Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dance first. Think later.

Maria is a trained contemporary dancer, graduating with a bachelor of performing arts from unitec in 2006 and completed her yoga teacher training course in byron bay in 2010. Maria has been performing in various dance work ranging from burlesque, cabaret and fringe dance over the past year after returning to new zealand, and is currently involved in a range of exciting projects with the nz dance community for 2012. Maria has been an avid yogini for many years and enjoys a strong vinyasa flow practice for strength training as well as a yin style approach for flexibility. Maria is also values pranayama and meditation techniques in her practice as key to awareness and a healthy state of mind and feels that having a strong and dedicated yoga practice is closely aligned to keeping dance fit, and essential to preventing injuries.

Maria has been part of the auckland contingent of we'ar for the past year, mostly seen at cross st HQ in store and more recently involved in the summer 2012 we'ar film collaboration with clairobsur. She also will be taking part in the upcoming fashion festival representing the we'ar winter range.

Maria will be performing for short and sweet dance fesival in auckland, for splore festival (along with we'ar), and touring a contemporary burlesque show 'In Flagrante' in May 2012. Maria recently spent three weeks in Wellington to take part in a choreolab workshop with footnote dance company to further her choreographic and technical skills and also worked with weta studios to create dynamic poses for an upcoming project....

some pics of Maria in the ever so comfy we'ar hasu pants, and the choreolab crew in action - love the light and bright footnote studio space! xx

Being a freelance dancer is an exciting but somewhat up and down career path - you never know where or when the next work will be, and you have to be prepared for anything.  I think my yoga practice is what keeps me grounded, and I love that no matter where you are, you can always find yoga tools such as breath-work, or a simple down dog to bring you back to yourself.

After a brief hiatus of being a travelling yogini gypsy (if you can call 4 years brief!) I came back home and was lucky enough to meet the lovely Jyoti and Anya and be involved in the consciously stylish label that is we'ar. Having travelled to Bali a few times, I love the ethos and intention that Jyoti and the team have employed to take we'ar in such a unique and positive direction for New Zealand fashion and lifestyle.

I have just come back from an amazing three weeks in Wellington, taking part in Choreolab - a workshop organized by the wonderful Dierdre Tarrant of Footnote Dance Company. I made many friends and contacts in the dance community, and worked with a range of incredible guest tutors.  And along with the sore muscles and bruises, I was proud to be repping we'ar - my hasu pants and 35mm tank sure got a rigorous work out!  Days started at the Cuba St studios with a 2 hour technique class, followed by workshops and 'labs' for freelancers creating their own work for upcoming festivals and performances. We also had spotlight talks from professionals in the industry on a range of topics from producing to dance physio, and discussions with festival directors.

I also got to put my meditation and yoga skills to good use by life modeling for Richard Taylor from weta workshop - those guys are amazing at how they can transform a lump of clay into a stunning representation of the human figure!

Being immersed in this creative process has really showed me how important it is to be involved and supportive of a rather under-acknowledged arts community, so that the brilliant skills and ideas of talented practitioners can be exposed to a wider audience.  I'm really looking forward to working on future projects with the friends I have made, and keeping up to date with whats happening in the contemporary dance scene. It was so great to take the intensive time to gain choreographic skills and to start firing up the muscle memory again... and gives me even more motivation to keep training and conditioning though dance and yoga.

I feel the same way about working for a clothing label that allows a freedom of personal expression, as well as being in the same vein as yoga, movement, creativity and collaborating with like minded people - it has been amazing. Yay for 2012 and we'ar!

x x x

want to get involved with arts and dance events around nz? check out the danz website or catch some of the amazing artists coming to nz for the international arts festival in Wellington from Feb 24th - March 18th... Maria's pick? Political Mother by Hofesh Schecter touring from the UK.

Love Thy Park : Saving our parks by having fun

Anya has a lifelong involvement in dance and drama, studying theatre and performing arts as a scholarship student in Europe. As well as dance, Anya is involved in triathlons, swimming, surfing and more recently the fight discipline of muay thai: she practices hatha yoga as a companion and balance to her other fitness exploits and relishes in the peace and calm she finds on the yoga mat. Anya refers to herself as a "beginner yogini" and is excited by the challenge and healing aspects that yoga brings to her . Anya also  volunteers her time to environmental and social causes.  Anya works at our cross street based HQ in Auckland, New Zealand.

There are few things that make me more excited than the prospect of  face painting and a picnic, but when you get to combine these things into helping out environment then it's kind of like winning the lottery of awesome past times + joyful helping!

