The spectacle of Ghungroo

first_imgBackstage at the Agassiz Theatre’s Horner Room, costumed performers gathered for last-minute rehearsals. One group of dancers sang their own soundtrack, as another followed a faint beat from laptop speakers. A performer whipped out a neon vest, and his squad, clad in gold spandex, followed him into the room. In one corner, a flutist practiced; in another, a host’s turquoise dress was wrapped slowly around her. Two masters of ceremonies practiced their routine. “It’s three hours of overly done clichés about South Asia,” one quipped. “Well, when you put it that way, this is a Bollywood movie,” shouted the other.The scenes on Thursday were from the opening night of Ghungroo, a celebration of South Asian dance, music, and heritage — and the largest student-run production on campus.For audience members, Ghungroo means flashing colors and a soundtrack that integrates the stylings of Bhangra with Rihanna. But with 400 undergraduates involved, the performances, which ran through Saturday, also are a tremendous feat of coordination. Ghungroo is the only show on campus too big for the building in which it is held — only 110 performers fit in the Horner Room — so a flurry of coordinators with microphones must shepherd groups from holding area to holding area as they prepare to take the stage.Across the street in the basement of the First Church in Cambridge, performers in later acts arrived, changed, and warmed up. There, Vinay Iyengar ’18 had set up a live feed from the theater to coordinate when the next mass of dancers should be shepherded across Mason Street to Agassiz. “It’s sort of like a conveyer belt from here to the two rooms inside the Ag,” he said, both harried and exhilarated by the buzzing microphone and the green-gold costumes flying by.The coordination begins long before opening night. The South Asian Association books the theater, paints the set, recruits choreographers, assembles programs, auditions and orders the acts. This year, with 300 applications, the association selected 150 dancers to appear in everything from “Dandiya Raas,” a folk dance from Gujarat, India, to “Fusion,” which the program bills as “Chicken Tikka Masala — not quite purely found in South Asia, but a sumptuous meal that leaves you ready for more.”If there’s one thing in the cultural mix that defines Ghungroo, it’s the senior dance. A rite of passage for some, a bucket-list item for most, the number lasts for 25 minutes. It includes nine sections and 140 participants, many of whom have never danced before in college productions, and even more of whom have never studied the South Asian-inspired stylings featured in Ghungroo. The only qualifications are zeal and proficiency with online sign-ups.“We’re not technique-oriented,” explained Radhika Rastogi ’15, the dance director. “We’re not out to impress the audience. It’s always more about energy and enthusiasm.” Her main concern ― moving dancers on- and offstage without anyone falling from the platform — did nothing to displace her joyous grin. Indeed, it was hard to spot a single case of backstage nerves in any of the holding areas. Ghungroo, a choreographer said, is a performance for performers, not the audience, and the euphoria of that shows.Audience members are not left behind, though, particularly when it comes to seniors. Opening night is also “senior night,” and a section of Agassiz was reserved for the Class of 2015. It was wasted effort, though. Seating and tickets became increasingly flexible as the night progressed. At first, a few performers lurked behind the balcony seats to watch their friends. By the end of the night, a constant stream of seniors and dancers surged in and out to catch their roommates and friends in action. A venue manager recounted how last year she had barred 12 seniors sneaking in, only to catch them trying to sprint up the stairs when she looked away. She gave up when they slipped in a third time.Back in the Horner Room, the energy of the senior dance was picking up, the conveyer belt running full-throttle. Sets of jingling dancers returned from the stage, squealing delightedly, just as new groups arrived from the church. Underclassmen had to depart at this point; there simply was not enough room for everyone. Someone peeked in to blow his friend a kiss. A student in athletic shorts followed; after a workout, he’d arrived two hours late to catch the last 15 minutes of the show. “This is what I came here for,” someone said. “This is the most important part of my night.”Two leaders stood on a riser with signs hushing the backstage performers and announcing the next section to go on, but their written words carried little conviction. Venue managers had joined the whooping seniors in the balcony, and the strict coordination deteriorated as the night came to a close. After three hours of manning the conveyer belt, the directors were ready for flashing colors and Bhangra-Rihanna. They need not have worried; no one seemed to be falling off the stage.Colton Valentine ’16 is a literature concentrator.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s faculty showcase personal art

