Saturday, February 06, 2010

Carnival Kings and Queens Two queen ‘topplers’ …fail to get past prelims

Tamara Allenye-Gittens is assisted by members of her Spice Route camp after her costume D’Morrocan Fan Dancer tumbled on the Queen’s Park Savannah stage at the preliminaries of the Queen and King of Carnival competition on Thursday. Photo: Angelo Marcelle
High winds at the Queen’s Park Savannah caused two Queen of Carnival competitors to take a tumble on stage thwarting their chances of moving forward to the semifinal round. Among the hapless participants who lost balance in the Preliminaries of the King and Queen of Carnival competition because of the powerful gusts were Queens, Tamara Alleyne-Gittens portraying D’Morrocan Fan Dancer from the band Spice Route and Keisha Steeling with the depiction Spirit of the Drums.
Organised by the National Carnival Bands Association of T&T, the show which attracted a small crowd on Thursday saw 43 Queens and 49 Kings, gracing the stage in their costumes, some of which lacked creativity, originality and at times did not appear in timely fashion. Minutes into the Queen segment, Steeling had to be assisted off-stage after the wind tore into the front of her costume. Then, shortly afterwards Alleyne-Gittens portraying a glittering and glamorous fan dancer suffered the same fate as the breeze coupled with the weight of the costume caused her to buckle.

Showing a fighting spirit, the masquerader got to her feet and started chipping to the music for a few seconds, but buckled under pressure again and collapsed with her $75,000 costume. Writhing in pain, Alleyne-Gittens was placed on a stretcher by members of her camp and taken to a mobile clinic backstage, where she was examined and treated for minor bruises to her right leg. Yesterday Alleyne-Gittens said she knows her fate rests in the hands of the judges. “I can only hope for the best,’”she said in a telephone interview early yesterday morning. By lunch time, Alleyne-Gittens found out that she did not qualify for the semis, which plunged Spice’s camp into gloom. This is Spice’s second year in Carnival. Steeling also did not get beyond the prelims. Twenty Queens and Kings will move on to the semi finals which are expected to take place this week. However, the portrayal that brought local and foreign patrons alike to their feet was Brian Mac Farlane’s Queen Sevel Nicholls portraying Dame Gwo Bunda.
RIGHT: Sevel Nicholls from the band Resurrection The Mas dances her beautiful stilt costume Dame Gwo Bunda, which top the scores in the preliminaries of the Queens competition.

Parading as the traditional Dame Lorraine costume on six foot stilts, Nicholls dressed in a shimmering bronze-coloured dress, which hugged her inflated chestline and extended rear, teased the audience with fancy footwork and energetic spirit. Mac Farlane’s Queen and King both topped their categories. Remarkably, Mac Farlane fabricated both his Queen and King in three weeks. “I had the concept and design in my heads for months, but because I had to work for the Summit and CHOGM I started making the costumes only three weeks ago”, the designer said. Joan Mohammed’s Queen of D Desert Sun was also a favourite, while Sedley Antoine who depicted D’ Beast Master also received lusty applause. Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs Minister, Marlene Mc Donald, who attended the show heaped praises on Alleyne-Gittens for her bravado and courage. “My heart went out for her.

I am so sorry that she fell. It is really a beautiful costume. To me, you have to expect anything on stage.” Mac Donald said she was impressed with the costumes, insisting that Carnival is in safe hands. “I am beginning to understand the innovativeness of our people. Overall, I think the show was quite good.” Of all the Queens, Mac Donald said Mac Farlane’s was the one to beat. The preliminary round of the King and Queen of Carnival took place at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Thursday night. In all 43 queens and 49 kings graced the stage.
ABOVE: Gerard Weeks depicts Dragon Can’t Dance, a Brain Mac Farlane creation from the band Resurrection The Mas.

                                           Theophilus Simmons depicts Tipu Sultan from the band Masala.

Sedley Antoine’s costume D’ Beast Master from the band Tribute was well received by patrons.
ABOVE: Chromatic Reflections portrayed by Joan Mohammed was a favourite with the crowd.

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