rise, while we also have to note Kirby Selchow’s solo, showing her control and strength. But it was over to Kate Kadow and Laurynas Véjalis to do the most complex moves in the ballet: Kadow spent large parts of the grand pas de deux en pointe, and she executed an impressive series of pirouettes as part of the grand pas variations in the finalé. Véjalis, meanwhile, is a powerful, graceful dancer whose made some impressive and technically difficult leaps.

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Stephen A’Court

   As enjoyable as Paquita was, we weren’t prepared for the dramatic impact and choreographic quality of The Firebird. This is the fourth version of the Stravinsky ballet performed by the company, reimagined completely for the 2020s, and with a message that is directly relevant to audiences today.
   Prior has set his version of The Firebird in a dystopian wasteland, led by the tyrannical Burnt Mask (Paul Mathews, in an excellent turn as the antagonist). The Scavengers from the settlement head out in search of food and water, and it’s on the search that Arrow (Harrison James), left behind by the pack, encounters the Firebird (Ana Gallardo Lobaina).
   It’s a direct contrast to Paquita, with extensive use of animation and graphics by POW Studios’ Marie Silberstein and Tim Hamilton, while Tracy Grant Lord’s costumes and set design place audiences right into the desert of the wasteland. The Firebird’s flames are cleverly projected on her, bringing her powers to life; they have a natural, organic effect. The image of a burning orb is a motif here, signalling both fire and rebirth; NASA imagery of the sun served as an early inspiration. Buswell, here, too works his lighting magic to great effect, taking the colours from the animations and letting both performers and animations do their work. Every aspect came together perfectly with Igor Stravinsky’s score.
   The Firebird is great storytelling at its heart, an intense drama that held us spellbound, that the precise techniques and movements of the dancers served to enhance. Lobaina’s Firebird was largely en pointe as the mythical creature whose feathers could draw water; and with James’s Arrow there are romantic pas de deux moments that, with classical movements at the core, highlighted innovative approaches in Prior’s choreography.
   When the Firebird is brought by the Burnt Mask and his scavengers back to the settlement, there are suggestions of violence danced out on stage. Neve (Sara Garbowski), Arrow’s partner, and Elizaveta (Kirby Selchow), the Burnt Mask’s second in command, play their roles convincingly, especially the final confrontation between the Firebird and the principal antagonists. Here, Lobaina has a chance to shine as the Firebird regains her strength, portrayed by the addition of four ballerinos who add volume to her wings.
   Buswell very cleverly turns off the lights at The Firebird’s final moment, leaving things on a powerful high, and we were left breath-taken with the intensity of the one hour’s drama that had just unfolded.
   Prior wants to remind us that we are fortunate to live in the conditions on Earth that we currently do, and The Firebird is a warning of a world where things have gone drastically wrong for all life on the planet. We have a symbiosis with all earthly life, in which climate action and conservation must be at the fore of what we do. In the uncertain vacuum of a post-pandemic era, The Firebird suggests what could happen if no action is taken.
   No wonder there were members of the audience standing at the end, and numerous curtain calls for the dancers and the team. There is no exaggeration when we say, ‘If you can only see one ballet this year, make it The Firebird’—if we gave star ratings, this was a deserved 10 out of 10.—Jack Yan, Publisher

The Firebird with Paquita tours New Zealand from July 29 to September 2. It runs in Wellington till July 31 inclusive; then heads to Napier (August 6–7), Auckland (August 12–14), Dunedin (August 21), Christchurch (August 26–8), and Palmerston North (September 2). Tickets are available here.

 


Vans opens concept store in Wellington, New Zealand

Filed by Lucire staff/June 9, 2021/4.27

Vans is opening a Wellington, New Zealand concept store on Thursday, June 10, the second store the sports’ brand has opened in the country.
   The store is located at Shop 3, 78–80 Cuba Mall, and features a full range of Vans footwear, apparel and accessories, for men, women and youth. There will also be product exclusive to its retail stores and vans.co.nz.
   Vans has partnered with artist Jason Woodside, who has created a custom art piece for the concept store. Woodside will also be in store from noon to 2 p.m., hand-delivering three customized skateboard decks.
   There is also an in-store competition where the decks will be given away. Visitors to the store need to find the Jason Woodside QR code and sign up to enter.