first_imgMonica Villagomez Mendez Last night’s opening reception for the Saint Mary’s faculty art exhibition proved art is at the heart of the College’s mission to engage the community in distinct learning experiences. The exhibition showcased photographs, sculptures, textiles and ceramics by Saint Mary’s faculty.Gallery director and assistant art professor Ian Weaver said he hopes viewers appreciate the various research pursuits incorporated in this showcase, which will remain open for six weeks in Moreau Galleries.“Even though we teach in a particular area, we have divergent and multivalent interests which make their way into our work,” Weaver said. “This is an important example for students to see: how diverse an artistic life can be.”The exhibition features a range of content, from a series of photographs documenting a character’s struggle with anxiety to textile pieces depicting how the environment transforms over time to sculptures linking all humans back to a common foundation. Weaver said students should take advantage of this opportunity to view their professor’ work.“I believe it is important that the students have real-world examples of artists who make work,” Weaver said. “It is also important for them to see that the concepts we speak about in class aren’t just abstract, but are realized in the objects and images that faculty produces.”Sophomore Mia Kincaid said attending the reception showed her the importance of supporting an artist’s journey from beginning to end.“I’ve seen so many professors’ work in progress, so to see it now as part of a total piece is even more impressive,” Kincaid said. “The finished product is really cool. Seeing this is almost like seeing a lot of problems that have been solved in some creative way.”Kincaid said she understands the courage it takes to display one’s work, due to the fact that her art major requires her to submit a portfolio review each semester.“That’s kind of a harrowing experience because you’re putting yourself out there,” Kincaid said. “Seeing your professors do the same is knowing that they are being as conscious as you are in your art. It’s like they had the same sort of feelings as you do.”According to Kincaid, even those who do not intend to major in art should visit the exhibition, for they can gain a better appreciation for different forms of artistic expression.“Creative thinking is needed for any kind of major,” Kincaid said. “I think art in general is a big part of the community here.”Junior Amy Harmon said she enjoyed watching her professors be the center of attention for once, since they normally focus on helping the class.“It’s kind of like seeing masters in action because they spend all their time improving their students, but we don’t usually get to see them just working for themselves,” Harmon said. “It’s cool to see stuff that they’re proud of. It’s good to see them in action.”Junior Brigid Feasel said she recognizes art as a valuable form of self-expression, so she especially appreciates that this exhibition grants her the chance to see work from professionals.“It’s one thing to hear them tell us about art, but it’s another to actually be shown what their ideas are,” Feasel said. “There are so many different ways to express yourself. Art is interdisciplinary.”Students should embrace art’s ability to transform them as they encounter it in daily tasks, such as visiting this exhibition, according to Weaver.“In art, we have emotion, intellect, fear, awe, humor and many other forms of expression,” Weaver said. “In our contemporary world, where reflection and space and consideration of what is communicated isn’t always a priority for some, art is even more important. That is something we don’t ever want to lose.”Tags: faculty art exhibition, Moreau Gallerieslast_img read more

