Kering Raises Minimum Age for Its Models to 18

COPENHAGEN  — Further raising the bar to protect the wellbeing of models, Kering has increased the minimum age to 18 for models it hires to represent adults, effective in 2020, the company said Wednesday.
“As a global luxury group, we are conscious of the influence exerted on younger generations in particular by the images produced by our houses,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering.
In 2017, Kering and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, in a rare coordinated move for the luxury rivals, drew up a charter setting out industry standards to protect models. They set out requirements for recent medical certificates proving models’ overall health, and banned the employment of models under 16.
The announcement expands on this agreement by preventing their brands from working with “models under 18 in shoots and walking in shows,” said Pinault.
“We believe that we have a responsibility to put forward the best possible practices in the luxury sector and we hope to create a movement that will encourage others to follow suit,” he added.
The company, which champions women’s causes through its foundation that fights violence against women, noted that the measure signalled “further progress in Kering’s continued commitment to women.”
“In our view, the

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Yolo: Viral Snapchat app raises abuse concerns

Child safety campaigners are worried about an app that lets Snapchat users post anonymous messages.
BBC News – Technology


Madison Square Boys & Girls Club Luncheon Raises Over $200,000

NEW YORK — A raft of well-heeled Manhattan socialites gathered at the Metropolitan Club next to Central Park on Tuesday for the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club’s annual Style of Life luncheon — and they certainly didn’t forget to bring their purses with them.
The fundraiser, which was held in the club’s ornate ballroom facing Fifth Avenue, raised over $ 200,000 through a silent auction and raffle, double the amount seen in 2017. Donated prizes up for grabs this year included a luxury Belize vacation, a Canyon Ranch getaway and a Peloton.
Among the 200 guests in attendance were SoulCycle chief executive officer Melanie Whelan, who made a beeline for guest of honor Sam Kass, the former White House chef and senior policy adviser for nutrition under the Obama administration, to no doubt chat all things health and fitness.
Kass told WWD that his involvement in the charity, which organizes extracurricular programs for children and teens in many of New York’s most underserved communities, stretched back to his time at the White House.
“I know how important their work is in that critical gap in the afternoons where many of the kids go astray — not just for health, but everything else as well,”

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Huawei laptop ‘backdoor’ flaw raises concerns

A software flaw in Huawei laptops adds to the scrutiny the company is facing over security.
BBC News – Technology


Catherine Deneuve’s Saint Laurent Wardrobe Raises $1M at Auction

MILLION-DOLLAR WARDROBE: The sale of Catherine Deneuve’s Yves Saint Laurent outfits raised $ 1 million during an auction at Christie’s Paris on Thursday, with every single lot snapped up.
Interest in the sale was so strong that 90 percent of the 129 lots sold for multiple times above their pre-sale estimate, while the pre-sale exhibition held during Paris Couture Week drew 4,500 visitors, the auction house said. Online bidding for a further 140 lots remains open until Jan. 30 at midnight.
“This week, with highlights including the view and the auction itself, has been a new experience for me and has exceeded my expectations in many ways,” Deneuve said in a statement.
“I would like to thank Christie’s for the beautiful catalogue and the fact they paid tribute to YSL’s talent by presenting his creations in such an exquisite way at the preview, attended by thousands of people. I sincerely hope that the new owners will enjoy these pieces of couture as much as I did,” she added.
The top lot was an haute couture evening ensemble consisting of a chiffon blouse, scarf and taffeta skirt from the Russian collection that Saint Laurent designed for fall 1977. It sold for $ 59,745, 10 times the top

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Sunnei Raises the Bar

MILAN — Sunnei is gearing up to host its biggest show thus far on Sunday, at the Palazzo del Ghiaccio venue here.
Founded in 2016 as a men’s label by Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina, the brand, which introduced women’s wear for the spring 2019 season, will show about 45 looks with a diverse casting that will combine professional models and friends of the house.
“This reflects the way we get inspired,” Rizzo said. “Since the beginning we have looked to our friends, music, travel and personal experiences to find inspiration for our collections, which are a reflection of what we are and how we live.”
In keeping with this vision, Rizzo and Messina developed a fall 2019 lineup strongly influenced by their background yet refreshed with a futuristic vibe.
“We tried to project our social and cultural vision into the future,” Rizzo said.
“It’s a bit ‘Blade Runner,’ but very relaxed and not dark,” added Messina, who revealed that the collection will include pop colors and references to Nineties MTV culture.
“This season, we abandoned our typical ironic images because they tended to become a bit too obvious,” Rizzo said. “Everything is getting more sophisticated.”
Although the design duo tried not to reveal too many details

