Monday, June 25, 2018

Addicted Mas - Zenith Promo for Notting Hill Carnival 2018


ADDICTED MAS 2018: ZENITH : Synopsis and costumes.




Zenith: The time in which something is at its most powerful or successful. It is also a point of time when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.  A culmination; a climax; a peak.

Mountains too have their summits the highest of them have snow covered crowns identifying them as lords of both landscape and skylines. To surmount these mountains and reach their peaks is a perilous journey, reserved only for the brave and the bold, who are prepared to look death in the face in the pursuit of reaching that Zenith. Many have died trying to achieve while others turn away from the challenge and perils of such a journey.  But warriors full of daring and desire face the greatest risk for the highest thrills.

Like the sun above and the mountains below it, we spend our lives climbing from the valleys of our existence aspiring to reach our Highest Self.

History is flooded with the names of individuals who reached their Zenith illuminating our hearts and minds with their abilities; from Usain Bolt to Floyd Mayweather, Michael Jackson to Beyonce, The Mighty Sparrow to Bob Marley; Marcus Garvey to Martin Luther King.  Those super-humans who rise to plateaus above us all, with seemingly effortless ease as if they were gifted with talents from the Gods, beyond mere mortals.

Ancient history also echoes with the names of those whom while in their Zenith transformed the world, Alexander the Great the Macedonian KING, considered one of the greatest military leaders of all time  conquered the known world by the age of 32 .Sundiata Keita founder of the Mali Empire overcame adversity and physical disability as a child to become a great leader before he died at 37.




Civilisations and societies too can rise to a cultural and economic Zenith, they supersede their predecessors or contemporaries be it Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Mongolia, England the United States or China, Civilizations and Empires have risen levels of accomplishment that are without equal and almost unimaginable if not for the evidence of their presence.

Zenith is the realisation of ones highest self, the understanding that you have the power to change your environment, the awareness that you can influence positive growth in others, and doing so. Zenith is you determining your own future; creating your own destiny; implementing and achieving your own goals.  Zenith is knowing your limits and surpassing them, facing down your fears and conquering them, examining your strengths and improving them.

Either you are looking back at it, rapidly approaching it, or currently existing in it.  The Zenith is that point in our lives when we are at our most energised, the strongest we have ever been, the fastest, the most radiant, the healthiest and ultimately the most successful versions of ourselves.

Being in your Zenith is being at your highest.

Like the ice capped mountains of the world or a mid-day sun in the sky we are at the height of our existence right now.

This year Addicted looks at the Zenith as an analogy for our lives.  A celebration of the life force within us all, as we ascend to the peak of life's experience.

This is ZENITH, this is where your powerful now is!



The costumes

This year Addicted has chosen white to depict the theme of Zenith.
White does not just symbolise the ice and snow found on the tallest mountains around the world, but combined with the iridescence of AR stones and holographic foils, it reflects the radiance found in the spectrum of light that emanates from these snow capped mountains and the sun when bright and high in the sky.

White is also the colour of the Crown Chakra SAHASRARA) which is said to be our connection to the divine.

Among the Orishas White is the traditional colour of Obatala, this father of all Orishas,  Obatala holds influence over leadership, fatherhood, justice and geology, and is often symbolised by mountains.



RADIANT PRIME: This year addicted has produced a limited production individual costume radiant prime, this costume depicts light bursting from its source, an entity in her zenith
.
Join ADDICTED MAS on the streets of Notting Hill 2018 and celebrate the Zenith of your life,

S.A. Armstrong
Addicted Designer


For more details go to: http://specialist-events.com/addicted-mas/

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pretty mas killing ancestral mas in Carnival