Michael Esper on Starring with Sting in The Last Ship & More

first_img View Comments Over the last six years, you’ve starred in four Broadway shows. That’s a great track record! Holy sh*t, I had no idea! That’s really cool. It always feels like such a long shot. Putting together a musical is just so tough, so it’s not something that I ever count on happening. You just try to pick material that you love with people you admire and hope for the best. I feel like I really lucked out. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2015 Have you ever traveled any cool places by boat? When I was growing up, there was a period of time when my dad was obsessed with the idea of becoming a sailor and retiring to a sailboat, so we took this incredible trip through the Greek Islands for six weeks on a 40-foot sailboat. The memories I have from that experience are some of the best that I have. But I grew up in Jersey, which is very far from Wallsend. [Laughs.] See Michael Esper in The Last Ship at the Neil Simon Theatre. Did you watch the American Idiot documentary, Broadway Idiot? Was your experience in the musical accurately portrayed? I haven’t seen it. I’ve been scared to see it, honestly. Emotionally, I feel like I’d just be a mess. Knowing Doug [Hamilton, director], I just know he did a beautiful job. He’s so extraordinary and he was with us the entire time. I can’t imagine it’s anything less than wonderful. You’ve got a ton of rock star friends these days! Green Day, Sting… It’s surreal, but they also just happen to be not just these rock stars, but they’re just wonderful people. Sting’s a very sensitive and loving person, and Billie Joe and [his wife] Adrienne and the Green Day guys are also incredible and were so beautiful to us throughout that whole process. I’ll be indebted to them forever. Gideon is part lover, part fighter. Which one are you? Oh, God. There’s a constant pendulum swing between those two things. Trying to find the balance between those things is a lifelong struggle. And it’s been an interesting struggle in terms of finding the balance between Gideon’s love and his need and his vulnerability and his anger. The fighter in him is an interesting thing to play with—I studied boxing for six months downtown. What about The Last Ship initially grabbed you? There’s something visceral that happens when I first encounter material. It isn’t much about intellectual judgment. I’ll be reading a piece and somewhere along the line something catches. That’s always a good sign, and I definitely felt that. Even though the world is very different from mine, there’s something about The Last Ship that instantly cut me to the quick. Related Shows Sting is stepping into the show on December 9—how thrilling is that? I’m really excited he’s joining us, I think he’s gonna be amazing. He’s unbelievable! The whole show is born out of his heart and his voice and to hear him inhabit those songs and those scenes will be thrilling for all of us. It’ll be an honor to be onstage with him. I’m going to miss Jimmy [Nail, who will take a hiatus from the production] terribly, but he’ll be back. Grab Michael Esper’s cell phone and you’ll find several Grammy-winning rock stars in his contacts list. After playing Will in the hit Green Day musical American Idiot, he sailed back to Broadway in The Last Ship this fall, written and conceived by Sting, who will step into the production beginning December 9. In The Last Ship, Esper plays Gideon, a troubled man who returns home to a northeast England shipbuilding town for the first time in 15 years. When he’s not on the Ship, Esper also has a regular gig playing Gabe, Jackie’s (Edie Falco) drug dealer on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Broadway.com chatted with Esper about getting to share the stage with Sting, his newfound love of boxing and the time he went on a six-week boating adventure. Your parents, William and Suzanne Esper, are renowned acting coaches. Is it intimidating when they come see you perform? When I was younger, I was always nervous when they came. Not because of anything they did, but because I wanted their approval so badly. I wanted them to think I was good, and I was so worried that they wouldn’t. But they have been so supportive and loving and encouraging over the years that I’m always excited when they’re there now. Have you ever seen that show? I haven’t, but I want to! I think it’s some kind of post-apocalyptic boat thing, right? I definitely want to check it out, it sounds like it’s up my alley. I’ll watch it eventually, but maybe one Last Ship at a time. Just for the role? Yeah, I thought it would be good. Not that there’s any real fighting in the show besides a bar fight, but I just thought it would be good to get it into my body and it turned out I really loved it. At first it’s awkward, you don’t really know what you’re doing, but it’s not rocket science in terms of getting started. Hit the f*cking pads, hit the bags. It’s thrilling. There’s also a TV show on TNT called The Last Ship—does anyone ever get them confused and think you’re starring in that, instead of the musical? [Laughs.] Yeah, there was one incident online, I think it was Variety or The Hollywood Reporter had an article about how the TV show had gotten picked up for another season, and they accidentally put a picture of me in a graveyard next to the headline. That made me laugh very, very much. Star Files What’s your favorite interaction you’ve had with Sting so far? It never really gets old! [Laughs.] The thing I’ll remember the most is the first workshop I did, it was the first day and we were singing material I didn’t know at all, and he said, “Here, do you want me to sing it with you?” So he just sat down right next to me and sang me through the song. There was something so paternal about it and gentle and encouraging, and it was a very moving moment for me. The Last Ship Are you squeamish in general about watching your work? Can you sit down and watch Nurse Jackie? I don’t typically enjoy watching myself, no. I feel like it brings out the worst in me. I’m at my most petty and superficial and critical and self-conscious when I’m watching myself work. I don’t need that stuff in my head. Michael Esperlast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Watch Ariana Grande & JRB Team Up on Tonight & More

