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Mac Farlane set to create Carnival history
Brian Mac Farlane’s 2011 presentation, Humanity: The Circle Of Life, may just be what the reigning Band of the Year leader needs to pull off his fifth consecutive win and create Carnival history. Mac Farlane copped his fourth Band of the Year title last year with the colourful portrayal, Resurrection: the Mas. If he wins again this year, the designer would have shattered the record for the most Band of the Year titles, held by veteran mas man, Wayne Berkeley. Donning black and white costumes, the band’s masqueraders put on an impressive show for the judges when they crossed the downtown stage at about 1.30 pm. Black and white confetti was blown into the air as revellers danced to Machel Montano’s Advantage.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Mac Farlane said he was “very emotional,” as this year’s presentation was his most creative and showed that mas “is not dead.” Mac Farlane, who said it cost about $2.5 million to $3 million to put together the large band, lamented that the quality of some of the Carnival costumes made within recent years was getting worse. Stating that the national festival was not only about the generic “bikini and beads,” he took the opportunity to call on designers to focus on the historical significance of Carnival and reintroduce creativity to mas. “That is not what Carnival is about...We as a people need to wake up,” he said.
He added that while he was not against the importation of costume materials, mas men should make better use of local materials to keep costs down. Mac Farlane, the 2010 recipient of the Chaconia Medal (Gold), said he made 60 extra costumes which he donated to art students at the University of the West Indies. Also having fun in yesterday’s Parade of the Bands was Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, who was seen chipping down the streets in the band Just Friends, which was themed, Dancing With the Stars. Rowley said he was having a great time as the band was “all about fun” and was happy to see the police in their numbers on the road. “We have very good music...lots and lots of colourful masqueraders,” he said. “We play all the music from years gone by and today.”
Other bands which lit up the downtown area were Genesis with its presentation, The Nest, and Dreamteam with The Art of Dance—the band of choice for 2011 Chutney Soca Monarch, Rikki Jai. And earlier, the T&T Guardian spotted the much-talked about Catholic Band, which made its Carnival debut with Genesis 1. The small band crossed the stage in quick time to the sounds of Benjai's Trini and pan music which was played on top of a music truck. Masqueraders, who were fully clothed, kept their word, as there was no vulgar behaviour or excessive wining on the part of revellers. During the parade, many spectators were taken aback when popular local cross dresser, Saucy Pow, danced across the stage in a skin-tight leopard dress with black stockings and knee-high boots. And while there were no reports of violence, 84-year-old Henrietta Miller had to be placed on a stretcher and taken to a near-by ambulance after she fainted.
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