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July 23, 2015

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: a world première for the Royal New Zealand Ballet

Jack Yan/5.47

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream is not just a Royal New Zealand Ballet première, it’s a world première—so if you’re looking for a ballet event to attend in mid-August, this should be the one on your calendar.
   Created by Liam Scarlett, ballet’s fast-rising star who is now one of the most sought-after choreographers today, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will have its première in Wellington on August 20, before heading to Christchurch, Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North and Napier over the following weeks. As well as Scarlett’s choreography, it features the biggest set ever created by the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
   Ipswich-born Scarlett, 29, is already known for his witty, inventive approach and is one of the most passionate choreographers in ballet today.
   He was the Royal Ballet’s first Artist in Residence, creating ballets for that company including Despite and Vayamos al Diablo in 2006, through to the Jubilee pas de deux to celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee.
   He has created works for Ballet Black, New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, K-Ballet, the English National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
   A Midsummer Night’s Dream is his third full-length ballet.
   â€˜We are incredibly excited to showcase this sensational new ballet created for the RNZB by the talented Liam Scarlett. This magical tale will cast its spell on audiences of all ages. And as with all the best stories, true love and friendship triumph in the end,’ said RNZB artistic director Francesco Ventriglia in a release.
   Said Scarlett, ‘Shakespeare’s tale of wit, love, petty quarrels and mistaken identities has captured the hearts of audiences young and old for centuries and has secured its place in history as one of the greatest stories ever told. It is with great pleasure and responsibility that I have the opportunity to transform this magical piece of work into a ballet. Being able to create this for the RNZB is a joy, and the end result will be a testament to their talent and enthusiasm and all that this wonderful company has to offer.’
   RNZB managing director Amanda Skoog notes that the company is partnering with the Queensland Ballet to realize the production.
   Tracy Grant Lord, known for Cinderella and many of the RNZB’s other successes, will design the new production, which the company notes will have ‘thousands of lights, glitter and butterflies.’ The make-up look sees Lord working closely with MAC Cosmetics, while Kendall Smith, who worked on Giselle, is lighting the set using over 4,000 LEDs and 2,000 m of fibreoptic cable.
   The Mendelssohn score will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in Christchurch, and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in Auckland, conducted by RNZB music director Nigel Gaynor.
   Vodafone New Zealand continues its national sponsorship of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
   A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins in Wellington on August 20, and runs through August 23; Christchurch sees the ballet from August 27 to 29; it opens in Auckland on September 2, running to September 6. It reaches Rotorua for a single performance on September 10, Palmerston North on September 16, and Napier on September 19 and 20. Full details can be found at www.rnzb.org.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

