Wednesday, February 17, 2010

MacFarlane resurrects the mas

Brian MacFarlane’s 2010 Carnival presentation, Resurrection: The Mas, yesterday palanced along Adam Smith Square to draw more onlookers than the half-naked and topless female masqueraders of most other large bands. MacFarlane’s extravagant 16-section band was reflective of the Carnival euphemism, the greatest show on earth, after throngs of spectators got off the pavement along the corner of Ariapita Avenue and Carlos Street to crowd both sides of his presentation, which featured traditional mas characters from the late 1880s. MacFarlane, who has won the large Band of the Year category since 2008, was a hit among bystanders, who whipped out their pocket-sized digital cameras to capture shots of the characters in his band, such as Dame Lorraine, a mas character reflective of 18th century French planters, who dressed up in elegant costumes of the French aristocracy and paraded with masks made from fine wire mesh.
MacFarlane’s mas characters were mainly clad in bronze, copper and gold tones with black-and-white pierrot grenades cracking their whips to the awe of onlookers. His Carnival queen presentation, Dame Gwo Bunda, was also popular among spectators after she took to the streets in moko jumbie style, costumed with elements of the traditional Carnival character, the Dame Lorraine on stilts. Dame Lorraine, another product of the lower classes of the 18th century, wore fine clothes of the aristocrats, stuffed their bosoms and padded their buttocks, providing much comic relief. Other well-received bands included Dave Cameron’s Trini Revellers and Stephen Derek and Associates’ grand tribute to mas legend, George Bailey.



MacFarlane speaks



“I am not about winning, I am about presenting my God-given creativity, which is my art, and leave the people to judge.


“What happened with the king and the queen, some people say maybe I now need to put wheels because of the breeze—I would not, that’s not mas—I was going true with the mas,” MacFarlane said during a brief interview at Victoria Square, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. MacFarlane’s Queen, Dame Gwo Bunda and his King, Dragon Can Dance, both fell at Sunday’s Dimanche Gras show. He said if it means re-entering the competition next year, he would. “If I have to go back next year and I fall again—I would fall again, but I would be true to the mas. “We are down now, and we are down for 12 months, but would be back in the (Queen’s Park) Savannah in mere months,” MacFarlane said.



The band is made up of 16 sections with 48 characters and deals with “the pure form of mas” from the 1800s, hence the use of copper, bronze, and gold, MacFarlane said. “Everything is in gold, copper and bronze because my story tells the mas has died and was buried in Buccoo Reef,” he said. “When we did the launch, the spirits were resurrected on the sand bank and, to show honour and glory, they washed the entire mas in copper and gold.”
SOURCE T&T Guardian
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