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Discord Raises Additional $150M in Funding

Gaming-focused voice and text chat app Discord recently raised an additional $ 150 million in funding, it announced on Friday. The new round of funding was led by Greenoaks Capital, which now joins Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, IVP, Spark Capital, and Tencent Holdings as an investor. Greenoaks is a private firm that makes long-term investments in […]



‘World’s biggest sleep-out’ raises £3m for the homeless

More than 10,000 people have staged the “world’s biggest sleep-out” in a fundraiser to tackle homelessness.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News


Disney Raises the Bar Robert Iger Has to Clear to Win Bonus

Walt Disney announced more-rigorous benchmarks required for CEO Robert Iger to collect a $ 100 million equity grant in 2021 that was criticized by shareholder advisory groups. US Business


Citymeals on Wheels Raises Nearly $1.2M

Citymeals on Wheels this week hosted its 32nd Annual Power Lunch for Women fund-raiser, raising nearly $ 1.2 million.
Fashion supporters of the benefit include Chanel, Dr. Patricia Wexler, Marcy Syms, Patti Cohen, Michael Kors, John Pomerantz, Georgina Chapman, Marigay McKee, Tamara Mellon, Jan Singer and Iman.
This year’s honorees include Kathie Lee Gifford, co-host of the fourth hour of “The Today Show;” Jessica Lappin, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, and Derek Blasberg, YouTube’s Director of Fashion and Beauty. Gifford brought attendees to tears with her speech about the need to give back. An anonymous donor agreed to donate up to $ 1 million through the matching of donations starting at $ 10,000. Gifford kicked off the fundraising round with a $ 50,000 donation.
Mellon provided three styles from her eponymous line — Frontline, Icon and Siren — for auction. Skin care line Valmont provided a gift basket for auction and $ 2,500 toward a facial. Another option provided for auction was a Power Lunch with honoree Blasberg for breakfast, lunch or tea at Tiffany & Co.’s The Blue Box Café.
Actress Jane Krakowski was the emcee for the event, which included a reading of letters from meals recipients by Iman, and actresses Kathleen Turner and

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Legal pot in Canada raises questions for NHL

On Wednesday, Canada will become the largest country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana, meaning it will be available under the law in seven NHL cities there. – NHL

Exclusive: Pac-12 ruling raises major suspicion

A document obtained by Yahoo Sports reveals a Pac-12 vice president may have overruled an obvious targeting call during a football game last month.

Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games


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Amazon raises minimum wage for UK and US staff

Amazon has raised the minimum wage for all its employees in the UK and US, after facing stinging criticism over the wealth of its founder and working conditions.
Tech News – Latest Technology and Gadget News | Sky News


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Stella McCartney Raises Breast Cancer Awareness with Campaign and New Lingerie Set

THE GOOD FIGHT: Stella McCartney has tapped Sofia Vergara for her annual Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. The campaign has two parts, with the first launching Monday and the second to be released in October.
The first of the two-part campaign has images of Vergara wearing McCartney’s limited edition bra and brief set named Rose Romancing, which will launch on the brand’s website and social channels.
The campaign is meant to highlight the global impact of breast cancer and underline the need for preventative education and advanced breast cancer care.
Sales of the lingerie set will benefit the Linda McCartney Centre in Liverpool, The Hello Beautiful Foundation in London, and Memorial Sloan Kettering in the U.S. The money will go towards early detection programs and treatments for breast cancer patients.
The limited-edition Rose Romancing set, a rose, lace embellished triangle bra and bikini brief, will be available to order from Stella McCartney stores on Oct. 1.
The set will also be available online at Net-a-porter, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Le Bon Marché and Shopbop. The triangle bra retails at 110 pounds, and the bikini briefs at 85 pounds.
A testimonial film, to be screened on McCartney’s website, will launch alongside the campaign. There will also be an exhibition at McCartney’s

