Sunday, February 25, 2018

Mas Kings and Queens to take stage on BiG Friday

BiG Friday will play on the word “BiG”—it is a “big” deal, a “big” show, big performer and the best of all—“BiG” Carnival costumes! The Kings, Queens of Carnival now have their own show, an opportunity to highlight their costumes and play mas.

This is their night and the costuming is expected to be spectacular. With the preliminary round having taken place on January 31, phenomenal costumes from throughout Trinidad and Tobago have already been registered at the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA).

David Lopez, president of the NCBA, stated, “This show is going to be great. We’ve secured some increased prize monies for the various categories. In many instances we’ve been able to secure at least a 100 per cent increase in the winning. We continue to lobby on behalf of our membership.”

Senior competitors will also benefit significantly from the additional prize allocations. These increases have been allocated to the top ten positions in each of the Kings and Queens Finals competition. The total paid to each of the first place Senior King and Queen will now be increased to $250,000 from the 2012 figure of $120,000 each.

Lopez said, “Junior Kings and Queens are the future of the festival and we are proud to have them compete and display alongside the seniors in this year’s BiG Friday event. These Junior events allow us to gain participation from the schools, an avenue of stimulating the young masqueraders and stimulating the future growth and development of the mas product.”

Calypso greats Denyse Plummer and David Rudder will provide pivotal energy to the show. Soca stars Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons and Kes The Band will bring added excitement to this BiG production.

The mas will be the key element. The audience will be encouraged to represent their mas character and will also have an opportunity to vote for “People’s Choice for Mas King, Mas Queen and Mas Junior” crowns.

In a unique twist to the show, both the Juniors and Senior would be in full competition that night with the actual crowning of the winners taking place at the end of the programme.

Produced by Geraldo Vieira Jr, for 2013, BiG Friday will pay video tribute to the late Geraldo Vieira Sr.

Vieira Sr was a mas pioneer, a Carnival costume designer, technologist and entrepreneur who was responsible for bringing to the Savannah stage some of the more technically-innovative costumes seen in the Kings of Carnival competition in Trinidad and Tobago.

His designs won the title, King of Carnival nine times, and for three consecutive years from 1981. They include “The Demon Mantis”, “Mystic Dawn, Wind – An element of life” and “The Might of Rome”. His design, the “Swimming Angel”, won Junior Queen of Carnival. He also won similar titles in Toronto, Canada, at Caribana in 1996.

He introduced the use of pyrotechnics in costumes in 1999, using special effects such as fireworks, robotics and lighting to create spectacular theatrical Kings of Carnival presentations, which won him numerous titles.

As an upgrade from wire bending, he pioneered the use of plastic, wood and concrete mouldings in his designs. His costumes were truly exportable, he designed costumes for virtually every diasporic Carnival, as well as regional Carnivals in St Maarten, St Thomas, Barbados and St Lucia.

The show will be supported by performers from the National Dance Academy, Marcia Charles Dance Troupe and the National Steel Orchestra.

BiG Friday takes place on February 8, and will signal the start of Carnival, the start of the mas!

Tickets are on sale at the Queen’s Park Savannah ticket booth and at the NCBA offices at Port of Spain and San Fernando at a cost of $100 for general admission and $300 for VIP.

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