May 28, 2015

Charitably chic: US events keep the focus on organic, eco and good health

Lola Cristall/4.10

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Direct from New Zealand, Trilogy, founded by sisters Sarah Gibbs and Catherine de Groot, introduced American consumers to their certified organic skin care line. Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is claimed to be the Duchess of Cambridge’s go-to product. Trilogy’s US launch is a much celebrated endeavour using premium and wholesome botanical extracts, where a small portion is enough, without leaving behind residue.
   From Trilogy to Organic Spa Magazine’s New York City media event, in honour of Earth Day, it was all about natural beauty, inside and out. Invitees were welcomed to the 36th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, overlooking magnificent city views, where a number of high-end exclusive products and destinations were unveiled. Jade Yoga, founded by Dean Jerrehian, is recognized for its eco, lightweight and comfortable yoga mats. Shea Moisture, established in 1912 by Sofi Tucker in Sierra Leone, promoted the skin’s silky smooth texture with its line of shea butter products. Parissa introduced its waxing products made for all skin consistencies and hair types. Ananda in the Himalayas provided guests with an idea of their spa escapade with an Ayurvedic experience. NeoCell supported health, beauty and anti-ageing with a natural approach. California-based Aura Cacia displayed their 100 per cent pure essential oils. JUstenbois’ maple wood sets are perfect for the dinner table, with a hint of eco-friendly chic. Founded by Pierre Simard, the products of made in Québec from natural materials. Boiron, a prominent brand in France, presented its homeopathic products including ArnicareGel and calendula cream. Balanced Guru presented their organic, cruelty-free products, including their all-natural body butter. MyChelle Dermaceuticals is known for a selection of products made for glowing skin. Lather’s hair, face and body products are infused with naturally healthy ingredients, leaving behind soft and radiant skin. Nubian Heritage returned with an assortment of its distinguished line of skin care products.
   While it is important to monitor what product goes on the skin, it is just as important to examine what is consumed to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Aslihan Koruyan Sabanci presented her Gluten-Free Gourmet Cuisine cookbook and Health and Beauty Home Remedies book, guaranteeing a delectably healthy and tasty meal as well as a healthier approach towards looking better. The event covered skin care, food and spiritual inner healing. Other sponsors included Reserveage Organics, Incredible India, Chiva-Som Health Resort in Thailand, Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in San Diego, Napz, Rejuva Minerals, Immunocologie Skincare, Kimberly Parry Organics, Scotch Naturals, Buff Her House of Exfoliation, Emani Vegan Cosmetics, Babo Botanicals, EverclÄ“n and many more. Organic Spa Magazine along with its editor-in-chief, Rona Berg, emphasized how fashionable organic can be.
   Maven PR’s Alyson Dutch, was back with her prominent Consumer Product Event at Lowe’s Santa Monica. The Venice Room featured up to a dozen exhibitors. Kingston Technology presented its five-in-one Mobile Companion; Love Shawls showed off its two-in-one fashion statement, combining the elegance of a scarf with the appeal of a necklace; Bex’s decorative add-on shoe ornaments, designed by jewellery designer Sonya Ooten, exemplified personal style; Unselfish, by Paul Parkinson, highlighted individuals putting others first; Veestro, founded in 2012, is a vegan and organic food delivery service. Other exhibitors included the Thirst Project, a venture educating American students of the negative attributes in dirty water in South America, Africa and Asia. Other presenters included Simply Necessit-Ease, Slime, Lovera, Dealmoon and Blue Diamond. Eden Sassoon was present to talk about her campaign, #BeautyGivesBack, which permits the Thirst Project to be present at global hair shows, including the Paul Mitchell School.
   After three months of work to raise funds to support numerous charities, Paul Mitchell School’s 12th annual FUNraising Gala announced that $1·7 million was raised for a number of organizations including CAST, Cancer Schmancer Movement, Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Food 4 Africa, Gary Sinise Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Magic Johnson Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation, No Limits as well as the Thirst Project. Fran Drescher, Marie Osmond, Magic Johnson, Pauley Perrette and a number of other notable personalities, including the cofounder of the Paul Mitchell Schools, Winn Claybaugh, celebrated the success. Along with being considered a reputable school where avid learners attain a well-rounded education in technical skills and business knowledge, they are also apt at raising money to support a range of foundations.—Lola Cristall, Paris editor








May 27, 2015

Reasons to raise a glass as Stoneleigh, Mumm, Hennessy and Ardbeg celebrate around the world

Lucire staff/12.49

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Victor Boyko/Getty Images

Top Mark Ronson celebrates with Champagne Mumm in Monaco. Above Julie Nollet, Raphaël Gérard, Hervé Mikaeloff, Olga Kisseleva, Bernard Peillon, Laurent Pernot, and François Xavier Desplancke pose at the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Hennessy 250 Tour at the New Manege in Moskva. Below left The award-winning Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014.