Most countries have an established parks system, and New Zealand is no different; in Auckland where we'ar is based locals are literally spoiled for choice when it comes to public parks in both an urban and rural setting. One of my favourites is the Waitakere RangesRegional Park, which has some of the best bush walks, views and tramps in Auckland city New Zealand. Being publically funded means that they can have full time rangers and education programmes in place, but for extended community work + upkeep and special projects they rely on volunteers and fundraising.
Images from top: Kids Day festivities taking place, Arataki visitors center with its beautiful Maori Carvings,views from the center, Anya rocking her face paint in one of our old season we'ar empress tops- love the look? try our current season armadillo top x x x

I was lucky enough to volunteer for a "kids day" to fundraise for the Arataki Visitors centre that acts a  gateway for the Waitakere Ranges RegionalPark, an annual event that raises money for work done through the park including the beautiful traditional Maori carvings. For me that meant heading along one Sunday and painting native birds, plants, spiders and insects on little kids faces in between them learning about the environment, recycling, our native flora and fauna and chowing down on home made cakes and juice.  It was amazing to see the support that is given to the center from its local community.

By the end of the day I became a pro at painting lizards and butterflies but also was overwhelmed by the passion these little 4 - 8 year old children had for this park and preserving the beauty that was held there. Whilst painting pink butterflies on their faces, they told me all about their favourite birds, the recycling + compost programmes they had at home and their favourite walks through the native forests and picnic spots wherein. In a world where we are challenged by finding the balance between growth and environmental health it filled me with a lot of hope to hear that this next generation are so mindful about the precious gifts that the planet has for them.

When I started to write this I was going to urge everyone to head out and volunteer their time at their local park, but really the best thing you can do is take your children, your little cousins or your nieces and nephews outdoors. Get them passionate about  the world around them, the beauty of nature and the delicate balance this planet is in. They are our future and our hope!

x x x
anya @ we'ar

In New Zealand? Forest and Bird run programmes for children, whilst scouts, brownies and guides also get kids passionate about the environment and the outdoors. what about we'ar and our environment? learn about how we'ar are using plant dyes to help protect our waterways from environmental harm and why we'ar are so passionate about organics,ethical trade and our environment.  

excited? check out the plant dye pieces in the online store

volunteering your time painting faces for children? Anya recommends the linen ink raja shorts "i got paint all over them and they scrubbed up perfectly, not to mention that the range of movement freed me up for post face painting cartwheels on the grass with the little ones!"

Monday, 6 February 2012

Earlier this year, local artist and yogi Meghan Geliza got in touch with with we'ar creative director Jyoti looking for a little help so she could help others. Meghan wanted to take her art skills over to Thai/Burma refugee camps to teach art + creativity to refugee and migrant children. 

Meghan was to follow in the footsteps of artists like Tanja Jade (formerly knowen as misery) and Peap Tarr all under the umbrella of the little lotus project run by Spinning Top who aim "to bring balance to vulnerable children". how could we'ar not offer a little helping hand?

So we'ar sent Meghan on her way, along with a bevvy of we'ar goodies to clothe her yogini self! Including such basics as our @ peace hoodie dress, tubelicious + our trusty and much loved hasu pants along with many hugs, encouragement and a few sneaky treats for the boys on the trip.

The following is a little of what Meghan was up to on the trip, and how she found her we'ar clothing... 

Last December, I was fortunate enough to be part of Spinning Top’s Little Lotus project. A crew of ­us artists, photographers and videographers from around the world headed to the border of Thailand and Burma, where we’ve gotten to know some beautiful Burmese refugee children. We were stationed at two schools, SAW and Sky Blue, and there we taught art classes, painted murals, among other fun things. My part of the trip was made possible through the generosity of numerous people and We’ar. We’ar’s support was incredible and I was happy to rock some of their amazing gear on the road.

What I loved about traveling in We’ar clothes is how free I felt in them. The cuts are generous that it allowed so much movement, and the hoodies on dresses really came in handy for situations like curling up on long bus rides or guarding against 80 kph winds riding the back of a pick up. It was wash and wear sans the frump. The fabric felt delicious, and it was also airy enough for the tropics. The designs truly reflect how much traveling in this part of the world is a part of the founder’s life, which it is.

Yoga is a huge part of my routine back home, and it was awesome to have kept the practice in between project breaks. It provided some much-needed grounding amidst the din of everything that went on.
There was a lot that went down in Mae Sot and every day of the project was golden....

from top left: meghan rocks our tubelicious dress in plant dye blue, meghan gets to know her students, painting time! and one of the murals the little lotus project team has worked on is perused by an art critic/little lotus child! all photos were supplied to us c/o patrick shepherd.

intrigued? read more about Meghan and the project over at her blog. To find out more about why we'ar support people like Meghan read about our philosophy and culture on the website. And dont forget to always be up to date on what we'ar manifesting by adding us on facebook  +  following us on twitter

x x x
the team at we'ar

free fruit peddlers

attention nz yogis and yoginis! make sure to keep hold of your fruit stones this summer... the free fruit peddlers need them!

we'ar love the idea of organic fruit growing in abundance next to our roads, and the peddlers will be getting fit and healthy by planting seeds along the national cycleway. good for everybody!

apricot, peach and plum seeds are ideal, keep them clean and dry and send to:

The Free Fruit Peddlers
P.O. Box 15-149
Wellington 6022


read more about them on the website here 

x x x