Friday, February 23, 2018

A good lesson for beads and bikini bands


Mark Fraser

 Congratulations to Trinidad All Stars’ Sailors on Shore Leave at a Tropical Fiesta for copping the Band of the Year title in the large band category. I could not be happier for them. 

For several years now, I have spent Carnival Monday and Tuesday looking at movies, visiting relatives or driving to some quiet, scenic spot searching for the beauty of creation. 

Mind you, I love Carnival. The creativity in calypso and costuming is stunning but has been waning over the past few years. 

This year, however, my sister was visiting after several years of living in Jamaica and I had to sit through the agony of the parade of the bands. 

She soon saw for herself what I had been complaining about. How many bikini beads and feathers can you look at in a day? It’s the same thing band after band, just the use of different colours and perhaps a different arrangement of the feathers. 

What amazed me though was how some of the band leaders who were interviewed by the television crew were myopic enough to believe that their bands were the most creative and original ones to hit the stage. 

While colours were blended beautifully together, there was very little imagination that went into the creation of the mas. 

There were wonderful stories about the creation of the band and what each section represented but there were the same costumes in every section of every band.       Thank God for some of the smaller bands like Rosalind Gabriel’s, The Word and Associates and Mas Passion along with the traditional masqueraders who brought relief and excitement to the boredom of the Carnival spectator. 

The American Indian costumes were spectacular, the portrayals by the blue, black or red devils created excitement. 

The dancing bats brought smiles to our faces.

The All Stars sailors really stole the day as they stormed the stage well dressed in their various types of naval uniforms. 

I was surprised to see how many people still prefer to respect themselves by covering their bodies in costumes from head to toe. 

The uniforms all seemed very authentic which clearly shows that a lot of research went into the creation of the band. 

The sections were well organised and the last section with the sailors in ceremonial wear and ball gowns really stole the show. For sailors on shore leave they were well behaved. 

There was not one “drunking sailor” among them. 

As for the bandleaders who are calling for score sheets and lawyers this is just a case of sour grapes. They need to grow up and go back to work. Stop trying to making Trinidad Carnival into a Brazilian imitation. 

Patrice David

Princes Town