Several wine and spirits brands have reasons to celebrate today. New Zealand’s Stoneleigh has received a gold medal at the 2015 Decanter World Wine Awards for its Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014. This honour, from the world’s largest and most influential wine show (competing against over 10,000 wines), joins others than Stoneleigh has received lately, with the same vintage winning gold at the New Zealand International Wine Show and Easter Show Wine Awards, and a trophy at the Marlborough Wine Show.
   Maison Mumm, meanwhile, celebrated the launch of the world’s first digitally connected champagne bottle. And since Mark Ronson was in town, why not get him on board another yacht to DJ the event?
   When the cork is popped at the Formula One podium, a sensor sends a signal to the venue’s AV system, triggering the programmed entertainment. VIP guests at the event included Cara Delevingne, Poppy Delevingne, Eddie Jordan, and club owner Jean-Roch. Singtank, the duo of Ronson’s wife Josephine de la Baume and her brother Alexandre de la Baume, also performed.
   Ronson was asked to present the winning Mumm jeroboam to Nico Rosberg on the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix podium.
   The Hennessy 250 Tour has arrived at the New Manege in Moskva. This travelling art and culture exhibition, curated by Hervé Mikaeloff, in collaboration with scenographer Nathalie Crinière and Hennessy heritage expert Raphaël Gérard, celebrates Hennessy’s history and future, with archival materials, portraits and films. Artworks and installations by Xavier Veilhan, Pierrick Sorin, Constance Guisset, Tony Oursler, Charles Sandison and Anton Corbijn feature, while the Russian stop additionally sees Olga Kisseleva’s work, Dancing Spirit, and a contemporary dance performance by Farfor. The tour is open till May 30.
   VIPs at the launch include Maurice Richard Hennessy, Corbijn and Kisseleva, Gérard, Hennessy CEO Bernard Peillon, François Xavier Desplancke, Laurent Pernot, seventh-generation master blender Yann Fillioux, Interview Russia editor Aliona Doletskaya, and Tatler Russia editor-in-chief Ksenia Solovieva, Olga Karput, Sofia Zaika, Olga Thompson, Miranda Mirianashvili, and Museum of Contemporary Art director Vasili Tsereteli and his wife Kira Sacarello. The gala dinner was followed by a performance from stars from the Bolshoi Theatre and a tasting of the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend.
   Ardbeg celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, and marks the occasion with a grand Ardbeg Day on May 30, when Ardbeg “embassies” around the world hold a series of events. This year’s limited-edition Ardbeg Perpetuum will be present, and New Zealand, which will be the first to hit May 30, will hold its Ardbeg Day celebrations at House of Whiskey, 50 Courthouse Lane, Auckland; Regional Wines & Spirits, 15 Ellice Street, Mt Victoria, Wellington; and Whisky Galore, 66 Victoria Street, Christchurch.


















Victor Boyko/Getty Images

May 24, 2015

Cara Delevingne, Fernando Alonso, Poppy Delevingne, Mark Ronson on board TAG Heuer’s Monaco Grand Prix party

Lucire staff/10.38

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David M. Benett

It’s all on over in Monaco, as the Monaco Grand Prix gears up. TAG Heuer, a major sponsor whose logo has been seen for decades at the event, hosted an on-board party on Saturday, with brand ambassadors Cara Delevingne and Fernando Alonso.
   TAG Heuer, an official partner of the Automobile Club of Monaco, which originated the Grand Prix in the principality, hosted its party on board the SeaDream, moored in the harbour. Jean-Claude Biver, LVMH’s watch division boss and TAG Heuer’s CEO, held court, with Delevingne, Alonso, and the McLaren–Honda team, with which the watch brand has partnered for 30 years.
   Other guests at the event were Poppy Delevingne, James Cook, Ron Dennis, and Natalie Pinkham.
   TAG Heuer is promoting its McLaren Formula 1 watch to commemorate its three-decade-long partnership with the racing team; the Ayrton Senna Chrono special edition with the Legend steel bracelet, named for the late racing driver; the Cara Delevingne special edition; the Carrera Heuer-01 manufacture chronograph; and the Aquaracer 300M.
   TAG Heuer was the first watch-making brand to sponsor a professional driver, Jo Siffert, and it was worn by Steve McQueen on the poster of his film, Le Mans. Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, David Coulthard, Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have all worn TAG Heuer over the years and have taken the chequered flag at the Monaco Grand Prix. Its current campaign sees the hashtag #Dontcrackunderpressure, as part of its internal and external branding efforts.




















David M. Benett

May 22, 2015

Superb and deeply meaningful: the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Salute: Remembering WW1 impresses

Jack Yan/12.27

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Ross Brown

Above Dancer Joseph Skelton in the core image used for Salute: Remembering WW1.

