Sunday, February 25, 2018

Season of drama

Stage antics becoming part of artistes' performances


STEAMY: Kees Dieffenthaller gets steamy onstage with a female fan at the One Fete at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port of Spain, last Saturday. —Photos: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK and ROBERT TAYLOR

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SKILLS: Denyse "Saucy Wow" Belfon looks on at "Princess" during the performance of "Wining Queen" last Saturday at Fire Fete at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.

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For the 2013 Carnival season soca artistes seem to be going all out to entertain their fans by introducing elements of risque stage drama into their performances.

Last Saturday, 2011 Groovy Soca Monarch Kees Dieffenthaller steamed up the Jean Pierre Complex during his performance at the annual One Fete, as he shared a seductive dance live on stage with a female fan. However, rather than dance standing as most artistes do, Dieffenthaller brought a cleopatra couch on stage for the provocative segment.

The recently-married singer and leader of Kes The Band told the Express that the interaction was "just about sharing love with the fans". He said:

"We called this the Isle of Kes Tour for many reasons. We want to take our fans to a special place where they can experience all the magic and culture of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean and just by saying the name of the tour, they're also saying how they feel about us—we hope! So, if someone tells me they love me, I would want to let them know how I feel in return and that's what the couch is about: its a prop for when our fans get that intimate moment with us on stage.

"The couch represents home 'cause almost every home has one—when they sit on the couch, they will forget the stage and the lights and the rest of the audience and just enjoy that special moment at home with us..."

Dieffenthaller also cleared up speculation that the female patron called on stage was known to the band and that the segment was staged. He said:

"Not at all. That would defeat the purpose of the interaction. It was real and will always be real because that's what its all about: us interacting with our fans in a very real and meaningful way. I like my lil acting thing at times, but that would be taking it a lil extreme!"

Having included the 2013 Carnival season as the first leg of their Isle of Kes (I-OK) World Tour, Dieffenthaller and his band of brothers also plan to release a new music video for their hit single "Tuesday on the Rocks" today.

Filmed and directed by Shaun Escayg, the video will premiere online at 11 a.m. today exclusively on, followed by an email blast of the link to see the video and a local television debut on Synergy TV tonight.

In addition to this, other artistes have introduced an element of "acting" to their performances on the soca stage. New soca artiste J Angel calls for a man to come up on stage to wine with her during her performance of "Jook It". In the song she states that she needs a male partner who can perform this function (jook) well. Someone from among the crowd consents to come up on stage and is put to the test. The ensuing action is usually hilarious.

Machel Montano and Drupatee Ramgoonai have also introduced a "cougar" element in their performance so far for the season. Ramgoonai, who is much older than Montano, is first asked by him for a kiss and she kisses him on their cheek during their performance of "Indian Gyal".

Later in the performance, Montano asks for another kiss and she then kisses him on the lips. Montano then tells the audience not to speculate on what is the relationship between himself and Ramgoonai, as it is their business. Montano, who is the reigning Power and Groovy Soca Monarch as well as Road March King of 2012, has promised the next time fans will see the kiss is on the Soca Monarch stage at Fantastic Friday. With four more weeks still to go and plenty more fetes on the horizon, the season can only become more interesting.