Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 4th 2013 Contents A35
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Mas band launches in T&T might never be
the same following the creative coup Island
People (IP) Mas was able to pull off at the pre-
miere of its Carnival 2014 portrayal titled The
Whole--Magic, Mystery and Marvel on August
27.The Lord Kitchener Calypso Auditorium at
The National Academy for The Performing Arts
(NAPA) on Frederick Street in Port-of-Spain
was the venue for the presentation of the band s
ninth Carnival collection, through which it
seemed the band was able to renew consumer
confidence in the waning brand.
IP officials opted to re-imagine the way works
of mas were presented by moving away from
the party-centred concept and instead offer
hundreds of savvy, sophisticated and intelligent
thrill-seekers this classy option.
Guests seemed to love it!
They then went across to the Zen nightclub
for the after party.
The evening opened with cocktails before
invitees were ushered to their seats to witness
the marvel and magic contained in this unveiling
at NAPA. Since doors to the state-of-the-art
facility were opened, the venue has been host
to many prestigious events. There have been
steelpan concerts and calypso productions, too,
and even theatrical productions, as well as,
award ceremonies. But never had a band launch
been held, until now.
Delivering another collection of steamy
designs, the IP team christened the venue with
its brand of beauty and pageantry released in
First up was mystery which contained pieces
titled Awakening (rising from sleep), Dovev
(whispering truth) Nahimana (that which is
Magic which featured Zulimar (the blue
ocean), Vadimas (knowing of all magics) and
Manifest (readily perceived) came next before
closing the pretty mas segment with Marvel.
Life (a capacity for growth), Auric (the illumi-
nated), Absolute (everything, totality), Tia Nissi
(divine birth) and Qu elle Marveille (What Mar-
vel) were the designs contained therein.
Kudos goes out to Jean-Claude Cournand of
the 2 Cents Movement for his effective delivery
of the monologue A Wine Could Change Your
Life! The piece was conceptualised by the Island
People Mas Creative Team.
In its performance he connected well with
the NAPA crowd and engaged in comical and
well-placed exchanges with the audience that
gave a clear outline as to what the theme just
might engender. Between the mas came an
eclectic mix of pan, East Indian dance, choral
singing, rhythm section and even hip-hop too.
While Cournand s class act seemed well placed
on the programme it seemed the producers
struggled to find a seamless fit for the other
artistic elements which in the end seemed
detached from the programme.
Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln
Douglas in delivering greetings underscored that
Carnival was one festival that gave all segments
of society a sure place. He went on to laud
Island People Mas commitment to mas citing
that mas was a business.
He said: "There are over 85 T&T-styled Car-
nivals around the world. In places like Tampa
(Florida), Phildelphia and Nigeria. They are call-
ing upon T&T for the craftsmanship and their
Internationally, he said, countries were also
viewing mas as a platform for unity.
IP director Dane Lewis explained the
band's new concept. "We wanted to do
something different, focusing on the
costumes for this part of it; focus on
what we are doing for Carnival. The
presentation had to be the focal point.
There has never been a band launch in
He admitted that settling on this
approach was not without its
challenges and that the only way for
the team to overcome it was by
agreeing that they had to overcome
accepting the norm.
"Before, there was party pollution
and noise pollution. We have been
asking over the years, how we could
be different and would people like it?
Will they be satisfied? But we had to
be brave. We are getting very positive
feedback. The system is still virgin. It
was not an inexpensive production.
We had over 100 performers plus
technical staff," Lewis said.
He lauded the work of the band's
creative director Marlon Grant for his
conviction to never stop dreaming.
"He is the one who would have
developed the theme. We feel
passionate about mas and the people's
enjoyment. We wanted people to
understand how we feel about them.
We love you and we appreciate you."
The IP team's approach to their
band launch got the thumbs up from
president of the National Carnival
Band's Association (NCBA) David
Lopez who described the world
premiere of The Whole--Magic,
Mystery, Marvel as "great."
"Very impressive! It was one of the
first. I consider it to be a game
changer. It was very impressive for me.
It was a show. Using NAPA to launch a
Carnival band was great. Once you say
NAPA, you bring a different feeling to
the unveiling; the storyline and manner
in which it was presented. You had an
opportunity to sit and look at
costumes and go to the after party if
you choose to."
IP reinvents band launches
A model portrays a costume from Island People's
Carnival 2014 presentation The Whole--Magic,
Mystery and Marvel.
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