Prince Charles, Camilla begin Oman tour with sword dance

Britain's Prince Charles dances with a sword with a group of Omani traditional dancers in Muscat, Oman, Saturday. (AP)
Updated 05 November 2016
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Prince Charles, Camilla begin Oman tour with sword dance

MUSCAT, Oman: Britain’s Prince Charles brandished a sword and took part in a traditional dance Saturday on his trip to Oman with his wife Camilla, the first full day of the couple’s three-nation royal tour of the Gulf.
The Prince of Wales landed in the Omani capital of Muscat on Friday night, greeted at the airport by Omani Heritage and Culture Minister Sayyid Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said. Camilla landed earlier in the day.
Saturday morning, the couple visited Oman’s new National Museum, greeted by traditional dancers. Prince Charles gamely waved the sword amid singing and dancing, drawing smiles from those taking part.
He later entered the National Museum, pausing at one point to look at traditional Omani khanjars, curved daggers carried ceremoniously at the waist by Omanis and those in neighboring Yemen. Other dancers twirled shining rifles.
The royal couple attended a service at Bait Al-Noor Church afterward.
The pair are taking part in a series of cultural events while in Oman and are scheduled to see Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has ruled the country on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula since 1970. Prince Charles and Camilla will travel to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as well on their weeklong trip.


Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

A still from the film.
Updated 19 July 2018
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Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

DENVER: Like a gallery wall-sized enlargement of a microscopic image, “Scenes from a Marriage” is all about size, space and perspective.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman — whose birth centenary was marked this week — at 281 minutes long, its unwieldly length presents an intimidating canvas, yet the claustrophobic intimacy of its gaze is unprecedented: The two leads are alone in nearly every scene, many of which play out for more than a half-hour at a time.
Premiered in 1973, the work is technically a TV mini-series, but such is its legend that theaters continue to program its nearly five-hour arc in its entirety. A three-hour cinematic edit was prepared for US theater consumption a year later (it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was ruled ineligible for the corresponding Oscar).
Not a lot a happens but, then again, everything does. Shot over four months on a shoestring budget, its six chapters punctuate the period of a decade. The audience are voyeurs, dropped amid the precious and pivotal moments which may not make up a life, but come to define it.
We meet the affluent Swedish couple Marianne and Johan — played by regular screen collaborators Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, both of whom clocked at least 10 Bergman credits — gloating about ten years’ happy marriage to a visiting reporter. This opening magazine photoshoot is the only time we see their two children on camera, and inevitably the image projected is as glossy, reflective and disposable as the paper it will be printed on.
The pressures, pains and communication breakdowns which tear this unsuited pair apart are sadly familiar. The series was blamed for a spike in European divorce rates. It may be difficult to survive the piece liking either lead, but impossible not to emerge sharing deep pathos with them both. Sadly, much of the script is said to be drawn from Bergman’s real-life off-screen relationship with Ullmann.
It’s a hideously humane, surgical close-up likely to leave even the happiest couple groping into the ether on their way out of the cinema.