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Jeffrey Fashion Cares Atlanta Raises $800,000 for Area Organizations

MOTHER KNOWS BEST: The 26th annual Jeffrey Fashion Cares event at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta on Monday night raised more than $ 800,000 for Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta, the Atlanta AIDS Fund and the Medical University of South Carolina. The tally since the event’s inception: more than $ 15 million raised for the beneficiaries.
Jeffrey Kalinsky, who operates two stores in Manhattan and Atlanta, unveiled a third unit in Palo Alto, Calif., on Wednesday.
“It’s a 12-minute runway show preceded by a live auction, which is preceded by a cocktail hour,” said Kalinsky, who admitted that he’s perfected a formula for keeping the event moving apace. “All that happens before we get seated. We keep the welcome remarks brief so we can get people out of there without having to listen to speeches. The evening is really all about fun and fashion.”
Dries Van Noten, Balenciaga, Dior, Saint Laurent Paris, Céline, Sacai, Givenchy and Calvin Klein were among the designers shown. “We had four looks at the end of the show by a designer, Edda, who’s based in Norway and does these beautiful cotton-printed dresses. We found her at the LVMH Prize showroom,” Kalinsky said. “It’s really a good opportunity to showcase a number of younger designers.

A dress by Edda. 

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21st Century Fox Raises Offer for Sky, Topping Comcast Bid

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox significantly lifted its offer price to consolidate ownership of Sky, heating up a bidding war with Comcast for the British broadcaster. US Business


Pfizer Raises Prices for Dozens of Drugs

Pfizer raised the list prices for more than 40 of its prescription drugs this week, issuing a second round of price increases this year despite mounting public scrutiny. US Business


Hellboy Board Game Raises $1 Million in 2 Days

Hellboy: The Board Game has smashed its Kickstarter goal and raised over $ 1 million in just two days.

The Kickstarter campaign went live last week with a goal of £100,000 (around $ 140,000 USD). The campaign reached its goal just 18 minutes later, and surpassed the million dollar mark just under 48 hours later.

The current total is sitting at almost £860,000 at the time of writing, approximately $ 1,178,000, with 25 days to go. A new stretch goal was unveiled yesterday with the addition of a Ragna Rok Rasputin miniature and a new scenario, if the campaign reaches £880,000.

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GameStop, Inc.

Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Raises the Bar for Broadway Magic

J.K. Rowling’s ever-popular boy wizard is all grown up in this enthralling two-part play, directed with seamless magic by John Tiffany.
NYT > Arts

Orbitz Worldwide Inc

Humboldt GoFundMe page raises over $15M

The GoFundMe account collecting funds for the Humboldt Broncos closed Wednesday after raising more than $ 15 million in less than two weeks. – TOP

Broadcom Raises Offer for Qualcomm to Over $121 Billion

Broadcom has sweetened its takeover offer of Qualcomm in a deal that would be worth more than $ 121 billion, turning up the pressure on the takeover target in what would be the largest-ever technology deal. WSJD


Broadcom Raises Offer for Qualcomm to Over $121 Billion

Broadcom has sweetened its takeover offer of Qualcomm in a deal that would be worth more than $ 121 billion, turning up the pressure on the takeover target in what would be the largest-ever technology deal. US Business


‘Father Figures’ Premiere Raises Funds for Southern California Wildfire Victims

The real world intruded a bit on the world premiere of “Father Figures” at the TCL Chinese in Hollywood on Wednesday. On the red carpet, producer Ivan Reitman made a pitch for funds to help victims of the Thomas Fire. Earlier in the week, he and his family were forced to evacuate their Montecito home. “I’m […]