 


Karnit Aharoni shows off latest designs for spring–summer 2021

Filed by Lucire staff/May 28, 2021/3.15





Greg Alexander/Méphistopheles

New Zealand- and UK-educated, France-based Karnit Aharoni, profiled earlier in Lucire, has shown new entries for spring–summer 2021, inspired by her grandmother and the photographs of her from the 1930s. Aharoni has chosen to combine the 1930s inspiration with the wild west, on the basis that we currently live in times of change and chaos, and there’s anticipation about what’s to come.
   The fabrics are 100 per cent natural and environmentally responsible, sourced from Italy and France, and the clothes are produced in France and Portugal. The shoot was helmed by photographer Greg Alexander in Paris, with Sebastien Vienne art-directing. Hair and make-up were by Carine Larchet (for La Roche–Posay) and Eugène Perma, with Angline of Élite Milano modelling.
   ‘I believe what we are going through at the moment are changes which would have happened anyway, even without COVID,’ said Aharoni. ‘I keep walking the path I’ve started with … small quantities, responsible production and partners, season-less pieces.
   ‘I am a woman and I come from a line of very strong women. My grandmother was an incredible person as well as my mother, both very strong and creative. I also have two sisters, two daughters, and friends. I’m always sensitive to their feedback, comments and needs. It’s the contemporary femininity.’









Greg Alexander/Méphistopheles

 


Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle revival has a fresh, youthful energy

Filed by Jack Yan/May 12, 2021/12.28





Stephen A’Court

Giselle has become one of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s signature productions since this version was conceived by Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg in 2012, and each season—this is the third in New Zealand—brings with it a different energy, as well as newfound elements to enjoy. The cast changes this time bring with them a more youthful take, while the production values and design give Giselle a sense of depth and quality.
   Opening night’s Mayu Tanigaito, in the title role, is no stranger to Giselle, having taken the role in the 2016 season on occasion opposite Daniel Gaudiello, though that time Lucy Green and Qi Huan took the leads on opening night. Qi is still missed as one of the great ballerinos of the company, but in his place tonight, Laurynas Vėjalis has the required regal manner to carry out the role of Albrecht.
   Tanigaito is a seasoned dancer yet exudes a youthful quality as Giselle—a perfect casting—and her solo seeing her en pointe with a series of fouettés brought spontaneous applause from the audience at the Opera House in Wellington. Vėjalis and Tanigaito were convincing as young lovers in their pas de deux in the first act; Vėjalis’s solo is happy, upbeat and confident. It’s hats off to Paul Mathews who brought real energy to Hilarion, who is frustrated and hurt by Giselle’s love for Albrecht. Being a taller dancer than Vėjalis, and executing large moves on stage, you could feel Mathews’ Hilarion trying to demonstrate desperately his feelings for Giselle—and one would almost be forgiven for sympathizing with him, if his character hadn’t also brought out a knife at the first sign of feeling he had been jilted.
   We had seen Tanigaito perform the role of Myrtha, queen of the Wilis, in 2016, and it remains a role that has a dominant presence in Act II. Sara Garbowski’s solo at the start of the second act was a skilful and beautiful piece of classical ballet, and there is a beauty to the sight of the veiled Wilis, resplendent in tulle. It’s in this act that the principal roles really shine in this production: Hilarion is consumed by the forces of the Wilis and shows a vulnerable side, while Albrecht dances for his life more passionately than the assured aristocrat of the first act. This is a more touching, emotional act, performed successfully by the principal dancers.
   When you see the minor roles—such as the group of 12 Wilis—you realize that there is plenty of young talent in the company and its future seems assured.
   Special mention must be made once again to Howard C. Jones’s scenic design, and lighting design by Kendall Smith. Natalia Stewart’s costumes remain as exquisite as they did when we first viewed this ballet in 2012. Clytie Campbell, who herself had performed in Giselle in 2012, faithfully staged the revival with Stiefel and Kobborg’s supervision, as neither was able to travel to New Zealand.
   Hamish McKeich faultlessly conducted Adolphe Adam’s music, more than ably performed by Orchestra Wellington, who give the impression of a bigger score.
   After Wellington (May 12–15), Giselle heads to Palmerston North (May 19), Napier (May 22–3), Auckland (May 27–9), Christchurch (June 4–5) and Dunedin (June 9). Hamish McKeich conducts the Adolphe Adam score with Orchestra Wellington, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in those centres, with the Wellington recording used elsewhere. More details can be found here.Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher





Stephen A’Court

 


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