Miss Tunisia Sabrine Mansour dances into the top 40 at Miss World 2019

Sabrine Mansour was crowned Miss World Tunisia 2019 in February. Instagram
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Updated 15 December 2019

Miss Tunisia Sabrine Mansour dances into the top 40 at Miss World 2019

  • The 69th edition of the Miss World pageant unfolded on Dec. 14 at the ExCeLConvention Centre in London
  • The only beauty queen to represent the Arab world at the world’s oldest-running international beauty pageant was Sabrine Mansour

DUBAI: The 69th edition of the Miss World pageant unfolded on Dec. 14 at the ExCeLConvention Centre in London, with Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh beating out 110 hopeful contestants to take home the coveted crown during the televised event.

Miss France Ophely Mezino was first runner-up while Miss India Suman Rao was second runner-up. The 23-year-old Singh was crowned by last year’s winner, Vanessa Ponce de Leon of Mexico.

Elis Miele Coehlo of Brazil and Nigeria’s Nyekachi Douglas rounded out the top 5.

The only beauty queen to represent the Arab world at the world’s oldest-running international beauty pageant was Sabrine Mansour, a 24-year-old dental student who hails from the Tunisian coastal city of Mahdia. 

Mansour, who was crowned Miss World Tunisia during a grand coronation ceremony held at Tunis’s municipal theatre in February, was part of the top 40 quarter-finalists, securing her spot after placing in the top 10 of the Beauty With a Purpose portion of the competition. 

Formerly known as Miss World Scholarship, Beauty with a Purpose is an event that awards the contestant with the most impactful charity project in her respective nation. 

For her part, the aspiring dentist has set up a number of health camps in rural areas of Tunisia for those who cannot afford to get oral check ups. Additionally, she works towards raising awareness on several illnesses including diabetes and breast cancer. 

The Miss World hopefuls, who hail from 111 countries, spent a month in London competing in events like Sport, Talent and Beauty with a Purpose to secure their spot in the televised finale.

For the talent portion of the competition, the trained flamenco and salsa dancer performed an energetic dance while wearing traditional Tunisian garb complete with the distinct red, felt “chechia.” 

Since the pageant’s inception in 1951, there has only ever been one beauty queen of Arabic descent to take home the prestigious crown. In 1954, Antigone Costanda was the first Miss Egypt candidate to win the title of Miss World. 

Meanwhile, Singh’s victory marks Jamaica’s fourth time claiming the title, and the first since 1993. 

Notably, for the first time ever, four of the major beauty pageants — Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss USA and Miss America — were won by black women.


‘Hamilton’ makes a successful transition to the big screen

Updated 55 min 6 sec ago

‘Hamilton’ makes a successful transition to the big screen

CHENNAI: Cinema sometimes looks to go back to its roots. Some years ago, European auteurs like Lars Von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg and others introduced “Dogme 95” as a new form of moviemaking, which meant using no props, no artificial lighting and no makeup. It did not last long. However, Thomas Kail’s “Hamilton” — released to coincide with the Fourth of July and streaming on Disney Plus — is another experiment that reminded me of the very early days of motion pictures when some directors in India captured a stage play with a static camera and then screened it in remote regions, where it was not feasible to cart the entire cast.

Kail used six cameras to shoot what was originally a theatrical production. Over two nights in 2016, he filmed the play with most of the actors, including Tony Award winners, who were in the stage version. Every attempt has been made to make it look cinematic, with impeccable camerawork and editing. There is a bonus here. The movie enables you to be a front-bencher at Richard Rogers’ stage production. This closeness that allows you to see clearly the expressions of the actors establishes an intimacy between the audience and the cast.

Inspired by Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton, the 160-minute show makes a fabulous musical. The release of the film with its intentionally diverse cast comes at a critical time when race relations in the USA have hit the rock bottom. When Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr) sings that he wants to be in “the room where it happens”, the lyrics are sung by a black man.

Alexander Hamilton (played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, also the creator of the piece) is the least well known of the American founding fathers. An immigrant and orphan, he was George Washington’s right-hand man. Credited as being responsible for setting up the country’s banking system, Hamilton was killed in a duel by Burr.

The musical is inspired by Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton. Courtesy of Disney

The story is narrated through hip-hop beats. Thomas Jefferson (Daveed Diggs) sings his speech to Congression, and the debates he has with Alexander Hamilton are verbalized through lyrics. Hamilton also has a lot to say about America’s immigrant past. In one scene French aristocrat Marquis de Lafayette tells Alexander, “Immigrants, we get the job done!”

Performances are top notch. Miranda is superb, and evokes an immediate connection between the film and the viewer. King George III is brilliantly portrayed by Jonathan Groff, and Hamilton’s wife, Eliza (Philippa Soo), is an endearing presence who has a calming effect on her often ruffled and troubled husband.

“Hamilton” is a great, if subjective, account of early American political history for those not familiar with that period. It must be said, however, the musical makes a long movie, which might be a trifle tiring for those not used to this format.