Suitsupply Raises $360 Million in Financing

Suitsupply has secured some financing to spur its expansion.
On Monday, the Amsterdam-based company said it has raised $ 360 million in capital from NPM Capital as well as a consortium of banks including ABN Amro, BNP Paribas, ING and Rabobank.
Suitsupply will use the funds to refinance its existing debt as well as for further international expansion, investments in technology and retrofitting some of its older stores.
“We are using the current competitive financing climate to optimally position the company for further growth at attractive conditions,” said chief financial officer David Dijkhuis.
Suitsupply operates a total of 91 stores around the world, including 32 in North America, a market it entered in 2011.
In the U.S., the company will open four more stores this year in Kansas City, Newport Beach and San Jose, Calif., and Bellevue, Wash. In 2018, Suitsupply will add units in Williamsburg, N.Y., Boston, St. Louis, Detroit and San Diego in the first six months.
Last month it launched a women’s chain called Suistudio with stores in Amsterdam and Shanghai as well as two in New York. The funds will also be used to expand that concept into new markets, a spokesman said.
The privately held Suitsupply was founded by Fokke de Jong who

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Victoria Beckham Raises $40 Million in Private Equity Investment

The Spice Girl turned fashion designer, who introduced her brand in 2008, will use the cash to enter new product categories and expand retail operations.
NYT > Fashion & Style


Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.

Tidal X Concert, Starring Jay-Z and Jennifer Lopez, Raises $3.7 Million for Natural Disaster Relief

Tidal X: Brooklyn, the third annual charity concert from the Jay-Z-owned streaming platform, raised $ 3.7 million in support of those affected by recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria and the earthquakes that took place in Mexico. Funds will be distributed among organizations including Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto […]



Aussie Fashion Rental Site GlamCorner Raises $3.3 Million

HONG KONG — Fashion rental website GlamCorner has raised $ 3.3 million, aimed at cementing its status as the market leader in the Australian apparel-sharing economy. 
The investment of 4.2 million Australian dollars was led by AirTree Ventures, bringing the total amount of capital invested in the business to date to 5.5 million Australian dollars.
The company was founded by husband-and-wife duo Dean and Audrey Jones in 2012. The site stocks more than 3,000 designer dresses from more than 150 labels, averaging about 90 Australian dollars to 130 Australian dollars, and is equipped to offer next-day delivery across the country and three-hour delivery in Sydney.

Over the last year, the business has grown over 500 percent, transacting the retail equivalent of over 20 million Australian dollars, the company said.
“We are renting to 16-year-olds for their Year 10 formal to someone over 60 going to their daughter’s wedding. The problem [of finding an outfit] is quite universal,” Dean Jones said.
RELATED: E-commerce Start-Up Brauz Lands $ 1.8 Million >> 

“We’re going to stay Australian-focused for the time being because we have a real formula that’s working,” Jones continued, adding the firm would “scale up their inventory base significantly.” 

GlamCorner founders Dean and Audrey Jones 

RELATED: Down Under in the Big

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Twitter Crackdown on Abuse Raises Question: Do the Rules Apply to Trump?

Twitter said it has clamped down on harassment on its service, a campaign that is forcing the company to confront tricky questions about how it applies its standards. WSJD


Hawaii Five-0 Boss Speaks Out on Controversial Exits: Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park Were Offered “Unprecedented Raises”

Hawaii Five-0The chatter surrounding Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park’s surprise exits from Hawaii Five-0 isn’t dying down just yet.
Shortly after CBS issued a statement explaining their side of…

E! Online (US) – TV News


Snapchat map update raises child safety worries

An update to Snapchat lets people search for schools and see pictures posted by children inside.
BBC News – Technology


‘Big Bang Theory’ Leads Taking Pay Cuts So Female Co-Stars Can Get Raises

The five leading stars of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” are apparently taking pay cuts so that two of their longtime castmates can get raises.

Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg ― who have all been on the show since Season 1’s premiere in 2007 ― reportedly agreed to take $ 100,000 pay cuts from their $ 1 million per episode salaries for upcoming Seasons 11 and 12 to increase the salaries of Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, Variety reported, citing multiple sources.

Bialik ― who earned four Emmy nominations for her role as Sheldon’s girlfriend, Amy ― and Rauch have become key characters in the show since joining in Season 3. The two currently make around $ 200,000 per episode, according to Variety, and are gearing up for contract negotiations this week.