first_img Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Watch Ariana Grande & JRB Team Up on TonightAriana Grande, who appeared on Broadway back in 2008 in Jason Robert Brown’s 13, has never forgotten her Main Stem roots, and she once again joined forces with the composer on September 19. Check out below as they perform “Jason’s Song (Gave It Away)” together for the Tonight Show audience. We can’t wait to see Grande take on the role of Penny Pingleton for the December 7 broadcast of NBC’s Hairspray Live!. White Rabbit Red Rabbit Alex Brightman & More Set for RabbitSchool of Rock’s Alex Brightman and more have signed on for the buzzy White Rabbit Red Rabbit off-Broadway. Tony nominee Brightman will headline the production on November 14, with Mozhan Marnó (Blacklist) signed on for October 17, Joe Pantoliano (Sopranos) on October 24 and Nancy Travis (Three Men and a Baby) on November 21. The New York premiere of Nassim Soleimanpour’s solo show, which involves a different actor every performance seeing the script for the first time just before they go on stage, is playing Monday nights at the Westside Theatre.Cherry Jones Tapped for American CrimeCherry Jones has boarded the third season of ABC’s American Crime. According to Variety, the Tony and Emmy winner will have a recurring role as the matriarch of a big family agricultural operation. Set in North Carolina, production began earlier this week on the upcoming episode series, which is slated to bow next year.Actors Fund to Honor Dame Marin MazzieThe Phyllis Newman Womens Health Initiative of The Actors Fund will honor Marin Mazzie this fall during the 20th anniversary of Nothing Like a Dame. Newman will produce the annual event, directed by Bebe Neuwirth and featuring an all-star cast. Mazzie will receive the first Phyllis Newman Dame Award for her bravery and generosity as she publically shared her battle with ovarian cancer. The one-night only event is scheduled for October 24 at Broadway’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Tickets will be on sale soon through the Actors Fund.Ana Gasteyer Set for Café CarlyleBroadway alum Ana Gasteyer (Wicked, Grease: Live) will make her Café Carlyle debut from October 25 through November 5. She is set to perform a saucy selection of covers and reimagined classics from her critically acclaimed jazz album, I’m Hip. Buy tickets to see her at the Big Apple hotspot here. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 19, 2016 Ariana Grande Related Showslast_img read more

France’s Neoen to build big battery storage unit in Finland, will enable greater wind generation

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:French renewable energy company Neoen, one of the world’s fastest-growing independent producers of renewable energy and the owner of the Tesla big battery in South Australia, is to build a 30MW/30MWh battery storage project in Finland, the largest such project in Scandinavia.Neoen says the Yllikkälä Power Reserve One storage facility, located close to Lappeenranta in the south-east of the country, will play an important role in stabilising Finland’s national electricity system – managed by Fingrid – and allow for more wind generation.“Neoen aims to establish itself as a leading force in frequency regulation in Finland,” it said in a statement, echoing its success in the FCAS markets in Australia with the Tesla big battery, officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve.“Aside from greater reliability and lower electricity grid stabilization costs, the plant will facilitate the integration of future renewable energies projects …. And make it possible to harness Finland’s substantial wind resources and speed up progress towards a target of being carbon neutral by 2035.”Hornsdale remains the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery installation, at 100MW/129MWh, and will soon grow to 150MW/194MWh, and in April completed the network connection which will allow it to offer new services to the grid such as inertia.“We strongly believe in the potential for renewable energies in Finland and continue looking at development opportunities,” said Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s Chairman and CEO. “We have demonstrated the effectiveness of our battery-based grid-balancing solutions with the success we have achieved in Australia, El Salvador, and France over the past few years.[Joshua S Hill]More: Neoen to build first big battery in Finland, to allow for growing wind share France’s Neoen to build big battery storage unit in Finland, will enable greater wind generationlast_img read more

