THE ARTFORM of limbo in Trinidad and Tobago suffered a severe set-back on Monday night as the National Limbo Finals failed to kick-off due to a lack of funds for the event.
“We did not get funding for the competition and as a result we decided not to go through,” said the president of the National Dance Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT) Emelda Lynch-Griffith yesterday. She said the competition is instead now tentatively scheduled for April 29.
NDATT is the body in charge of the Carnival limbo competition. Throughout the years it has worked in conjunction with the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) and has held its competition on the same night as the extempo competition.
But this year, NDATT attempted to organise the competition, which had been carded for the Northern Greens, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain on its own.
“What happened was TUCO’s competition started to get bigger. We were slotted into a little slot and we wanted to expand and to run a junior competition also,” she said.
Lynch-Griffith said the NDATT had applied for $1 million in funding from the Ministry of Culture and had met with Culture Minister Marlene Mac Donald on October 21, 2008. At that meeting, the body was instructed to submit its budget for the upcoming year. “We haven’t received any word from the ministry as yet,” Lynch-Griffith said. “We had to use some money paid to us this year to pay off prizes from last year.”
She noted that sponsors from last year, including Republic Bank and the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) had pulled out from the competition. NDATT was unable to attract new sponsors and has currently scaled back its own operations.
“Because of a lack of funding we are not even at our office (in St James) every day because we can only pay for somebody (security) to stay there to man the office for two days a week,” she said.
Reigning limbo queen Kimmy Stoute-Robinson yesterday said she was disappointed over the postponement of the competition.
“I am disappointed because this is something you should have during the Carnival season,” she said. “It is usually a part of this season there are still people who look forward to it.”
The limbo queen for 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2004 said all of her preparations for the competition, which was formally postponed since last Wednesday, have gone to waste.