With the money from their co-stars, the two could each bump up to around $ 450,000 per episode for a 48-episode deal. However, Deadline reported they may be seeking parity with their co-stars.

Last month, The Hollywood Reporter revealed the original five actors will each be earning $ 1 million per episode for the final two seasons of the CBS series, which is television’s No. 1 comedy for the key demographic of 18-to-49-year-olds.

Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco first inked their $ 1 million per episode contracts with Warner Bros. Television back in 2014, making them TV’s current highest-paid comedy actors. In its ninth season, the show averaged 20 million viewers per episode.

Reps for Parsons, Galecki, Cuoco, Nayyar and Helberg were not immediately available to comment.

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China Video Streaming Firm iQIYI Raises $1.5 Billion

Chinese online video firm iQIYI has raised $ 1.53 billion through the sale of convertible debt. The new finance will allow it to keep investing in content and services as the streaming sector develops. The company is a majority owned subsidiary of Baidu, the group that dominates online search in China. Baidu revealed that it had put… Read more »



Edinburgh’s Housing Market Raises Hopes in Scotland

The outlook is bright in the city center, where prices of prime real estate have returned to prerecession levels. Lifestyle


Madonna raises $7.5M for Malawi, slams Trump in Miami show

Madonna performs during Art Basel Miami Beach, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Kelli Kennedy)MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Madonna kissed Ariana Grande, repeatedly criticized President elect Donald Trump and said she was ashamed to be an American in a magnetic performance in Miami on Friday night where she raised more than $ 7.5 million for the African nation of Malawi.

Entertainment News Headlines — Yahoo! News


Best Buy Co, Inc.

London Label Me+Em Raises Investment

LONDON — Me+Em, a London-based contemporary label that’s a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, has received funding from a consortium of investors to fuel its expansion.
Pembroke Venture Capital Trust said Thursday said that together with Venrex Fund, Sir Charles Dunstone and a number of other private investors, it has taken a “co-investment” in Me+Em. Pemroke didn’t disclose the size of the investment the group have made in the label.
Pembroke said the funding would allow Me+Em to acquire new customers, broaden its product offering, introduce wholesale and increase customer engagement with the brand, through investing in digital, social and public relations activity.
Andrew Wolfson, chief executive officer of Pembroke Venture Capital Trust commented: “We were impressed by the way the [Me+Em] product resonates with their target demographic and the team’s intelligent approach to marketing and data management,” he said.
Clare Hornby, founder and creative director of Me+Em added: “Me+Em has doubled in size over the last 18 months. I am excited about the future and working with Venrex and Pembroke, who both provide the expertise and financial support to take the brand to the next level.”
Hornby founded Me+Em in 2009, and it’s primarily sold through the label’s e-commerce site and brochures, and from

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Scottish Ballet’s Erotic Streetcar Named Desire Raises Temperatures in Chicago

Sophie Martin as Stella and Tama Barry as Stanley in Scottish Ballet’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

They almost had to hose down the audience at intermission of Scottish Ballet’s A Streetcar Named Desire at the Harris Theater in Chicago on Thursday night. Erik Cavallari’s Stanley had just had make-up sex with Sophie Martin’s Stella, and choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s imaginative way with the erotic pas de deux had everyone hot and bothered.

In a welcome departure from the one-note depictions of sex in the male-dominated world of ballet, the tiny, sinewy Martin calls the shots in this scene. The balance of power has shifted – after her husband struck her in a drunken rage, and she fled their claustrophobic New Orleans tenement apartment. Sober and whimpering upon her return, he spins and drags and upends her, at her hungry command; she flings herself at him repeatedly, in a flying half-twist, challenging him to catch her at the peak of her jump.

Sophie Martin as Stella and Tama Barry as Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Erik Cavallari as Stanley and Sophie Laplane as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

This is not a relationship that is likely to end well but, for now, Stella is in control, as she is at the mournful end of this Southern gothic tragedy, when she makes the anguished decision to commit her sister Blanche to a mental asylum. The sensual Martin is magnificent throughout, a firecracker. Cavallari, stocky and ripped, plays the sexual predator with attention to the small but explosive details of body language, wisely avoiding caricature – not an easy feat when you must swagger in the footsteps of Marlon Brando.

