Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Cultural Presentation that Opened CHOGM 2009

The cultural presentation for the 2009 commonwealth heads of government was fantastic, it’s on you tube and is a powerful presentation of Trinbago culture and a salute to the talent of our people, here is a little mix of a Newsday article and the video clips on you tube enjoy.

Spirit of TT on show

Trinbago pride: Calypsonian Denyse Plummer performs Nah Leavin with dancers at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port-of-Spain Friday.

In a colourful display of artistry and showmanship, visiting Commonwealth leaders were yesterday given a glimpse into Trinidad and Tobago’s diverse cultural heritage through the eyes of designer and masman Brian Mac Farlane during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port-of-Spain.
The cultural programme followed the formal opening ceremony of CHOGM, which featured addresses by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, Prime Minister Patrick Manning, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma and Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.In his presentation, Mac Farlane left no stone unturned in his attempt to vividly portray the elements that have combined over the years to make TT a unique, twin-island developing nation. 
However, the designer’s 45-minute cultural exhibition, which included 935 costumed performers, mirrored aspects of his opening presentation during the Fifth Summit of the Americas in this country in April. It again highlighted, in a meticulously co-ordinated programme, the contributions of the Africans, East Indians, Chinese, Spanish and other ethnicities to the nation’s development through tassa, steel pan, calypso, limbo and Carnival. Even belly-dancing, a more contemporary genre of entertainment, was incorporated into the programme.

But Mac Farlane also delved into TT’s treasured pastimes, highlighting the country’s love for cricket, football, kite-flying and having a good time. 

In the opening sequence, Mac Farlane used the Queen’s Park Savannah, regarded as the world’s largest roundabout, to depict the Trinbagonian’s penchant for fun and relaxation.
With bat and ball in tow, young men played a hearty game of cricket as a voice emanating from a speaker in the background gave running commentaries on Brian Lara’s record-breaking performances. Later, a group of footballers would invade the stage in salute to the country’s beloved Soca Warriors.
Entertainer Denyse Plummer, in an elaborate outfit bearing the national colours, sang her popular “Nah Leavin” towards the end of the first segment of the cultural presentation.

Trinidad and Tobago’s status as a major oil and gas producing nation also received some attention in Mac Farlane’s presentation. Performers dressed in red jumpers and white helmets carried out activities usually conducted on an oil rig.
His thick, white beard contrasting sharply with his navy-blue suit, veteran calypsonian Winston Bailey (Shadow) sang his classic “Dingolay” as a precursor to a segment which dealt exclusively with Tobago’s rich heritage. 

To the tune of Michael Baker’s “Come To Tobago,” which was composed to commemorate the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret’s visit to the island years ago, masqueraders depicted the Tobago Wedding and other indigenous traditions on the sister isle.
During the presentation, chutney singer Drupatee Ramgoonai also made a comeback, performing her hit “Roll Up De Tassa” to the delight of the gathering.


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