11 Long Island Food Festivals in 2016

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Luis CentenoBetween the East End farms, local fisheries and many creative cooks on Long Island, there are plenty more local food-filled fairs that guarantee upcoming weekends of fun, games and deliciousness.Some of the most popular local food fairs of the year haven’t been scheduled yet, including the Greenlawn Pickle Festival, several apple festivals and the annual pumpkin festival. The annual chowder contest at Oakdale’s The Snapper Inn returns in February.Mark the calendar: here’s 11 classic LI food fests for each month through October.Mattituck Lions Club’s 62nd Annual Strawberry FestivalOn the menu for this year’s Mattituck Lions Club’s Strawberry Festival are heavenly strawberries dipped in chocolate, strawberry shortcakes and many other concoctions that involve the freshest strawberries on Long Island. This family event will include live music, fireworks and food from around the world. 1175 Route 48, Mattituck. mattituckstrawberryfestival.org $5, children under 5 free. 5-11 p.m. June 16 and 17. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. June 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 19.Long Island Hot Dog FestivalCalling all weiner fans! Amateur cooks, professionals and those who simply love hot dogs will love this event, which includes a hot dog eating contest, best gourmet dog contest, worst and best tattoos, pin up contest and live music. Bring the family and come with an empty belly, because all those hot dogs aren’t going to eat themselves! Mike’s Bar and Grill, 742 Middle County Road, Selden. thelongislandhotdogfestival.com Admission is FREE. 12 p.m. July 9. MORE: It’s farmers’ market season! Find out if there’s one near you Tomatofest 2016Tomatofest hits is back! With 20 types of tomatoes to choose from, tomato-lovers can expect to be tasting and eating all kinds of new dishes. And for those bringing kids, there will be plenty of games and bouncy houses. From tomato tasting, to games, live music, and even pony rides. This family event is all about eating and having fun at the same time. Garden of Eve, 4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead. gardenofevefarm.com $3 per person, kids under 6 free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. August 27, 28.Watermelon FestivalWatermelon eating contest. Seed Spitting Contest. Watermelon rolling contest. These types of activities are what highlight this event. Fun family festivities. The Annual Watermelon Festival will be happening towards the end of this hot summer, so come cool off with a big slice of fresh watermelon. Harbes Family Farm, 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck. harbesfamilyfarm.com Free. August 27, 28.25th Annual Seafood FestivalThis family event is bound to make a splash with various activities other than just eating seafood. Kids are welcomed to participate in a pirate re-enactment show as well as a treasure hunt. Parents can also take part in the arts and crafts fair. There will also be live music from a variety of bands, such as Almost Queen and The Como Brothers Band. Long Island Maritime Museum, 88 West Ave., West Sayville. liseafoodfestival.org $10, kids under 12 free. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. August 27, 28.Garlic FestivalTasty. Healthy. Garlic. This event has a variety of activities: garlic eating contests, junior chefs creating an original sauce, learning new cooking techniques, live music and tours of the farm. Bring your kids, bring your parents and come enjoy this garlic-centered gathering. Garden of Eve, 4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead. gardenofevefarm.com $5 adults, kids under 6 free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. September 19 and 20.33rd Annual Oyster FestivalThere’s a reason this is one of the biggest annual events on LI. With dozens of volunteering chefs and culinary pros cooking side by side with unique seafood recipes involving oysters and clams, it’s guaranteed the food is going to be delicious. Profits from all food court sales, carnival rides and merchandise sales will proceed to local charities. So come enjoy the food, have a good time with the family and help support the community. 1 West End Ave., Oyster Bay. theoysterfestival.org Free. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. October 15, 16.,Alure cube,Alure cube MORE: Outdoor movies are not a thing of the past. Here’s a complete list of movies you can enjoy outdoors Sweet Corn FestivalBeside strawberries is there anything sweeter than Long Island corn? Celebrate this crop at Harbes Annual Sweet Corn Festival, where there will be a corn-eating contest, pig races, pony rides, relay races and all kinds of corn recipes along with country music all day long. This event will also be offering tastings of their award winning wines. Harbes Family Farm, 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck. harbesfamilyfarm.com July 23 and 24. SUMAQ Peruvian Food FestivalGet ready to enjoy the best ceviche of your life, along with lomo saltado and aji de gallina. With Chef Ezequiel Valencia of Panca Restaurant in NYC leading the way, these plates are sure to bring the original spices and flavors straight from Peru. This chef worked for the Peruvian Embassy, where he cooked for Presidents and Ministers. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. sumaqpff.com $15-$20 adults; $7-$10 kids from 2-12. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. August 13, 14.Harbes Tomato FestivalYou say tomato, I say tomato. Come celebrate the Annual Tomato Festival and try special samplings of the different recipes created over the years. Take part in potato sack races, tomato relay races, and tug of war contests. It’s a perfect day for the whole family, with lots of food and fun games to play. Harbes Family Farm, 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck. harbesfamilyfarm.com Free. August 13,14.Great Food Truck DerbyCome hungry, because all kinds of food will be available at this event, from all ethnicities. Best part is, after paying the entrance, patrons get to try them all. Favorites like Eat Me, Drink Me, Kannoli Kings, Blondies Bakeshop and Whole Le Crepe are just some of the many options this event will offer. This event will also benefit the Hayground schoolyard projects in the region, including culinary arts training for kids. A family event with everyone’s favorite food trucks; count us in. 151 Mitchell Lane, Bridgehampton. edibleeastend.com $20-$100 4-7 p.m. August 19.last_img read more