What traditions are we losing in our Carnival, how can we bring them back and what have we not yet explored? This was the main theme of mas band Vulgar Fraction’s Carnival post-mortem session, Independent Mas Speaks, held at Granderson Lab, Belmont. The panelists were political and social critic Rhoda Bharath, cultural researcher Arielle John and cultural activist Amanda T. McIntyre, and the panel moderated by Robert Young of the Cloth.
Bharath, who views Carnival through the lens of ancestor veneration, said she was shaken when two regional visitors said T&T’s Carnival was very commercialised and had no cultural elements, based on their observations. She said the ancestral mas and cultural mas felt like they were being subsumed by pretty mas, although these were all valid ways in which to experience mas, depending on the personality of the masquerader.
Bharath said Carnival comes out of yards, and it is essential for yards to take themselves to another level in educating people about mas. She said they should be continuing the work outside of the season and there is now no excuse for not recording, storing, archiving, representing and re-presenting themselves.
Bharath called on the National Carnival Commission (NCC) to put more effort into having a separate route for ancestral mas and traditional mas because there was an audience for them. She said she was not advocating for handouts but better organisation. Bharath said she didn’t believe that Carnival is dead or dying, but it can be floundering and directionless, and this could be remedied by thinking about the underpinning of the Festival.
John said in her research on the divine impulses that we celebrate within the mas, she has begun the establishment of a counter-Trinity in Carnival of the Mother, Maiden and Crone as evidenced by the Virgin Mary, the Orisha deity Oshun and the Hindu goddess Kali. She said the Virgin Mary represented the oppression wrought by European Christianity and the history of subjection and subjugation which came with it.
John said Oshun, who embodies sensuality and love, is the easiest entity to find in the Carnival. She is represented by women in their costumes, the flag women and the jammettes who were some of the earliest originators of the Carnival rebellion. She said Kali is the great destroyer, the goddess of death and rebirth, and she is evident in the stick-fighting rituals and the warring factions of the steel bands as they fought for recognition. John said while there is violence in Carnival, it is part of ritual and can be viewed in a positive light. She said we need to interrogate who the onlooker is who denounces it as barbaric.
Bharath said there are traditions in dance to be explored, especially as they relate to the various deities. She said more research and discussion need to take place on the traditions which both enslaved and bonded Africans would have brought to T&T.
McIntyre spoke about the Culture of Consent campaign and the uproar about the police warning against assault, linking it to Vulgar Fraction’s presentation Playing White in We Sh##hole Country. She said there was a sense of entitlement, or ‘playing white’, in how those with more power related to those with less, for example between rich people and poor people, men and women, and adults and children.
Bharath said we have lost sight of our culture, which has always had non-verbal cues for asking and giving consent. She said we are failing to teach young people the codes which used to exist in households, like the look which brought instant obedience. John questioned why men only respected women’s agency and right to say no when the law was watching them.

Friday, February 16, 2018

2018 Queen and King of Carnival

Roxanne Omalo achieved her goal earlier today, when at about 1.45 am, she was declared the 2018 Queen of Carnival while veteran masquerader, Earl Thompson won King of Carnival for a Peter Minshall-designed costume.

Omalo was the last of the 10 queen finalists to perform during Dimanche Gras on Sunday night at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain. She won for her portrayal of Lilith, Mistress of the Eternally Dammed.
The costume, from Antourage Productions' presentation Dance of Mystery, was a mix of vibrant red bands with black and gold accents, framing Lilith's large skeletal frame. On either side of Omalo, were the large faces two monsters, baring their sharp white teeth.
There was no third place queen this year, as the South Queen of Carnival, Gloria Dallsingh – with her costume Gem of the Ocean – tied with Krystal Thomas – with her costume De Head Huntress – for second place.
Speaking with reporters shortly after being crowned queen, Omalo said, "Eight years I've been playing but I told (my team) that before ten, I would win it and I did it tonight. Varma Lakhan and Antourage Productions, well-done."


Thompson's portrayal of Death And The Maiden, The Fancy King Sailor Plays Pegasus, was a crowd favourite from the preliminary round last Tuesday.
The costume is the presentation, The Eyes of God, a collaboration between Minshall's band, The Callaloo Company and Exodus Steel Orchestra.
Sans wheels, the flying horse costume was dependent on Thompson's skill and Minshall's training to ensure its fabric wings stayed unfurled for the judges to fully appreciate the hand-painted images of a naked masquerader on one wing and a skeleton on the other.
"He (Minshall) demonstrated to me, what to do and how to do it. In terms of moving the costume and how to keep the wings flying," Thompson said.
Last year's winner, Ted Eustace from the band Paparazzi, placed second with Dos Bandditos while there was tie for third place between Ravi Lakhan – Balrog, Bringer of the Apocalypse – and Marlon Rampersad – D Midas Touch.
Source:Newsday

