Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MacFarlane lights up Jean Pierre Complex

Brian MacFarlane took his costumes straight from the Savannah to the Jean Pierre Complex, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain on Carnival Monday for what was billed "The Event, Mac Mas Monday".

The production included performances by Winston "Shadow" Bailey, Kees Dieffenthaller, Tony Prescott, PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars, Patrice Roberts and David Rudder in addition to a stage show by masqueraders, his award winning Queen and King of this year's band, Sanctification: In Search Of, and a firework and pyrotechnic show.

Proceedings began promptly at 6.30 p.m. with a presentation of Rosalind Gabriel's children's band, 50 Years Gold. This was followed by Shadow singing some of his classics such as "Bassman", "Dingolay" and "Stranger".

PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars gave a spirited performance of its Panorama arrangement "Gi' Dem Tempo" and also played music of a more sombre tempo.

Soca artiste Patrice Roberts gave a rather subdued rendition of "I Am Soca" before making way for the theatrical presentation of the 10 sections from the band Sanctification. The band depicts this country's journey of collective self-discovery. All pieces use the national colours red, white and black, representing blood, darkness and "the cohesiveness and unity that form part of the solution." The masqueraders filled the grounds and danced to live music from Kees Dieffenthaller and David Rudder who sang some of his classics such as "Madness" and "High Mas".

The reigning Queen of the Bands, Chariss Bovell with her portrayal Mother of Humanity — The Weeping Madonna and the Sanctification King Malak Yawek – The Praying Mantis portrayed by Gerard Weekes, also joined in the fanfare.

In order to symbolise the struggle of the journey, the costume presentation began with a slow procession that gradually gained tempo and colour. At the beginning, a massive replica of a broken steelpan was wheeled across the stage but by the end of the presentation it was harmoniously joined. There were also large structures with devil masqueraders that signified the genesis of mas. The Laventille Rhythm Section provided a jab-jab procession complete with moko jumbies and fire breathing.

Although the audience was small, Tony Prescott, who sang original music written for this year's presentation, and later on Rudder, were able to get hands waving and strong crowd responses. MacFarlane joined all performers on stage at the end during the extensive firework production and thanked all participants, masqueraders and one of his major sponsors, Digicel. He noted that this presentation was only the beginning and that he has more in store for Trinidad and Tobago Carnival production.