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Friday, 22 October 2010

Rhthyms’ come alive with D Krewe

D Krewe Mas Band, led by veteran King of Carnival competitor Roland St George will launch its Carnival 2011 presentation, Rhythms, tomorrow at the band’s new mas camp, 87A Ariapita Avenue, Port-of-Spain.

The launch, which starts from 6 pm on Ariapita Avenue between Petra and Ana Streets, is free to the public and will give masqueraders, supporters and non-masqueraders the chance to see the band’s full presentation for Carnival for 2011 in what the band describes as “a street vibe styled event.”

The launch is also an opportunity to familiarise the public with the band’s new mas camp. The new venue has the traditional display and customer service areas of traditional mas camps but is will also incorporate a bar and entertainment area where activities can be held all year round.
It will be home to D Krewe’s popular Friday evening limes and other activities throughout the Carnival season.
“We at the D Krewe have entered what we see as a new era of success and as such we hope to have the band grow and evolve into more than just a Carnival entity,” St George said. “Indeed it is our hope that this new mas camp will eventually be a hub for local entertainment on the avenue and that the band itself can stimulate creative and financial growth in the industry. Our decision to have a free launch on the streets is a direct reflection of our tag line.”

He added, “We are about ‘people loving the mas’ and as such we decided to give back to our supporters through this event. We promise it will be a unique experience that gives a real taste of mas on the street for Carnival 2011.”
The public can also expect a taste of the road entertainment and all the positive energy that comes with D Krewe family at what promises to be a wonderful evening of mas and Rhythms.


Wednesday, 20 October 2010


From the Hummingbird section.
Genesis Carnival have  posted  photos of their costumes during their photo shoot on facebook. Their 2011 presentation is called 'The Nest' CHECK IT OUT .

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

MacFarlane makes the cut

The Shape of Carnival 2011

I was not sure if I liked Brian MacFarlane's offering for Carnival 2011, when I saw the costumes down at Mobs 2 last Friday evening in Chaguaramas (because it creeped me out a little bit) but I was sure I was looking at next year's band of the year.

Don't know if its the colour scheme of silver and black with some white, but the fantastic or should that be phantasmic shapes of his Humanity, Circle of Life had such a dark perfection that he is right about one thing, it really is as he has said "his most creative and inspiring presentation to date".

And, in that one presentation, ladies and gentlemen, the sheep have been separated from the goats in the search in this column for the shape of Carnival 2011. Having been to the 2011 presentations of most of the major bands, I feel that I can say I have seen nothing to challenge it with the exception of Peter Samuel's presentation of Skullduggery which introduced an element of punk and something different into the mas. But Samuel's mas really needs numbers to make it work on the road and some of his costumes need reworking for the concepts to better resonate and that's another story. But the fuzz from the feathers has cleared and there is MacFarlane and there is the rest consisting mostly of the hordes of beads and feathers.
What remains to be seen is how masqueraders will deal with the costumes on the hot carnival days because they seem to be on the cumbersome side, although MacFarlane gives the assurance that they are very light to carry, but as previous presentations have shown the MacFarlane masqueraders don't seem to mind that. And despite the influences traditional and new from which he obviously continues to draw, with this work MacFarlane seems to be working out a statement that is his.

The sections carry names such as Birth, Baptism, Love, Time, Prayer, Knowledge, Joy and Sorrow, Marriage, Passion, Work, Good and Evil, Giving and Receiving, Freedom and The Farewell

By Deborah John

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Minshall hits arts reporting

Peter Minshall.
VETERAN mas man Peter Minshall said media reporting on works of art is not incisive enough, and asked if the University of the West Indies (UWI) could help improve such assessment. He was talking at a panel discussion on the future of the university on Monday night at UWI, St Augustine.

Referring to media reviews of his projects as a young man which had helped him, he said he had hoped that as the society matured after Independence, the critical assessment of art would have improved. “Instead we have regressed. There is no critical analysis of artistic practice. Every review is a bland and benign ‘PR’ blurb,” Minshall said.
Every painter is ‘talented and self-taught’, every play ‘had the audience in stitches’, all the work is ‘wonderful’, when in fact a pall of mediocrity blankets the landscape,” he added. He said talent can’t produce anything of quality if there are no real standards.
“And there is no way to establish standards other than by critical dialogue, a conversation among artists and those who know art, as to what works and what doesn’t, what is good and what is bad, what is original and what is derivative, what is brilliant synthesis and what is plain pastiche.”