The Company in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Having decided, in tandem with stage director Nancy Meckler, to flesh out Blanche DuBois’ backstory, to unravel the narrative and present it in chronological fashion, Lopez Ochoa rose to the challenge of portraying the assorted sex acts that, in Tennessee Williams’ 1947 classic, take place offstage, or are mentioned only in passing in the dialogue. She draws expertly and seamlessly from a range of dance styles, never straying far from classical ballet, in a manner that flaunts the dramatic and technical flair of this handsome company.

Victor Zarallo as Alan and Luke Ahmet as the Lover in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Eve Mutso as Blanche, Victor Zarallo as Alan and Luke Ahmet as the Lover in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Sexual exploits start with the homosexual encounter between Blanche’s boyish husband Alan and a man whom he meets at their wedding dance – a variation on the Romeo and Juliet meet cute at the Capulets’ ball, that here manifests as an unaffected and moving duet. This leads to a brief threesome, full of intertwining arms and confused glances, until Blanche’s revulsion – or jealousy, or both – drives Alan to suicide. Throughout the evening, the figures of Alan, in bloodstained shirt, and his lover reappear to dance with Blanche whenever she slips into an alcoholic haze – a striking choreographic gambit that embodies her frequent hallucinations.

Luke Ahmet as the Lover, Victor Zarallo as Alan and Kara McLaughlin as Young Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Eve Mutso as Blanche with the Company in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

The DuBois family estate crumbles – literally, in a triumph of scenic design in which a massive backdrop, emblazoned with a hazy photographic image of a stately Southern plantation home, explodes into a mass of wooden packing crates – driving the destitute Blanche to prostitute herself in a seedy hotel. The hotel sex is impersonal, mechanistic, efficient.

Eve Mutso as Blanche and Erik Cavallari in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

The lonely Blanche seeks comfort in seducing a young boy. In another twist on Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan’s version), the boy lies on his back as she perches on his raised shins, arching her spine into a crescent.

In the rape scene, movement and score are stripped to a stark minimum. After taunting Blanche (danced on Thursday and Friday evenings by the statuesque, mesmerizing Eve Mutso), stripping her and kicking her to the floor, Cavallari props her against the bed (assembled, like the rest of the set, from packing crates) and smashes her against it, accompanied only by what sounds like the repeated slamming of metal doors that won’t stay shut.

Even crumpled in stillness, Mutso conveys a mix of fragility and willpower. In motion, she calibrates her movement to suggest a constant sense of being slightly off-balance, on the brink of collapse, the elegant sweep of her preternaturally long arms and legs swiftly fractured by bent elbows and knees.

Eve Mutso as Blanche with the Company in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Lopez Ochoa’s command of the ensemble is no less compelling than her portrayals of intimacy and domestic violence. She gives the crackerjack corps de ballet a stern Graham-based vocabulary with which to drive Blanche out of her home town. Maneuvering packing crates into two tight columns, they become a seething mass of humanity on the crowded streetcar named Desire. They form two rival teams in a bowling alley, their high-octane swing routine fired up by a jukebox. In the final scene, as the doctor in a lab coat arrives to take Blanche away, the men and women of the corps appear as a menacing crowd in identical black dresses, crimson carnations sprouting from their mouths – a surreal mushrooming of the scene in the play in which a blind Mexican flower seller offers Blanche a garish bouquet of “flores para los muertos” (flowers for the dead).

Eve Mutso as Blanche with the Company in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Bethany Kingsley-Garner and the Company as the Mexican Flower Sellers in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

The ballet opens and closes with the same image of Blanche reaching for a naked light bulb that descends from the ceiling. With gently fluttering hands and skittering feet, her spine arching and twisting, her head thrown back in hope and trepidation, the layered skirt of her white dress floating as she pivots indecisively, she seems to hover delicately over the floor. The gossamery manner in which she steps on and off pointe and makes swift, fine-grained changes between quarter-pointe and full pointe, belies the wondrous plasticity of her insteps, and remarkable control.