Three years in the planning, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Salute: Remembering WW1 commemorated the Great War in a memorable, respectful, and meaningful way, with a mixed programme that saw two world premières tonight.
   Gareth Farr’s specially commissioned score for Andrew Simmons’ Dear Horizon opened proceedings, with what could be described as a cinematic theme with a strong melodic base as the action unfolded on stage. Tracy Grant Lord’s backdrop, of barbed wire barriers used in World War I, loomed over dancers lying on the stage, as a lone ballerino walked among them. Lighting came on gradually, Jason Morphett’s design using shadows and darkness to build tension. This sombre start gave way to a beautiful, haunting and contemporary choreography, with an underlying bleakness, as Simmons highlighted the loss suffered in war. Costumes were grey, further emphasizing the sense of despair and focusing us on the dancers’ movements. The solo cello by Rolf Gjelsten gave a sense of minimalism that contrasted other elements of the brassy, powerful Farr score. While composed for the ballet, and only complete with the action, it’s not hard to imagine the work released on its own for lovers of ballet and cinematic scores.
   An all-male cast of twelve followed in Soldiers’ Mass. The genius behind Jiří Kylián’s choreography was how it conveyed emotion: a highly energetic and graceful ballet where the dancers move in a unified way, into battle constantly, pulling each other from the front and yet, still confronting, then falling to, the enemy. The score, by Bohuslav Martinů, set to the text by Jiří Mucha, was played back, and one scene sees the men lip-synching proudly to the Czech lyrics, yet with a sense of what they knew would follow. The ballet finishes as it started, with 12 backs to us, each dancer dropping his shirt in another representation of death as well as the annexation of the Sudentenland by Hitler in World War II. Shirtless ballerinos, incidentally, seemed to elicit greater applause from the audience as they took their bows. This restaging was by Roslyn Anderson, who had helmed the 1998 RNZB production of Soldiers’ Mass, with lighting design by Kees Tjebbes.
   After the interval, Johan Kobborg’s Salute injected comedic moments into a classical ballet, set to the score by nineteenth-century composer Hans Christian Lumbye. It saw the return of live music after the recording in Soldiers’ Mass, performed by the New Zealand Army Band. These skilful musicians adapted themselves easily to the lighter atmosphere, with Sgts Riwai Hina and David Fiu, and Pvts Joseph Thomas and Tom Baker rearranging Lumbye’s music to the Band. Natalia Stewart’s costumes (jackets with epaulettes for the men, red peplums and plenty of tulle for the women) shone on stage in a very cheerful ballet involving different sets of dancers, highlighting different aspects of love, from shyness and confusion to overconfidence and partnership; as well as the inevitable farewells as men went off to war.
   The battle vignette, with the General leading the charge, was equally enjoyable, interspersed with the long waits the women endured back home, before the conclusion as the soldiers returned home. Created for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2010, Kobborg intended it to be a reflection of what happens when young people come together; the RNZB dancers showed their expressiveness in a ballet that injected a light-heartedness to the evening. Salute was staged by Florica Stanescu, with Morphett again behind the lighting design, with a brightness and cheer in contrast to his earlier work.
   While the RNZB often picks the cheery production number to end on, it chose Neil Ieremia’s Passchendaele, a world première, which gave this reviewer initial fears that the infamous battle would leave audiences on a down note. The fear was unfounded, because of the scale of Ieremia’s ballet, involving 19 dancers, and the superb execution in dance of this tragic battle, notable for being the day on which more New Zealanders had died or had been wounded than on any other day. Dwayne Bloomfield, formerly of the New Zealand Army Band, composed the score, which the band performed: the moments of martial music signalled the flawed advance by the New Zealand Division under Gen Haig. The dancers moved with great pace at times, in groups, on- and off-stage, representing the power of the soldiers and artillery, through impossible conditions. At other moments they recalled memories of home, contrasting with the loss that families suffered. Geoff Tune’s backdrops, in red and black, signified the blood on the battlefields, and his first one hinted at skulls, shifting gradually to other scenes of burned trees and desolation. The end of Passchendaele was chilling, after the soldiers each fell, their loved ones releasing them, as knocks were heard around the St James, representing the messenger bringing home to 845 New Zealand families the worst news they could receive.
   Ieremia was ingenious in how his choreography brought so much emotion and energy to the performance that the house was left in admiration. The message was indeed cautionary, telling us about the human tragedies of war, but the RNZB and the NZAB brought it to life with such conviction that Passchendaele received the greatest applause of the evening. It was a high note after all, but one that was more absorbing. Salute: Remembering WW1 is a superb programme, and a fresh way of appreciating the messages in the ongoing centenary commemorations of New Zealanders fighting ‘the war to end all wars.’—Jack Yan, Publisher

