Mac Farlane’s Joy
By Andre Bagoo Wednesday, February 13 2013
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Rainbow dancers: Masqueraders celebrate the colours of the 'Rainbow' in Brian Mac Farlane's Joy-The Finale....
MAS MAN Brian Mac Farlane yesterday painted the Queen’s Park Savannah stage, literally leaving his mark. Mac Farlane’s band Joy - the Finale – billed as his last ever Carnival band presentation – turned the stage into a kaleidoscope of orange, blue, green, yellow, purple, pink and red. But not satisfied with this, when the band had finished its hour-long presentation, Mac Farlane came on stage, took off his hat, bowed and then dipped a paintbrush into a small tin of white paint.
“Mac Farlane Carnival,” he wrote in jagged lettering.
The band surprised many by crossing the stage relatively early on Carnival Tuesday, opting to get the benefit of the bright morning light on the sailor-inspired, tie-dye mas. The band crossed at about 9.12 am. It was the sixth band to cross (the first being the mini-band ‘Is Chinese Minstrels’ lead by Claudette Sinnette which crossed at 7.56 am).
But Joy - The Finale was still a long time coming for onlookers attending the parade of the bands at the Grand Stand of the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. There was a delay of eight minutes before the opening prelude to the band appeared on stage. Tassa drummers and dancers bearing tall standards, all dressed in white, came to the centre of the stage. A woman figure, carrying a baby, joined them and was soon painted all manner of colour, as green, red, gold, blue, yellow confetti exploded on stage.
Band No 2096 was the highlight of the day for many in the Grand Stand who gave it lusty applause and many felt Mac Farlane had really saved his best for last. But because it took more than the 30 minutes to cross the stage the six-time band of the year winner faced penalties when the final marks were being tallied at all the different venues last evening. The prelude to the band ate about 15 minutes of the band’s time.
Mac Farlane’s band was an intricately-sequenced presentation, with colours from each section being picked up and developed by the next. The opening section, “Joy of Sun”, featured masqueraders wearing large, orange collars and wings, as the Queen of Carnival, Charisse Bovell, danced her winning portrayal, “The Joy of Paradise”. The second-section, “Tradition”, comprised sailor-mas, but the sailors had orange scarves and standards which matched the tones of the previous section.
This was how the sections progressed. Other sections which got applause were the aptly titled, “Rainbow”; “Drum” (which saw masqueraders thumping their own drum); “Dance”; “Rain” and “Moon”. King of Carnival Gerard Weekes paraded his “The Joy of Love” amid the masqueraders of the section entitled “Ocean”, creating an effect of a large koi fish in water.
There was the use of props. Several doors, painted green yellow and blue, were rolled onstage to evoke images of gingerbread houses as masqueraders in belee-inspired costumes (the section was called “Heritage”) danced around them. At one stage three giant towers draped in purple, pink and blue, were rolled onstage with two dancers at the top of each.
After the presentation Mac Farlance told reporters about the seemingly perennial problems mas men face, including lack of financial incentives and too low prize-money. He said while he would not bring out a band again, he might participate in some other way. He also stated he had his eyes on participating in the Rio Carnival 2014.
Mac Farlane used so much confetti that CEPEP workers took about five minutes to put the huge mounds left on the stage into garbage bags.
Also crossing the stage early yesterday were Belmont Original Stylish Sailors with their well- received presentation, Under D Big Top; and DHR Mas’s band Euphoria - D Sister Isle (a band inspired by Tobago with sections like “Black Rock”, “Pirates Bay” and “Dancing Crabs”).
Also crossing early was Wee International’s “Magnifique...Earth’s Most Colourful Creatures”.