Eve Mutso as Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Program notes tell us that Meckler and Lopez Ochoa were drawn to the image of a moth: Williams originally intended to title his play The Moth and makes reference in the play itself to Blanche’s “uncertain manner… that suggests a moth.”

Beyond the inventive uniting of drama, dance, score and set design to illuminate Williams’ psychological melodrama and caustic social commentary, this Streetcar brilliantly evokes the 19th century Romantic classic Giselle, in which a good-hearted peasant girl is driven to madness by the betrayal of a deceitful, two-timing aristocrat.

Ivor Guest could have had Blanche DuBois in mind when he recapped the first Act of Giselle, focusing on “the fragility of the heroine, her mind balanced between reason and madness.” Though Blanche is the aristocrat in Williams’ tale, she is twice betrayed – first by her secretly gay husband, and then by the working class Stanley, who resents her highfalutin ways, offended by the reminder that his wife comes from the same stock. The droit du seigneur exercised by the duplicitous Count Albrecht is here remodeled into the hypocrisy very much alive in 1940’s America, that allowed men to sow their wild oats and to treat their wives like possessions, while branding women who had sex outside marriage as damaged goods, outcasts, even insane.

There are thousands of papers stretching back over hundreds of years, affecting Belle Reve as, piece by piece, our improvident grandfathers and father and uncles and brothers exchanged the land for their epic fornications – to put it plainly!
– Blanche in Scene 2 of A Streetcar Named Desire remarks on the dissolution of the DuBois family estate

Upon Giselle’s death (or suicide), she is drawn into a gang of ghostly, moth-like maidens, draped in layers of white gauze, who have been similarly jilted and are bent on revenge against all men. The Wilis and their icy, shimmering, relentless choreography in the second and final Act of Giselle reflected a 19th century anxiety about growing numbers of unmarried, unmoored women whose sexual appetites could not be contained.

In the second Act of Streetcar, as Blanche’s hold on reality becomes increasingly tenuous, the ensemble women join her in her moth-like fluttering under a score of naked lightbulbs that descend from the rafters; the stage dims to resemble the eerie nights in the forest policed by the vigilante Wilis.

19th century nerves were calmed when the dead Giselle saved Albrecht from death at the hands of the Wilis – a female self-sacrifice to ensure male survival.

In Streetcar, Stella sacrifices her sister in order to uphold the patriarchy.

Eve Mutso as Blanche and Adam Blyde as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

The image of an irresistible but unattainable, and sometimes cruel, light is further cemented by the repeated deployment of Ella Fitzgerald’s recording of Harold Arlen’s ‘It’s Only a Paper Moon,’ that at strategic moments serves to highlight Blanche’s retreat into fantasies and fictions that make life more bearable (“it wouldn’t be make-believe/ if you believed in me.”)

Peter Salem’s heady score veers from lush, decorous waltzes to a hypnotic minimalist brume, fragments of New Orleans jazz and jukebox, occasionally shattered by the shrapnel of industrial sounds.

Adam Blyde as Mitch and Eve Mutso as Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Only one element seemed lacking in the ingenious and austere set design: a lighting scheme to indicate the curtains which divide the cramped space in the Kowalskis’ flat – a crucial device in the play that underscored how lack of privacy stoked tensions between its inhabitants.

The only gratuitous detail in the marvelously inventive staging was Cavallari’s roaring of “STELL-LAHHHH!” after she escaped his drunken assault. Lopez Ochoa should have trusted her choreography – and the wailing solo saxophone that accompanied it – to convey Stanley’s brutish needs. After his poker buddies shove him into the bath to cool down, Cavallari rips off his water-logged T-shirt and chews up the stage in a desperate quest to track Stella down. There was no need to translate his magnificent body language into a verbal howl. Tennessee Williams would likely have edited that out.

Catch Scottish Ballet on the rest of its American tour, through May 30th: check tour dates for San Antonio, Houston, Pittsburgh, Charleston and Washington, DC on their website.

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