Thursday, February 15, 2018

NCC hat-trick for Ronnie & Caro

Ronnie and Caro Mas Band have retained their National Carnival Commission (NCC) Band of the Year title for their 2018 presentation of Life’s Checkered Board.
The large band, owned by veteran soca artist Ronnie McIntosh and his wife Caroline, copped their third consecutive title when the results were announced yesterday.
The band had previously won the Medium Band of the Year title for four consecutive years between 2008 and 2011, before it grew into a large band.
In an interview at the band’s Woodbrook mas camp just before he began celebrating with staff last evening, McIntosh said while they were happy titles were not the driving force behind the band’s annual presentations.
“When we first started we were not concentrating on the titles. We won the first year we came out, but that really was not the plan,” McIntosh said.
Saying the band was focused on providing good customer service, he said most of their 1,000 masqueraders were returning customers and foreign nationals.
“Customer service is one of the things that’s making us famous and making people come back and recommend us to other people,” McIntosh said.
He also said his masqueraders did not need much prompting to stick within their sections at judging points and were synchronised for much of the parade route.
“Presentation is important. It does not mean that you have to do theatrics, drama and fireworks. It is just how you come across stage and give the judges and people an opportunity to see the band and costumes,” he said.
In second place in the large band competition was The Lost Tribe’s presentation Seven followed by Paparazzi Carnival’s Nomadik Nation.
The top three results were the same for the Port-of-Spain City Corporation’s Downtown competition for Carnival Tuesday. It was the fifth time that Ronnie and Caro had won the corporation’s Carnival Tuesday title.
In the medium band category, K2K Alliance’s We Stand United beat Republic Bank Exodus Steel Orchestra’s The Eyes of God, which was designed by former multiple Band of the Year winner Peter Minshall. In third place was Jus Wee and Friends’ presentation Wee Take Flight. Like Ronnie and Caro, the win was K2K Alliance’s third title in as many years.
NCC BAND OF THE YEAR RESULTS
Large Bands
1. Ronnie and Caro Mas Band - Life’s Checkered Board - 1275
2. The Lost Tribe - Seven - 1245
3. Paparazzi Carnival - Nomadik Nation - 1204
Medium Bands
1. K2K Alliance - We Stand United - 1270
2. Republic Bank Exodus Steel Orchestra - The Eyes of God - 1235
3. Jus Wee and Friends - Wee Take Flight - 1198
Small Bands
1. Tribal Connection Cultural Promotion - Call of D Tribes - 1192
2. Utopia Mas - Folklore: A Collection of Animal Tales - 1191
3. Belmont Exotic Stylish Sailors - Masters of the Art - 1182
Mini Bands
1. The Orginal Jab Jab - Spirit of D Whip - 1196
2. Simply Cultural - We Claiming We Space - 1184
3. Rhapsody in Blue - Blue Madda Dan Dem - 1164

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Minshall, Montano rule at Savannah

As the reign of the Merry Monarch came to a fantastic finish yesterday, The Eyes Of God, a production of legendary masman Peter Minshall, took centre stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.
Minshall, who re-entered the big stage after an absence of several years, produced a sailor band accompanied by melodious sounds from the Exodus steelband, much to the delight of masqueraders and spectators alike.
The Eyes Of God was produced in collaboration with the Calaloo Company and featured a black and white colour scheme of white sailor pants, white sailor caps and white T-shirts with black writing which drew much appreciation.
Bikini and beads also had their usual spot on the big stage as frenzied frolickers portrayed brilliant, intricately-woven costumes displaying a kaleidoscope of colours.
Earlier, it was not unusual that the Harts band was at the entrance to the Savannah stage promptly at 8 am. The 11 sections were in keeping with the band’s theme Shimmer and Lace, with costumes featuring lace, sheer body suits, capes and some bling.
Large band Ronnie and Caro’s Life’s Checkered Board also put on a fantastic display with sections like Fight to the Finish, Game Changers, Game Haters and Lovers of the Game which told a story: life is like a game of chess where people must play wisely and create their own niche, as the journey is only for a time.
The band, which is in its eleventh year, has copped a hattrick with its previous wins.
Band leader Ronnie McIntosh, who briefly spoke afterwards, said the tough economic times had some effect this year as their numbers were down.
“This year we have about 1,100 masqueraders. We were eventually sold out in the end, but when people are faced with one month-end salary before Carnival it is hard and we understand that,” McIntosh said.
“But our foreign customer base has increased. We treat everyone really good because Carnival makes an important contribution to our economy...people are spending their money and customer service must be important.”
Another large band, Paparazzi, which had an estimated 1,500 masqueraders, was spectacular with its presentation Carnival is Nomadik Nations. The sections, including Red Light District, featured cultures from around the world.
Legacy’s We Jamming Still created its concept from the 2017 Road March by the Ultimate Rejects.
Band director Mahindra Satram-Maharaj said although the song was last year it was very relevant today given the financial constraints faced by many.
“It shows the resilient of our people ... that despite in the face of adversity we persevere and find solutions,” Satram-Maharaj said as sections like Hope and Unity crossed the stage. Just after noon, however, there was a lull when party band Fantasy Carnival took much longer to cross the stage as revellers were reluctant to exit. With its presentation the Isle of Olympia, Fantasy was accompanied by soca star Machel Montano, who delivered his runaway hit Soca Kingdom from one of music trucks.
K2K Alliance and Partners also weaved a theme of hope with its presentation We Stand United, as it honed in on unifying topics such as love, faith, brotherhood, family and resilience born through struggle.
There were also some small band’s like Masters of the Art, which featured Belmont Exotic Stylish Sailors showcasing traditional fancy sailor mas.
Some 75 bands were registered with the National Carnival Commission (NCC). The results for Band of the Year are expected to be announced today.

Geisha Kowlessar

Source:Trinidad Guardian

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