Lana Del Rey ‘super happy’ but jittery after stalker arrested

Singer Lana Del Rey broke down in tears at a concert and acknowledged feeling jitters after police arrested a stalker who allegedly wanted to kidnap her.(AFP)
Updated 07 February 2018

Lana Del Rey ‘super happy’ but jittery after stalker arrested

NEW YORK: Singer Lana Del Rey broke down in tears at a concert and acknowledged feeling jitters after police arrested a stalker who allegedly wanted to kidnap her.
The 32-year-old artist, known for her melancholic baroque pop and tales of ill-fated love, said she was feeling “a little more emotional than I thought” as she opened a concert Monday night in Atlanta.
“I was feeling totally fine and then I just got a little bit nervous right when I got on stage,” Del Rey said as she wiped her cheeks with her hands and paced the stage, the crowd hollering its support.
“I just want to say that I’m super happy to be with you guys and if I’m a little bit feathery, just bear with me.”
She was referring to an incident shortly before her previous concert Friday in Orlando where police said they arrested 43-year-old Michael Hunt after being tipped off to threatening social media posts.
Hunt was arrested a block away from the concert venue with a knife and a ticket to the concert, police said.
He was being held without bond on charges of attempted kidnapping with a weapon and aggravated stalking with a credible threat, court documents showed. He did not immediately enter a plea.
Hunt’s Facebook page, which remained up Tuesday, showed a round-the-clock obsession with Del Rey interspersed with apocalyptic warnings about the world as well as more obscure bugbears, such as outrage over a group of naked bicyclists.
Hunt, who lives some 135 kilometers (85 miles) away in the western Florida city of Riverview, posted Del Rey’s “I Still Love Him” and appeared to portray himself as the song’s subject.
“I love you so much Lana(.) I can’t wait to be back in your arms in a few days,” he posted, declaring that everyone at the concert “will know who I am when I get there.”

Cirque du Soleil in Saudi Arabia: The perfect tribute to a rich culture

Updated 25 September 2018

Cirque du Soleil in Saudi Arabia: The perfect tribute to a rich culture

  • Cirque du Soleil created a spectacular show in Riyadh
  • They paid tribute to Saudi culture and heritage

RIYADH: The circus — a place that is almost synonymous with joy and delight. Since time immemorial, circuses have been places of celebration and glee, and few as much as the premier name in the industry: Cirque du Soleil.

The show has had a devoted fan in me since 2006, when I attended a performance of their production “Quidam” and my definition of the word “circus” was turned upside-down. Their unique approach to art, performance, costumes and music has secured their status as a household name and a benchmark for all other circus shows to be measured against.

On Sunday night, Saudi Arabia’s National Day, the circus brought their incredible acrobatics to Riyadh’s King Fahad Stadium and it turned out to be a night to remember.

Prior to the event, Cirque’s Vice President of Creation Daniel Fortin offered little in the way of spoilers but hinted that we would see something the likes of which we never had before. With the promises of exclusive new acts, music, costumes and stage tricks piquing my excitement, I joined a throng of green-and white-clad spectators flooding the stadium. Performing to a sold-out crowd, the show kicked off at exactly 8.30 p.m. and the magic truly began.

Barely five minutes into the show, something stole over me as I settled into the rhythm of the music, something I saw flickering over the faces of those in the crowd around me: Recognition. We were seeing ourselves, our identity, echoed back at us, but with a twist. We saw ourselves through someone else’s eyes — someone respectful and admiring.

As a Saudi youth today, it has become an unfortunately common occurrence to face negativity from various outsiders, born of ignorance or fear. It has become dreary and repetitive to have to continually defend my people and my culture from those who have no wish to understand us.

But at this show? I saw my country once more through the eyes of an outsider, but this time, it was different. I saw my culture and my heritage lauded, celebrated, delicately fused with that tangible Cirque du Soleil flair. The attention to detail was careful, almost loving, but also daring and outlandish. It was a glorious fusion of classic Saudi aesthetics with the ethereal, bizarre beauty of Cirque du Soleil.

The symbolism was not always obvious, sometimes it was subtle, constrained to the beat of a drum or hidden in a snatch of song. Other times, it was blatant and bold, in the sloping hump of an elegantly clumsy camel costume, or the billowing of the Bedouin Big Top in the gentle breeze. And yet, unmistakeably, I felt the Saudi influences in every note of the performance. It felt like an homage, and yet it did nothing to diminish its own identity. It remained unquestionably a Cirque du Soleil performance, only below the usual circus frippery, there was a ribbon of something else that lay coiled beneath the surface. Something bright, vibrant green. Saudi green.

The spectacle rounded off with an astonishing display of fireworks, so plentiful that for a moment, the sky glowed bright as day. To me, each one felt like a promise fulfilled. A dream achieved. A miracle witnessed. Here, on my own home soil, it was the perfect tribute to a rich and vivid culture.