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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Bringing You Up To Speed

New Year lots to talk about, 60 days to Carnival the countdown is on!

Monday Wear

Island People has hinted what their Monday Wear option is going to be:
We know that everyone is asking what are we getting for Monday wear. Since we can't let the cat out of the bag just yet, what we can say is this: Comfortable, sexy, modern, think shades of gray and silver. Ladies, you can accessorise with any colour of your costume.

Yuma is doing their version of "sexy sports wear", rumours are there will be tank tops emblazoned with your Zodiac sign and piped hot shorts provided for  female masqueraders. Guys I am guessing you get the staple T Shirt.

Designer Christian Boucaud will be doing customised Monday Wear for those fashionistas that so desire this option. If you do not know who she is check out her Facebook Page HERE, I cannot wait to see what she comes up with. I do know that she will be designing for specific bands and the Monday Wear will be made to complement your Tuesday costume. More details to be revealed soon.

Ronnie and Caro will be hosting their first ever All Inclusive fete, called "Home Sweet Home", on Wednesday March 2nd at the Oval, add this one to your line up for Carnival week.

Got my tickets to the first Fete I will be hitting for the season, SOKA IN MOKA, will you be there? We getting on "Wotless" with Kes!

Theme 2012
Word reaching me is that a very, very popular Carnival Band has already started working on theme 2012... "I Believe"...what do you think of that theme? Feeling it or not? Seems like a VERY abstract theme to me, I guess we are going to see lots of pretty costumes next year!

The Word Presents Genesis I - Creation

Yesterday morning I attended the media launch of the first ever Carnival Band endorsed by the  Roman Catholic Church of Trinidad and Tobago; The Word presents Genesis 1 - Creation. The Word and Associates is a Roman Catholic Organisation, headed by Derek Walcott on a mission to bring family "values based fun" and culture back into mas with their Carnival 2011 production Genesis I.

The focus of the band is enjoyment of life without "stereotypical inebriation" that goes with Carnival. What the Word and Associates is attempting to do is erase the "vulgarity" associated with Carnival and replace it with creativity and family.The Word have reiterated that their message is not one off. They intend to continue this every year and grow and spread the message of masqueraders high on life. 

And while this may seem like a controversial step by the Roman Catholic Church, as they have already met opposition from  some Priests who say that the Carnival Band is not in line with the teachings of the Church,  The Word has drawn example from the island of Antigua where for the past 17 years the Roman Catholic Church there has been producing a Carnival Band, even copping  the Band of the Year title.

Monsignor Jason Gordon, who gave the welcome address on behalf of His Grace Archbishop Edward Joseph Gilbert, stated that there was a time when Carnival was "blessed" and was of innocent fun. He bemoaned the excess that passes for Culture today and stated that The Word is presenting an alternative to bikini and beads, alcohol and lewd music. To that extent anyone willing to join The Word on their Carnival mission must accept, via guidelines when registering, an alcohol free zone and they must also note that music on the road will be chosen so as not to incite any "wine and jam"! Anyone who flaunts these guidelines will be dealt with my Road Marshalls, albeit in a manner that hopefully causes no embarrassment to the masquerader.

The Word is aiming for 1200 masqueraders in 12 sections with costumes priced between $1000.000 - $2500.00TT. They will also host an alcohol free all inclusive Fete on Sunday February 20th at a cost of $375.00TT, early bird special of $300.00 before January 31st. You can get more information via their website: 

Personally as a Roman Catholic and once being told by my Priest that nothing is wrong with participating in Carnival it is all about how you conduct yourself during the celebration, I do not have any misgivings towards this band. I am curious to see how they will enforce their no drinking and no "wine and jam" rule on the streets come Carnival Monday and Tuesday. 

What stuck me however was the sense that the origins of Carnival, the birth of what we know today as the Greatest Show on Earth has not always been rooted in Bacchanalia; to me Carnival has always been controversial and always embraced the bacchanal of the flesh. I am trying to remember when in the History of Carnival has it ever been described as "blessed!".

I also have a pet peeve when the topic of alcohol and vulgarity came up especially since I know many people who do play in bikini and beads bands who do not drink or carry on in what may be deemed as a vulgar manner (exactly what that might mean to the Roman Catholic Church is still up for debate). People enjoying Carnival on a "natural high" is certainly not a novel concept. As Father Joe Harris said in response to one of the questions on how The Word masqueraders are expected to dance on the road, from his observation the "vulgarity" is not the majority, just the "excesses" of the celebration.

My other concern would be the quality of the costumes based on the prototypes, while the drawings looked lovely, I could not help but fault the execution. If they are hoping to compete with the likes of Brian Mc Farlane the finished product needs to be a bit more polished and refined. I am not a fan of the materials used, looked a bit cheap to be honest. Other than that the idea put forward for costuming is of course a great one, I always applaud having more choices for masqueraders.

Section 1 - Darkness

For more of my pics please see this album  HERE though I must apologise in advance for the photo quality.
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