Salute has been supported by the Lottery Grants Board, New Zealand Defence Force, Qantas, the Göthe-Institut, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, national sponsor Vodafone, and Pub Charity. Dates are May 22–4 in Wellington; May 28–30 in Christchurch; June 3 in Dunedin; June 10 in Hamilton; June 13 in Takapuna; June 17–20 in Auckland; and June 24–5 in Napier. The Royal Ballet will feature the UK première of Passchendaele in November. Further information can be found on the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s website at rnzb.org.nz.

May 12, 2015

David Gandy and Jodie Kidd lead Jaguar’s Mille Miglia line-up; Bentley fields 1930 Blower

Lucire staff/12.09

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Top The nine Jaguars taking place in this year’s Mille Miglia. Above Almost Bondian: the 1930 Bentley 4½-litre with a Vanden Plas Open Sports four-seat body and a supercharger by Amherst Villiers competing in the 2015 Mille Miglia.

British car makers are taking this year’s Mille Miglia seriously. Jaguar is taking part with a large heritage line-up, and has enlisted, once again, the help of model and motorhead David Gandy, who competes in an XK120 as he did two years ago along with Jodie Kidd, who must equal Gandy both in the modelling and motorhead stakes. Bentley will field an original 1930 4½-litre Blower, in an attempt to complete what it could not do back then: complete the race.
   Jaguar’s fleet consists of nine, including three C-types, three D-types, an XK120, an XK140, and, the most unusual of this group, a Mark VII—although one had won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1956. One of the C-types is NDU 289, which competed in the original Mille Miglia in 1953, driven that time by Mario Tadini and Franco Cortese. Jaguar engineer Mike Cross drives the car in the 2015 event.
   Other C-types are PUG 676, which was raced by Ian Appleyard, Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons’s son-in-law, this time driven by RAC motoring committee chairman Ben Cussons; and KSF 182, formerly raced by Jimmy Stewart and Jackie Stewart between 1953 and 1955, and owned now by Adam Lindemann, driven this time by five-time Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. The D-types are the ex-Ralph Lauren NCV 260, which had competed in the original Mille Miglias, driven by current owner Simon Kidston; RSF 303, the Ecurie Ecosse car that was second in Le Mans in 1957 and competed in the Mille Miglia in 1957 and 1958, driven by Jaguar design director Ian Callum and enthusiast Clive Beecham; 393 RW, the Reims winner for 1956 and the sixth-place-getter at Le Mans that year, setting the lap record, will be driven by Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin.
   One XK120, nicknamed Betsey, will be driven by Jodie Kidd and David Gandy, as noted: she had driven the car in the 2014 trial. The XK140, TAC 743, was once raced by David Hobbs; it will be driven by Elliot Gleave, a.k.a. Example, and his father Michael. The Mark VII will be driven by Charley Boorman.
   Bentley, meanwhile, will field a 1930 British racing green 4½-litre Blower with a Vanden Plas Open Sports four-seat body and a supercharger by Amherst Villiers—not unlike the one driven by James Bond. The Bentley Boys, the Hon Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin and Bentley chairman Woolf Barnato (right, at Le Mans in 1929), were the first British drivers to compete in the Mille Miglia, using the No. 2 Birkin Blower, a 4½-litre supercharged model. However, they were unable to complete the race.
   Bentley is aiming to do what it could not 85 years ago, using an equivalent model and seeing if its director of royal and VIP relations, Richard Charlesworth can complete the race in the 2015 event. It is the Blower’s fifth entry.
   Between May 14 and 17, 2015, racers will depart from Brescia and drive 1,000 miles, including through Roma, and return to Brescia.



Top The XK120 to be driven by Jodie Kidd and David Gandy. Above The famed 393 RW Jaguar D-type, which set the lap record at Le Mans in 1956.

