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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Paris is Burning........

This evening I made my way to Maraval to check out the launch of Rugeri Promotions, an all-inclusive section with the 2006 winning band of the year, Trini Revellers. Rugeri's section is called "Paris is Burning" which fits in with the theme of the band, French Revolution. In 2006 Rugeri was behind the production of the popular section "Anthony and Cleopatra".

The atmosphere of the launch felt like we had arrived at a family gathering, we were told to have a drink and then await the presentation of the costumes. Compared to Tribe and Island People this was the total opposite in that it was very low key and a nice change of pace from the big productions. The launch was kept at the home of one of the members of Rugeri,no tickets were needed and no money was charged, drinks were on the house and we were constantly supplied with lots of goodies to eat.

No former Ms. Universe modeled the costumes, this was truly a family affair with the daughter and son of committee members strutting their stuff, the young man in the photos is only 16! All in all it was a nice way to spend the evening and my hubby and I even saw several people we knew there. Thanks to Michele for the tip about the launch, I had fun!

Here are some photos of the section "Paris is Burning"

Tankini option:

This section is all-inclusive which includes:

Breakfast (Tuesday only)

Lunch (Tuesday only)

Full bar (both days)

and the prices are :

Female : $1550.00

Male: $1295.00

The website will be up by Wednesday 6th of September with more photos of the costumes.

Trini Revellers will be launching it's full presentation on October 15th at Pier 1.

Sexy Sahara

I don't know how I missed this article in the Trinidad Express on Wednesday ,maybe I was just too busy actually doing some work:

Sexy Sahara
Wayne Bowman

Wednesday, August 30th 2006

You can expect more than an eyeful from sophomore mas band Island People Mas come Carnival 2007 when they present Sahara, a fourteen-section exploration of the famed desert. The band launched its production for C2K7 at the National Stadium on Sunday with an elaborate staging that featured fake camels, harem girls and several pyramid-shaped monitors sprinkled throughout the venue where patrons could catch a closer view of the action taking place on stage. The launch attracted roughly 2,500 people who expressed mixed reactions over the costume prototypes presented by the models.

Although the launch was scheduled to get on the way at 6 p.m. rain held things back, but by the time the showers ceased and the clouds cleared the venue was packed and the Island People team kicked off the presentation at about 9 p.m. There was a mini skit performed by several persons including Cliff Learmond who played the role of King Omar who was depressed and in need of cheering up. Several persons came forward and attempted to make King Omar laugh through their performances such as dancing, singing, rapping and other presentations that failed to amuse the sad and lonely king.

A thundering voice from the "Heavens" then chastised King Omar for his ungrateful attitude towards everything that he has been blessed with. As King Omar listened the voice reminded him of the glorious beauty of the great Sahara Desert with its star-filled night skies and colourful shifting sands as well as its lovely oasis. King Omar then repented and jumped with a joyful heart as the models began to make their way on stage showing off the costumes of Island People Mas 2007, which were designed by a team consisting of; Trisha Neilson, Marlon "Hot Dog" Grant, Sandra Hordatt, Crystal Aming-Marcus, Sonia Mack and Nathalia Mack. The costumes exploring the many facets of the Sahara include Jewel of the Nile, Taureg, Sirocco Winds, Le Soleil Brule, Mirage, Goddess and Defenders, Raiders of the Desert, Oasis, Cacti, Nubians, Sahara Sunset, Arabian Nights and Sahara Jumbie.

Following the presentation Machel Montano and Xtatik took the stage and for the next hour had the patrons in the palm of their hands. Actually judging from the behaviour of the people over the music in comparison to their reactions over the costumes, it seemed that the majority of people came out more in anticipation of Montano than what Island People Mas had to offer. There was mixed reactions over the costumes with people expressing that they were very impressed with certain costumes and disliked others. Among the most popular were Sahara Jumbie, Taureg, Sirocco Winds, Oasis and one of the designs for Arabian Nights.

A senior member of the Island People team told the Express that the band is catering for about three thousand people for next year in the hope of expanding for C2K8. He said that although there is the opportunity to pick up those people who used to play with the now defunct Poison mas band, Island People decided against adding more masqueraders this year because the team wanted to work on improving on the services they provide such as food and refreshments as well as on the timely delivery of costumes.

