Thursday, February 26, 2009

MacFarlane jubilant over 'Africa' hat-trick

Port of Spain, judging point on Tuesday. -Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

stage show: Masqueraders from Brian MacFarlane's presentation Africa-Her People, Her Glory, Her Tears perform a choreographed dance for the judges at the South Quay, 

Brian MacFarlane sums up his winning the 2009 Band of the Year title in three words-elated, excited and exhausted!

The National Carnival Commission (NCC) announced at a media conference yesterday that MacFarlane had won the award in the large band category for his presentation Africa-Her People, Her Glory, Her Tears.

Standing among the members of his winning team outside the mas camp on Rosalino Street in Woodbrook yesterday, MacFarlane said it was only when he tried to brush his teeth with his razor that he realised how tired he was.

But despite the obvious fatigue, the masman took time off to celebrate the historic victory with the supportive members of his team.

"I am not sure, but I think the hat-trick, plus winning the King and Queen broke some records," he said.

MacFarlane won the Band of the Year title for the years 2007 (India), 2008 (Earth) and 2009, and his creations also won King of Carnival and Queen of Carnival this year.

Coordinator for the designer Maurice Chevalier explained that MacFarlane is always exhausted after Carnival because he pours much of himself into the mas. Chevalier said that MacFarlane is always reworking and rechecking to make sure perfection is achieved.

"So much of himself in every single costume, is it any wonder that he could hardly move by Ash Wednesday?"

Though informally dubbed "the next Peter Minshall", MacFarlane is too humble to accept that accolade, instead insisting that he has many mentors in the business, including mas icon Wayne Berkeley, and others.

But he admitted that his work is more of an artistic presentation than the "senseless bikini and beads mas", a type of presentation that he seemed to dislike.

"That kind of mas is just senseless, just wine and drink and get up the next morning."

He said that costumes have the ability to influence behaviour, and his work brings discipline and consciousness, instead of the typical "wine and jam attitude" displayed on the streets during Carnival.

Despite this year's dramatic performance and the seamless appearance of the final production, road manager Daryl Joseph was disappointed with the facilities that they paraded on, and insisted that the infrastructure needs to be improved to accommodate the type of presentation that this group does.

But tired or not, Brian MacFarlane is a true masman at heart, and has already began conceptualising next year's production,

" I want to bring the mas back home next year, something based on local culture, maybe even include Tobago for the launch," he said.

But all plans for next year will have to wait as MacFarlane will be busy enough working on his next big project: designer for the Fifth Summit of the Americas in April, a project that even this tired bandleader is very excited about.


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