May 8, 2015

Two world premières form part of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Salute, ahead of an international tour

Lucire staff/2.36

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Ross Brown

Top Neil Ieremia’s Passchendaele with RNZB dancer William Fitzgerald. Above Kirby Selchow dances Andrew Simmons’ Dear Horizon.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has revealed more about Salute, its commemoration of World War I, that premières in Wellington on May 22, with a nationwide tour after its stint there. As revealed in Lucire earlier this month, two of the specially commissioned pieces having their world première in Wellington will also be seen abroad, with the Royal Ballet hosting the RNZB in November 2015 at the Royal Opera House. Leeds, Canterbury and Roma are on the list of stops for the tour, Francesco Ventriglia, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s artistic director revealed today.
   The two premières, both commissions by the RNZB, are from choreographers Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons, set to scores by Dwayne Bloomfield and Gareth Farr, respectively. The world-class New Zealand Army Band will also collaborate on Salute, touring to each of the seven centres on the national tour.
   Ieremia’s Passchendaele, with the Bloomfield score, will also feature works by Auckland artist Geoff Tune, inspired by his artist grandfather’s World War I diaries and recent visits to Gallipoli and Passchendaele.
   Ieremia said in a release, ‘The grotesque and brutal nature of war robs humans of humanity—my intention is to do what little I can to remind us of our own. From the haunting journey through the music, to the refined expression in the dancers’ bodies, encapsulating the very human impact of war—this creative process has already left an indelible mark on my spirit. I feel I have grasped a very, very small insight into something that should never be forgotten.’
   Simmons’ Dear Horizon is a new commission and his fifth for the company, and features a specially commissioned score by Farr, written for the New Zealand Army Band and cellist Rolf Gjelsten of the New Zealand String Quartet.
   Simmons said, ‘It is a very special honour to have been asked to create something for the company as part of this commemorative programme. War cannot really be celebrated and fêted, however the human aspect and participation should always be remembered. I wanted to create a work that reflects upon emotions of those affected by conflict.’
   The set and costumes for Dear Horizon have been designed by Tracy Grant Lord, who also designed the RNZB’s Cinderella (2007) and Romeo and Juliet (2004).
   As detailed last month, the Salute programme also features Johan Kobborg’s Salute and Jiří Kylián’s Soldiers’ Mass.
   Salute has been supported by the Lottery Grants Board, New Zealand Defence Force, Qantas, the Göthe-Institut, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, national sponsor Vodafone, and Pub Charity.
   Dates for Salute are May 22–4 in Wellington; May 28–30 in Christchurch; June 3 in Dunedin; June 10 in Hamilton; June 13 in Takapuna; June 17–20 in Auckland; and June 24–5 in Napier.
   Further information can be found on the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s website at rnzb.org.nz.

April 27, 2015

Nepal earthquake advice and list of aid agencies

Lucire staff/11.35

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The horrors of the earthquake in Nepal will be known to most readers by now, with the latest death toll at 3,700 at the time of writing.
   The news has hit home more as one of the juniors on our team, Kayla Newhouse, was in Kathmandu on Saturday. She remains there with water and food at the American Club, and is one of the fortunate ones. We have very sporadic telephone and wifi contact with her, and those with loved ones there are urged to keep cellphone contact to a minimum as battery-charging is hard to come by.
   The barest reports we have directly received is that the area is ‘like a war zone’, and that only 20 per cent of scheduled flights are still going ahead.
   Please consider donating to some of the organizations undertaking relief efforts in Nepal or collecting money for them. Some of the below have been compiled by The New York Times.

Oxfam New Zealand—direct donation page
Oxfam USA—direct donation page
UNICEF
UNICEF New Zealand—direct donation page
UNICEF USA—donation page
United Nations World Food Programme—direct donation page
Save the Children—direct donation page
Médécins sans Frontières—links to donation pages
Doctors Without Borders
World Vision
Red Cross
American Jewish World Service
The Salvation Army USA
International Medical Corps
Handicap International
PayPal
Mercy Corps
Catholic Relief Services
Habitat for Humanity International
Global Giving
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Samaritan’s Purse
CARE
Lutheran World Relief
The Jewish Federations of North America
SOS: Children’s Villages International
MAP International
Our Sansar

   Our latest syndicated news report (in Italian, from Euronews) is below.

   Jost Kobusch filmed the video below (with understandably strong language) from the Everest Base Camp, when an avalanche hit on Saturday. He and his friend ran for their lives as rock and ice came down the mountain.

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