Impatience is a virtue

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Japan says Olympics on track as Abe, Trump hold talks on coronavirus

first_imgThe IOC stands for the International Olympic Committee.There were 1,334 confirmed infections in Japan, including 696 from a cruise ship that was docked in the port city of Yokohama for several weeks, according to public broadcaster NHK. The virus killed 22 in the country, including 7 from the ship, the tally showed.Japan has sought to quash speculation that the Games, which have cost it at least $12 billion in preparations and attracted more than $3 billion in domestic sponsorships, could be cancelled or postponed as the number of people infected has reached 127,000 worldwide.The outbreak has already crippled global travel and hit Olympic qualifiers and other sports events. Japan has shuttered schools. Public health officials have discouraged large gatherings to curtail the spread of the highly contagious disease, and major soccer tournaments, National Basketball Association games and other sports have been halted.The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said it was monitoring the pandemic with the IOC, receiving advice from the World Health Organization, and coordinating with the government and the Tokyo authorities.Japan’s government and the central bank shared a “strong sense of concern” over the economic fallout from the coronavirus, economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said, suggesting major fiscal and monetary stimulus measures could be in the works.One of the more than two dozen members of the board of the organizing committee, Haruyuki Takahashi, told Reuters this week that if the Games could not be held in the summer, it would be most feasible to delay them by a year or two. He told other media the decision should be made before May.Takahashi also told Reuters organisers had started working on scenarios for how the virus could affect the Games. A sponsor representative said the plans were confidential and were not being shared with the companies.Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori vehemently denied the Games would be cancelled, but added at news conference in the wake of Takahashi’s comments, “I am not saying there won’t be any impact. I think there will be. On that, specialists in each field are looking into what to do.”On Thursday, the prelude to the games got underway with the lighting of the Olympic Torch in a scaled-down ceremony behind closed doors.  Topics : Top Japanese government officials said Friday they were determined to hold “safe and secure” Olympics on schedule, a day after US President Donald Trump said Tokyo should consider delaying them for a year because of the pandemic.Japan’s Nikkei stock market benchmark tanked 10% as panic gripped financial markets, and the economy minister said the government “must take bold and unprecedented steps” to lessen the blow to households and companies from the health crisis.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump talked by phone for about 50 minutes Friday morning and agreed to “strengthen cooperation” on fighting the novel coronavirus, but did not discuss postponing the Olympics or holding them without spectators, Japanese officials said.center_img Trump said in a tweet on Friday that he told Abe “that the just completed Olympic venue is magnificent. He has done an incredible job, one that will make him very proud. Good things will happen for Japan and their great Prime Minister. Lots of options!”On Thursday, Trump told reporters in the White House that he “just can’t see having no people there,” referring to the Tokyo Games.”Maybe they postpone it for a year… if that’s possible,” he said. Trump added that he liked “that better than I like having empty stadiums all over the place. I think if you cancel it, make it a year later that’s a better alternative than doing it with no crowd.”In response, Japan Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto told reporters, “the IOC and 2020 organizers are not at all considering cancelling or postponing the Games. I’ve heard they are proceeding with preparations for safe and secure Games as planned toward the opening day of July 24.”last_img read more