The team member added that the band will be accompanied by several of the country's top sound systems. There will also be no live band unless members specifically request such. Members were asked following last Carnival if a live band was important to them and the majority responded that it did not matter whether there was a live band or not. The costumes are expected to cost the same as last year's, but Island People is offering what they have dubbed an Ultra All Inclusive experience for their members. Just what this is will be revealed in coming weeks the Island People spokesperson said.

Note the part where he says prices are supposed to cost the same as last/this year's so I can safely say we are looking at between $2400.00 to $5500.00 which was the range of prices for this year's costumes.

Band versus Band Bacchanal

If you have never read a Carnival forum such as Rumshopmadness at you might not be aware that there are battle lines drawn between diehard Tribe supporters and Island People fans.

The situation has become so serious that the moderators at Rumshopmadness have warned their posters that the drama between supporters of these two bands has become "tedious and taking away from the beauty of carnival" and I fully agree.

Look, I don't know when and how this division came about, all I know is that last year I was banned from the forums at Islandmix because I was probably seen as "pro Tribe" and against Island People.The fact was that I was giving information, much like what I do here, on BOTH bands, and I would give my criticisms on BOTH bands but it was okay to "pong" Tribe while Island People was immune to any negative old talk. Imagine, I had a certain member of Island People Mas sending me private messages wanting to know where I was getting my information from, because apparently they thought I had some "inside" source feeding me all Island People's secrets such as what their prices would be like.

The irony was that I would call the mas camp and whomever answered the phone would readily answer questions on registration, process in place for online and foreign masqueraders etc. it's not like I was asking them to tell me their bank account number I was asking the same questions as hundreds of potential masqueraders! And as for the prices well I have played mas long enough to have an idea (common sense) of what a certain costume might cost so the prices for Island People were a GUESSTIMATE, I guessed them based on Tribe's prices for 2006 which were released before Island People priced their costumes. Apparently my guess was very close to the real prices and I did not even know it.

After I got banned from the forum I realised how serious some people were taking this loyalty to Carnival bands. Well I am NOT a member of Tribe's organization as is alleged by the anonymous poster who left a comment on my post "The pics have moved". I happen to like some of their costumes, just as I happen to like some of Island People's, and is it so hard to believe that ? Tribe's costumes are by no means "ugly" just as not all Island People's costumes are "fabulous" both have their hit costumes and both have their duds.

My decision to play with a Carnival band is based on a personal decision of what I want out of my carnival experience, I have said it before and I will say it again, I look for MORE than costume when choosing a band to play with. I need to see how certain bands execute and deliver their product to their masqueraders in 2007 before I can think of possibly playing with them in 2008. Yes, mas is now too expensive to not be demanding of more than just a costume in a box.For the money we are spending bandleaders have to back up that costume with something more because it does not matter how lavishly decorated a costume is, it is NOT costing $3000.00 to produce. So my money is not going towards costume alone, I am not getting $3000.00 worth of costume, and therefore costume alone cannot be MY criteria for choosing a band to play with.

The bottom line is I am a CARNIVAL supporter and not a BAND supporter so please, don't bring the nonsense from the forum to my blog. I have played with Barbarossa,Harts, Poison and Tribe and I want to play with the likes of Minshall or Mc Farlene sometime in the future. By the end of the 2007 Carnival I can tell you which costumes are from what band because I visit all the mas camps (dragging my friends or hubby along) in addition to looking at costumes on their websites and there are costumes I like in every single band. The fact that my last few posts have to do with Tribe is because that's the band I have decided to play with and since this blog is my "Carnival Diary" it's a record of MY Carnival experience . I am not getting paid to do this, I do it because I love my mas!

I have answered emails from strangers with questions on both Tribe and Island People, I am also the person to register my friend and her crew in Island People because she is out of the country on vacation right now and my friends who are waiting on Pulse 8 are depending on me to give them information about the costumes since they are not living in Trinidad. And if anyone wants information on any band they can email me and ask any question they like, I will try to help them out as best I can.

So far I have been giving information on all the bands that have launched including Harts, and when Island People and Pulse 8 opens their mas camps I will go, have a look and report on that as well. I have friends who are playing with Island People,TRIBE and Harts, friends who are waiting to see what Pulse 8 has to offer and friends who are playing with Trini Revellers so I am constantly getting information on all these bands, going to mas camps, looking at costumes and just loving the whole spirit of what Carnival is about. You can be sure that I am not about to loose my love of Carnival in this band versus band fiasco, this will be the last I say on this issue !

Back to talking about mas!!!
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