Full circle wine for Carnival
Wednesday, December 20th 2006
"I hear tell that Mr Hart has said that mas is for the road but I don't know if, like Archimedes or whoever, this is to be taken as a "eureka!" moment, meaning that next year's mas will now go not into but around the Savannah as the old John Humphrey has long suggested, the 'world's biggest roundabout' (Humphrey again) ringed with bleachers, the crowds (hopefully) cheering, steupsing or maybe just sleeping as MacFarlane, Trini Revellers and the rest make their way unimpeded (again hopefully) around the Savannah circle"...November 22
Well now we'll see, won't we? All those who have been arguing that the Savannah and, more particularly, the Savannah stage, was the biggest constraint to the free flow of the bands will be proven either right or wrong now that, as I sensed weeks ago, the mas is going to go 'round rather that through the Savannah. Let me say - up front - that while I am neither for nor against this new, well, design, I can hardly wait to see if it will make a sequin of a difference..........
but for me, and many (although not most, I suppose) like me, the real taste of this pulsating pudding of a thing is the free-spiritedness let loose in the Carnival air, some of my more enjoyable Carnival moments memorised in front of Doonie's Lucky Jordan recreation club not, mind you, that that was not a minor competition centre itself, only that the competition was not the major component, who win win, leh midnight meet we singing and dancing just like Trotman's drunken sailors, the Carnival now let loose from the Savannah providing a breather for the grass but only that since the plan is for us to wine back in due course to the old vintage, albeit in a new state-of-the-art bottle. So why worry, sister, eat, drink with this, the merriest of monarchs we have managed to conjure up, all ah we already knowing what they done say 'bout tomorrow meeting us done done.
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Carnival changes and challenges
Wednesday, December 20th 2006
Carnival is an institution and, as with all institutions, it is resistant to any change not least because people like things to remain as they are, particularly those things that work to a greater or lesser degree. Whatever the criticisms in the past - and there have been some - the Savannah has long been the successful centre of the world-famous Trinbago Carnival....................
But challenge is also opportunity and one would expect, in the tradition of the Carnival experience, that the problems that arise will be met with the creative skill that has lit up Carnival for close to 170 years. In any case the move away from the centrality of the Savannah is temporary, so any ensuing hue and cry will be completely misplaced given that, in a year or two, all will be as it was before.
Indeed, the country may even grab the chance, as it confronts the shifts in the overall programme, to examine Carnival as a whole to see whether we are doing enough to ensure that it will retain the vitality that has made it the "Mother Carnival" for another 170 years what with the stunningly dramatic shows that today's generation has become accustomed to both here and abroad.
The most negative thing we could do is to become enslaved by the past. The very freeing of the spirit that Carnival epitomises should encourage us to venture into new arrangements while being self-confident enough to affirm those Carnival elements that have given it its distinctive character. Next year will not bring all that much of a change - just enough, perhaps, to give the country a refreshing taste for more change.