Coronavirus sees UK dividends take record beating in Q2

first_imgSixty-one companies increased their payouts. In total Q2 dividends fell to £16.1bn (€17.5bn), almost £22bn less than the second quarter of 2019 on a headline basis.Excluding special dividends, which were exceptionally high this time last year, the decline is from £32.1bn to £16bn.According to Link this was the lowest second-quarter total since 2010, and the decline by far the biggest ever recorded.“The second quarter was truly a record breaker,” said Susan Ring, chief executive officer, corporate markets at Link Group. “Not by a whisker, nor by a nose, but by a mile. The whole of 2020 will, without doubt, see the biggest hit to dividends in generations.”Margot von Aesch, partner and lead on income research at research and execution firm Redburn, said Link Group’s analysis “illustrates clearly that the shareholder return destruction caused by the pandemic has been of historic proportions, leaving only a handful of companies untouched”.Of the £16.4bn of cuts in underlying dividends in the second quarter, half of the impact came from the financial sector after the Bank of England instructed banks to cancel all shareholder payouts for 2020 and leaned heavily on insurance companies to follow suit, with most bowing to the pressure.Link Group’s best-case scenario for 2020 is for dividends to fall 39% to £60.5bn on an underlying basis, down from £98.5bn. Its worst case scenario sees a fall of 43% to £56.3bn on an underlying basis.Commentators have observed that companies cutting dividends did so to protect balance sheets, with Ben Lofthouse, fund manager of Henderson International Income Trust, saying that the decline in dividends looked set to be similar to or worse than the decline in profits.“Notably, UK profits lagged behind the rest of the world, given the heavy weighting of oil companies on the UK market,” he said. “Naturally nobody wants to see their dividends get cut, but if it’s in the interests of protecting a company in such unusual times then it’s the right thing to do, allowing them to emerge stronger.”The UK pensions regulator reacted to the COVID-19-triggered economic shutdown by telling trustees that any reduction or suspension of deficit repair contributions would need to be accompanied by suspension of dividends and other forms of shareholder return.Last month it said around 10% of defined benefit schemes had sought to defer deficit contributions, with discussions ongoing for others.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. The coronavirus pandemic triggered unprecedented cuts in dividends from UK companies in the second quarter of this year, with payouts down 57.2%, and 50.2% if special dividends are excluded.Thirty companies cut dividends and 176 cancelled their dividends completely, together making up three quarters of all the UK companies that usually pay in the second quarter, according to new research from financial administrators Link Group.Included in that batch was Royal Dutch Shell, which cut its dividend by two-thirds, the first reduction it had made since the Second World War.In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the worst quarter – Q1 2009 – saw two-fifths of companies cut their dividends, and one-fifth cancelling them altogether, said Link Group.last_img read more

New Farm home’s architectural renovations take a modest Queenslander to the next level

first_imgThe vendor spends most of the year outside, by the pool.“Some of my best memories are times spent round the pool in summer,” Mr Dean said. “You can spend nine months of the year enjoying the indoor-outdoor lifestyle.” One of the home’s mutiple living rooms, ideal for big families.Mr Dean’s “larger family” comprises four children, with the youngest just 10 months old, and he said the house was now the perfect size and layout to accommodate everyone.“The house works well for a larger family, whether the children are younger or older.” More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019It has five bedrooms plus a nursery, with an emphasis on outdoor living that includes an outdoor kitchen. The home at 255 Moray St, New Farm, is for sale.WHEN Phoebe and Joseph Dean bought their New Farm property just a little over a year ago, they could see it was a house with the potential to be a city oasis for their growing family. The kitchen at 255 Moray St, New Farm.They engaged the services of architect Shane Marsh and set about tailoring the property to suit their needs.“It was a Queenslander that had previously been renovated in 2009,” Mr Dean explained. “It was in need of a little repurposing and reconfiguring to suit the larger family.” There is an outdoor kitchen overlooking to pool.The three-level home has most of its living spaces spread across the middle level, with an open-plan living, kitchen and dining room opening out to the back deck and the property is on a 524sq m block.center_img Indoors flows seamlessly to outdoor living.Protected by mature trees, and with no overlooking neighbours, Mr Dean said the property had a private feel that retains the charm of a Queenslander yet features all best of contemporary living. The master bedroom at 255 Moray St, New Farm.“We were very pleased with what Shane came up with,” he said.After completing such a fulfilling project, the family is set to embark on the building process all over again, having purchased another large block in New Farm. This is the walk-in robe of our dreams.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 10:02Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -10:02 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p270p270p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenJune, 2018: Liz Tilley talks prestige property10:02last_img read more