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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

 


Andalou Naturals arrives in New Zealand, with affordable, natural skin care

Filed by Lucire staff/May 11, 2021/2.35



Andalou Naturals merited a mention in Lucire when we spotted them at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif. back in 2017 and, finally, it’s made it to our shores here at our New Zealand head office, with a well thought out cruelty-free skin care range and, as in the US, decent prices for a range that’s non-GMO, 98 per cent naturally derived.
   It’s clear which one caught our eye the most: Andalou Naturals’ Brightening Honey Pumpkin Glycolic Mask (NZ$27·99), with fruit stem cells, vitamin C, and glycolic AHA, blended with manuka honey and organic pumpkin. This one’s 99 per cent naturally derived, with a mix of certified organic and Fair Trade ingredients, suitable for combination skin types. The pumpkin and glycolic AHA exfoliate the skin, while the honey hydrates, leaving skin tingling initially. Leave it on overnight and come but looking refreshed the next morning.
   The Brightening Probiotic + C Renewal Cream (NZ$39·99) also uses fruit stem cell complex and vitamin C, plus skin-friendly probiotic microflora. It’s an effective moisturizer and works under make-up.


   And if we thought the pumpkin mask was a treat, Andalou Naturals also has the Avo Cocoa Skin Food Mask (NZ$27·99), with fruit stem cell complex, resveratrol CoQ10, organic avocado oil and (you’ll notice the scent) pure dark cocoa, which is rich in antioxidants. It’s part of its age-defying line. The result: smoother, brighter and softer skin.
   Andalou Naturals also has a fruit stem cell Revitalize Serum (NZ$39·99) and a Deep Wrinkle Dermal Filler (NZ$34·99) as part of the age-defying line. The serum, with fruit stem cell complex, resveratrol CoQ10 and goji glycopeptides support collagen and elastin in the skin, while the dermal filler has the addition of capuacu butter to reduce skin tension and plump and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. It’s particularly well priced for a filler and has a noticeable effect on those fine lines.
   We recognize everyone’s skin is different, so others’ experiences may differ. Our judgement is this is a high-performance, well priced range that should do as well here as it has done overseas. Chemist Warehouse now stocks Andalou Naturals in New Zealand, with a much broader line than we’ve featured here, including gluten-free and vegan items. More information can be found at its Australian website, andalou.com.au.

 


Ruby’s Champ collection rings in a cosy winter

Filed by Lucire staff/May 4, 2021/13.16




Ruby is showing its new collection, dubbed Champ, with its first items going on retail sale on May 14 both on- and offline.
   The collection represents both a change in season as well as change in how we do things: ‘Champ is about taking responsibility, knowing your force and driving change for a world we all belong in,’ reads the company’s introduction.
   Warm and colourful knitwear and suitings stand out for winter, with shades of chocolate, meadow, vermilion, pink and pistachio marle. We’re drawn to the turtlenecks, the long sleeves of the Boby sweater, the looseness of the Champ sweater, the Steffi jacket, and the Lucille swing coat, among others. Looseness and volume give this winter a flowing, comfortable vibe. Find out more at rubynz.com, or check out Ruby’s Instagram at @rubytakessnaps.







 


Linda Gair pays tribute to famous artists in Auckland exhibition, Homage

Filed by Lucire staff/April 26, 2021/5.25


Artist Linda Gair—sister of make-up artist Joanne, whose work appears regularly in Lucire—is having an exhibition, Homage, from April 29 at the Railway Street Gallery, at 8 Railway Street, Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand.
   Gair herself has been an art teacher and educator since she turned 50, but has been a lifelong artist. Her works in this latest exhibition are tributes to artists we all know and love—Kahlo, Matisse, Picasso, Rivera, McCahon, Louise Henderson—appearing on a collected piece of plywood, or a bowling ball, or some other found item. These are not replicas, but a postmodern commentary on art and masterpieces, bringing them into three dimensions complete with distortions.
   The official opening takes place on Saturday, May 1, from 12 to 3 p.m., while Gair herself will give a talk on May 8 at 1 p.m., with insights into a number of the pieces and the artists she chose to pay homage to. The exhibition runs till the 18th. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 


GHD celebrates 20th anniversary with limited-edition Couture collection

Filed by Lucire staff/April 15, 2021/11.47




Time really has flown, with GHD (Good Hair Day) celebrating its 20th anniversary. The company commemorates this milestone with a limited-edition Hair-itage Couture collection.
   In its 20 years, GHD’s R&D laboratories have developed tools for hair heat styling that are now used by 200,000 stylists around the world, and sold in over 30 countries. GHD sells 2 million tools every year, and has won over 300 beauty awards.
   The tools maintain a consistent 185°C heat, which is the optimum temperature for styling without compromising hair health.
   It wasn’t just the stylists who told us that GHD was on to a winner, but those early adopters who then told their friends—we hadn’t seen any stylers get that level of word of mouth. When Lucire published its first print editions, GHD was there as a major supporter, directly from its head office in the UK—people who recognized that the two brands were in sync.
   And no, this isn’t a paid spot—we’re as excited about this 20th anniversary as they are.
   The Couture range comprises the Platinum Plus styler (NZ$410 with chrome heat-resistant bag), the Helios hair drier (NZ$340) with 30 per cent more hair shine versus naturally dried hair; the Gold styler (NZ$350, also with chrome heat-resistant bag); and the Style gift set (NZ$59), an exclusive chrome wash bag with mini paddle brush, travel-size Bodyguard heat protect spray, and two GHD silver clips. All are available through GHD élite salons and ghdhair.com/nz.

 


Rachel Hunter headlines NZ Spirit Festival with exclusive workshop

Filed by Lucire staff/April 12, 2021/23.26


With the announcement of a “travel bubble” between Australia and New Zealand, the New Zealand Spirit Festival at the Kumeu Showgrounds has reported a surge of Australians booking to come to the wellness event, to be held April 22 to 25. Model, TV host and yoga practitioner Rachel Hunter headlines the event with a workshop on the first day.
   A powhiri will take place at 4 p.m. on April 22. There are wellness workshops, including one hosted by Dr Bruce H. Lipton, a trained cell biologist who is known for his work in bridging science and spirit.
   Hunter’s workshop will see her teaching breathing techniques, meditation and asanas. She studied meditation and yoga in India, the US, and the UK.
   The workshops take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the full days, across five workshop zones covering yoga, meditation, haka workshop for women, holotropic breath work, and more. After 7 p.m. attendees can expect to listen and dance to music, including New Zealand acts such as Tiki Tane, Maisey Rika, and NZ Spirit co-founder Franko Heke.
   The festival is drug- and alcohol-free, says Heke. ‘We have constant feedback about really big changes happening for people during the festival. It’s an opportunity to change a habit, improve your overall health and well-being and meet new friends within a community of like-minded and healthy people,’ he says. ‘You don’t have to be cool here, or worry about what you’re wearing. It’s about expressing your true self and discovering a little deeper who that person is through our diverse workshops.’
   The festival also brings together young and old, with preferential pricing for over 55s and for young people. There is also a fully programmed kids’ zone.
   A full workshop programme is available here, along with healers’ profiles. There are camping options, food tricks serving vegan and vegetarian food, and a market village. Ticket prices are NZ$239 for a four-day pass, with day passes ranging from NZ$139 to NZ$239. Teens’ price is NZ$169. A booking fee of NZ$5 applies.
   More can be found at nzspiritfestival.com.

 


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