Art history and international references must also inform the dialogue.
“Every single work of mas I have ever created, I have approached with all the rigour and creative effort that a serious artist puts into the making of any work of art. He claimed, “Never in this country has a work of mas been the subject of a critical assessment, as a work of art. I know this as a fact, I have all the clippings”.

He said the news reports only said if it was “colourful”, “controversial”, or “keenly anticipated”.
“Never has a writer addressed how it worked as a work of contemporary art. This is a great disappointment to me”. He said his work in mas has had some analysis but mainly anthropological or sociological, not aesthetic or artistic.

“As a consequence of this, we as a society do not know what art is. We have not done the work to establish what are the critical terms of reference by which our own indigenous art-forms can be assessed.” He said this puts our artists and culture at a great disadvantage. Urging UWI to have a role in critical analysis, he urged, “A university should not be an ivory tower set apart but integrated into the life of the island community”.


Friday, 1 October 2010

Spice launches C2K11 collection

A model showcases the haute Couture Frontline from the cluster
From Paris With Love.
PHOTO: Courtesy Spice Carnival Band
The countdown to Carnival 2K11 is on and mas bands are busy preparing for what many consider to be The greatest show on earth. Spice Carnival band is no exception. Known on the street as the band with the attractive women, Spice made its Carnival debut in 2009 and already has quite a number of successes under its belt. Last year the large band scored big, capturing the King of Carnival crown, portrayed by seasoned masquerader Curtis Eustace, third place in Downtown Carnival and the title for the Most Colourful Band, and fifth place in the Parade of The Bands and the title for Most Creative Band. In its second year, Spice also managed to triple its number of masqueraders from 800 to 2,500, and according to band officials, that number is expected to increase by another 500 when Carnival rolls around again in March. What’s the secret? Spice executive member Jean-Paul Pouchet says it’s all about giving masqueraders “the greatest experience on the road.”
Outside the box
Pouchet says band members are always thinking outside the box and will, for the first time, offer masqueraders clusters of sections, instead of individual sections. Each cluster, he says, will be under four themes—Diamonds Are Forever, Ribbons Of Loyalty, Out of the Vineyards and From Paris With Love. The band’s presentation is titled The Signature Collection. He explains that introducing the clusters give masqueraders the opportunity to be close to friends who may prefer a different costume. “The section line up every year is always a very big point for the masqueraders, as they want to know where their section is from their friends. If you are in the same cluster, you won’t be that far away from each other,” he says. He says Spice will also launch its Signature Line, which will feature five more elaborate costumes from selected sections.
Quality product
Priding itself on offering a quality product for customers, Pouchet says value for money is always on the band’s front burner. Describing Spice as a “family oriented band” The Petit Valley resident says, “We spare no expense in the production of our costumes. We treat our masqueraders like family. When you become a “spicequerader” you become part of the Spice family.” Also new is the band’s catalogue, which Pouchet says is akin to a magazine and seeks to educate masqueraders in general and visitors in particular about Trinidad’s Carnival. “We are the first band to do a 360 tour of our show room. People can focus on what they want and even foreigners can get that feel of coming to the show room without being there physically.” Meanwhile band leader Anya Elias articulates that Spice offers “a totally all-inclusive experience.” Elias says the masquerader playing with Spice need not worry about anything else but having a good time. Food, an open premium bar and security will be taken care of.
Spice 2011 presentation
Diamonds Are Forever:

• Jubilee
• Sha Jahaan
• Canary Frost
Ribbons of Royalty:
• Carnival Vicuna
• Dupioni
• Peruvian Splendor
Out of the Vineyard:
• Bordeaux Beauty
• Vines of Syrah
• Tuscany Sunset
From Paris With Love:
• Haute Couture
• Vogue
• Tres Chic
Walk of Fame
(An individual section)

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