Wednesday, January 17, 2018

$3m bill to host new-look Dimanche Gras show

"THE genesis of the evolution of Dimanche Gras".

This how Derrick Lewis, creative director of Unlimited Functions, yesterday described this year's new-look Dimanche Gras show.

Dimanche Gras in years gone by traditionally incorporated the Calypso Monarch and Kings and Queens of Carnival competitions.

However the National Carnival Commission (NCC) has called for a re-imaged Dimanche Gras show without any competitive aspect.

Unlimited Events was selected to produce the new-look Dimanche Gras following a tendering process conducted by the NCC.

"As you know we did have an open tender and the concern of most who submitted was that it was too short a time in which they would be able to deliver and therefore we felt that Mr Lewis and his team were the ones who conveyed the confidence that notwithstanding the short time frame they would be able to deliver and that they would be able to deliver within the framework which we set, which was something that would be new and exciting," NCC chairman Allison Demas said yesterday.

The cost of the Dimanche Gras show is "within $3 million", Demas said.

The price that will be paid to Unlimited Functions is still being negotiated, she said.

The show is entitled "I AM Carnival".

"This is the genesis, the beginning of the evolution of Dimanche Gras. I see it as the beginning of an evolution that will take its form over a period of years. This is the first step that we are going to take in this journey," Lewis said yesterday.

He made the statement during a press conference at the VIP Lounge of the Queen's Park Savannah yesterday where Demas was also present.

David Rudder has recorded a song entitled "I am Carnival" to promote the show.

"To produce a song that rallies and creates a call by a definitive artiste that straddled the transition from Calypso to Soca is really something special and brings a sense of the moment of the I AM," Lewis said yesterday.

The event will begin with a "pre-show" that starts at sunset, Lewis said.

The show begins at 8 p.m. with a "dramatic opening", he said.

"The show is shorter (than previous Dimanch Gras shows), the show is approximately two and a half to three hours of intense, engaging, informative and exciting performances and great theatre," Lewis said.

Lewis is also hoping to have the performers interact with patrons following the show and possibly take to the streets, if the relevant authorities agree.

"The performers we invited come from old school, new school, local, foreign based, extempore to rapso and they will all perform," Lewis said.

"Some of the names being thrown around are Bunji Garlin, Sparrow, David Rudder, 3 Canal, the leading steel orchestras, 80s, 90s, kings and queens of the bands, past and present and conceptually for the spirit of carnival. We are inviting and invoking the spirits of yesteryear, today and looking forward to tomorrow with the evolution by this genesis," Lewis said.