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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

 


Giselle, a Royal New Zealand Ballet favourite, returns for May–June 2021

Filed by Lucire staff/March 29, 2021/0.06


Giselle is back: the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s acclaimed ballet from 2012, which toured the world after its première in Wellington, and which became a 2013 feature film by Toa Fraser, will return in May and June 2021.
   Conceived by former RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel and choreographer–director Johan Kobborg, Giselle was praised by this magazine both at its début and its 2016 tour. We wrote in 2012: ‘it distinguishes itself through clever choreography … stunning costumes by Natalia Stewart, and Kendall Smith’s lighting (and lightning). Howard C. Jones’s scenic design gave Giselle a visual depth, using different shades to gain perspective, and making the production feel even grander …
   ‘The high standards in these areas complemented the outstanding choreography and production by RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel and Royal Ballet principal dancer Johan Kobborg. Stiefel and Kobborg, both of whom have danced the role of Albrecht, have collaborated brilliantly …’
   Audiences will have a chance to experience it again in Wellington (May 12–15), Palmerston North (May 19), Napier (May 22–3), Auckland (May 27–9), Christchurch (June 4–5) and Dunedin (June 9). Hamish McKeich will conduct 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.
   RNZB artistic director Patricia Barker says, ‘We have reached into our vault of precious gems and great, beloved ballets, and can’t wait to be on stage again with Giselle. New Zealand audiences and dancers have shared an almost 70-year love affair with this ballet, which continues to enthrall us all with its elegance and timeless story.’

 


Dr Martens to open in Wellington December 19, with tattoos and live music on the day

Filed by Lucire staff/December 14, 2020/2.27

Wellington’s getting its own Dr Martens store, at Shop 2, 94–106 Cuba Mall, as of December 19.
   And those who shop on the day and buy a pair of Docs can get a permanent tattoo from Cuba Street Tattoo’s Grant Gebbie (conditions apply).
   From 1 p.m., Crystal will play a set in front of the store.
   The new store will have the largest range of men’s, women’s and children’s styles in the country, including Dr Martens Originals, Made in England, full vegan ranges, global collaborations, and accessories.
   ‘Dr Martens’ introduction into our country’s capital is a match made in heaven,’ said Ben Hapgood, Dr Martens’ group general manager for New Zealand. ‘The distinctive “stand out from the crowd” theme of Dr Martens will be well received by the Wellington market and its placement on Cuba Mall couldn’t be more suitable. The store will offer customers an extensive range of Dr Martens products not always seen in the local market and we are excited to get Wellingtonians proudly wearing them.’
   The Wellington store is the second in the country, after Auckland.





Above: Dr Martens’ Auckland store gives an idea of what the Wellington one might be like—come Saturday, all will be revealed.

 


A welcome return to the ballet, with RNZB’s The Sleeping Beauty

Filed by Jack Yan/October 29, 2020/12.34





Stephen a’Court

Top: Kate Kadow as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Above: Kate Kadow and Laurynas Vejalis as Prince Désiré. Kirby Selchow as Carabosse and Sara Garbowski as the Lilac Fairy. Kirby Selchow. Kirby Selchow and Clytie Campbell as the Queen.

How fortunate we are in Aotearoa New Zealand to be able to attend events while the world battles a pandemic, and judging by the opening night of The Sleeping Beauty at the Opera House in Wellington, audiences were more than ready to be entertained by the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
   It was a wise decision to put on a classical ballet for the end of the year, with choreography after Marius Petipa and staged by the RNZB’s artistic director Patricia Barker, with the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky score performed by Orchestra Wellington, conducted by Hamish McKeich. This was a safe bet that would bring audiences in, and what better in 2020 than a sense of the familiar, performed by some new faces in prominent roles, and an energetic company that has been all too ready to show the country—and the world—what it has to offer.
   This was the first time Lucire has seen Kate Kadow in a lead role, that of Princess Aurora. Kadow had plenty of difficult manœuvres to perform, and had to be present from Act I (or Chapter Two, as listed in the programme) through to the end. A challenging pas d’action at the end of Act I—the Rose Adagio—saw Kadow en pointe for a particularly lengthy period. This is a famous pas d’action, which Kadow carried out well, and deservedly earned a round of applause. She had similar, if not as lengthy, en pointe balances in other parts of the ballet. One hopes we will see more of this experienced American-born dancer in prominent roles with this company.
   Kirby Selchow relished the role of Carabosse, and reminded us just why so many actors—and dancers, for that matter—like the role of the villain. Audiences do take to them, and without spoiling it with specifics, her entrance was one of the grander and more entertaining ones for any baddie of late.
   Sara Garbowski, as the Lilac Fairy, might be the one to watch—though it should be mentioned that the role has been a prominent one for some time, in some cases more so than Aurora’s. It’s the Lilac Fairy that has to countermand Carabosse’s spell, and she is present from the prologue through to the end.
   Prince Désiré, performed by Lithuanian-born Laurynas Véjalis, had a wonderful grand pas de deux with Kadow in the final wedding scene, with some technically tricky steps. He made holding Kadow in his arms look effortless despite the technical difficulty and strength required.
   This was a family ballet, with any scenes that might disturb children completely toned down: Désiré’s battles with Carabosse’s minions in the forest are done with plenty of dry ice on stage, and the villains are dispatched quickly; and we must also say that the awakening of Aurora was innocently done.
   Humorous moments for the children, bearing in mind this is a two-hour, 45-minute production, include the pas de deux between Puss in Boots and the White Cat (Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson and Leonora Voigtländer respectively). And it’s always a good lesson to not go for the bad boy, as Aurora does with the Rose Adage.
   Ballet masters Clytie Campbell, Laura McQueen Schultz and Nick Schultz assisted Barker in staging the ballet, and Michael Auer served as dramaturge.
   Donna Jeffris’s costumes were a stand-out, particularly the Queen’s sparkling gown and the use of tulle; meanwhile her work for Carabosse had a dose of drama and darkness, while Morfran’s epaulettes hinted at a certain army that terrorized Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.
   As usual, the scenic design, by Howard C. Jones, is of a particularly high standard, including the use of digital elements on a screen, such as growing vines around trees during the 100 years Aurora is asleep. Jones worked on the RNZB’s much acclaimed Giselle.
   Jones’s design also saw the use of Bodoni display type at the beginning of each chapter, explaining, in poem form, what lay ahead, making the ballet accessible to younger audience members.
   A technical glitch on opening night did see the type fail to display for the prologue, necessitating a restart with the overture performed again—the sort of minor thing that is easily forgivable after nearly a year without a ballet to attend. In fact, the audience applauded to show their understanding and appreciation.
   The child performers in the ballet added to the family touch, and their role in the garland dance was particularly well choreographed and danced.
   The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Sleeping Beauty runs from October 29 through December 12, touring nationally. Further details can be found at the RNZB website.Jack Yan, Publisher


Ross Brown

Above: Kate Kadow as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty.

 


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