Swing time: Thais go dancing in the streets

This photo taken on February 25, 2018 shows people swing dancing in front of Phra Pathom Chedi temple in the central Thai province of Nakhon Pathom. (AFP)
Updated 27 February 2018
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Swing time: Thais go dancing in the streets

Nakhon Pathom, Thailand: Dressed in top hats, vintage outfits and shiny shoes, hundreds of Thais grooved to swing music in a town more famous for its ancient Buddhist stupa.
More than 300 enthusiasts, including foreign dancers, came out for the shindig on a street in Nakhon Pathom, about an hour from Bangkok.
Thailand’s swing dance community has grown in recent years and Sunday’s street party was organized by a group called “Bangkok Swing,” founded in 2011.
They have held three such parties in Nakhon Pathom and hope to make it an annual event.
The group’s co-founder Chayapong Naviroj, 29, said he discovered swing dancing while attending university in the US.
“I wanted to dance and it’s a happy dance with swing music,” he said.
“Humans like to dance. Humans like to touch. Humans like music. It can go on forever.”
Nakhom Pathom is home to Phra Pathom Chedi, one of Thailand’s most revered Buddhist structures, which loomed in the distance as the dancers stomped to music by bands The Shirt Tail Stompers from the UK and the US-based Casey Macgill & Friends.
“It’s just meeting people, beautiful people.... Having really beautiful music and it’s just great fun actually,” said Kris Asvanon, a 61-year-old creative consultant based in Bangkok.
Nan Kitnichee, a 33-year-old art director also from Bangkok, said she enjoyed the event’s throwback theme.
“We dress up just to pay respect to the culture and how people in the old days dressed up very nicely and went social dancing,” she said.


Avengers assemble for final battle in ‘Endgame’

Updated 24 April 2019
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Avengers assemble for final battle in ‘Endgame’

  • “Avengers: Endgame” is the final installment of a wildly ambitious 22-film arc featuring the beloved superheroes of the Marvel universe
  • Pundits are predicting a debut weekend that could break records with the first billion-dollar opening in history

LOS ANGELES: After nearly two dozen films and billions of dollars in ticket sales around the globe, the Avengers are gearing up for a final time — and their last adventure could shatter all box office records.
“Avengers: Endgame” is the final installment of a wildly ambitious 22-film arc featuring the beloved superheroes of the Marvel universe, many of them the creations of late comic book legend Stan Lee.
It hits theaters this week — parts of Asia and Europe get the first view of the three-hour epic on Wednesday, and it gets its wide release in the US and Canada on Friday. Pundits are predicting a debut weekend that could break records with the first billion-dollar opening in history.
That would easily beat out the previous record holder, “Avengers: Infinity War,” the first part of the “Infinity Saga” — as it was dubbed by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who has produced every single movie in the franchise — which opened in 2018 with $640.5 million.
After Monday’s star-studded world premiere in Hollywood, the six original Avengers celebrated the end of the road Tuesday at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) assembled for a final time with Feige at the TCL Chinese Theatre, where they signed blocks of cement and marked them with handprints.
“It’s been an amazing ride,” Ruffalo — who attempted a handstand while waiting for the cement to set — said of the 10-year project.
The 21 preceding films have earned about $19 billion globally, and though “Endgame” marks the end of the current narrative arc, Marvel Studios is far from through.

Even as they mark the end of what Johansson called a “wonderful” experience, Marvel Studios has already announced several new projects: in addition to sequels for “Spider-Man,” “Black Panther” and “Doctor Strange,” there will also be “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “The Eternals” and “Black Widow,” the second Marvel universe film to give a female character solo top billing.
“The fun thing about an ending is that you eventually get to do a new beginning,” Feige told AFP.
“So yes, there will be a new beginning, but right now, it’s about this combination of 22 movies. That’s what we’re most excited for.”
In preparation for the marvelous cinematic conclusion, “Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo took to Twitter to post a letter to “the greatest fans in the world.”
“This is it,” they wrote. “This is the end. The end of an unprecedented narrative mosaic spanning eleven years and eleven franchises.”
They acknowledged the massive impact that the Avengers series has had on its fans, saying it was for “all of you who have been on this journey with us since the very beginning.”
Fans have been on the edge of their seats for the conclusion, and the cast has been notoriously tight-lipped during the press tour for fear of potential spoilers.
But someone couldn’t wait: on Sunday, five minutes of “Endgame” footage containing crucial plot points from the finale were anonymously posted online, prompting the Russo brothers’ letter.
The brothers concluded their message with an appeal: not to spoil the end of the movie.
“Remember,” the Russo brothers said, “Thanos still demands your silence. #DontSpoilTheEndgame.”