Let’s Talk – The morning after…Carnival!

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Cooling Down!

Carnival always ends with tired feet. Those feet which never walked a mile, will do many miles dancing, walking and even running to the rhythm of soca music. It makes me laugh just thinking about the physical preparation for carnival, and its ultimate end in a ‘cool down!

Baywatch is the name of the beach party this year. For many revelers taking the day off from work is expected. The feet and body need the ‘salt water’ and even more music to cool down! It’s beach party time and the roads going to the major beaches are packed with bumper to bumper traffic. Swimsuits, music, drinks, sun and sand….imagine!

Ash Wednesday

As a child we would head out to school on Ash Wednesday and line up to go to church. It was important to become clean again by acknowledging our sins and receiving our ashes on the forehead. To my little mind, it was okay to have fun, and then ask for forgiveness. It was expected, and even ritualistic. This was our way of life, our Trini way.

I love the beach, especially when there are not many people around. I’ve been to maybe two beach parties after carnival many years ago. Further exhaustion from the masquerade on the beach, but very satisfying.

Our carnival precedes lent, and with as much or more vigor as the revelers, our religious followers embark on the journey to repentance. The culture and heritage of our people is passionate, energizing and real.

There is a symbolic washing away of the past days, as we enter into our Lenten season – the end of the carnival season!

Engage with me and share some feedback on how this message works for you!  Thanks for reading,liking, commenting and sharing. Enjoy your wonderful day!
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Artwork: Artistree -andrew.innocent@hotmail.com
© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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Let’s Talk: Carnival-Evolution or Revolution

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Carnival Mas….

Carnival in Trinidad&Tobago is different now from when I was growing up. I have been around during the evolution and revolution of our culture, our mas. Evolution is about change. A revolution is the taking over of something which exists, making it different.

Getting ready to ‘play mas’ for J’ouvert starts on Carnival Sunday night, most times after a party. Arriving at the meeting point for 2:00am Monday morning and partying in the streets. The costumes for this event are covered in paint, mud or signs describing our local political or social controversies.

As the band, comprising ten to one thousand or more persons parade the streets, the steel-bands and DJ’s play music to ‘chip or trot/jump’ dance.

The Monday road party changes around noon as masqueraders return home and change into a part of their costume for Tuesday masquerade! The party continues until very late, sometimes stopping after 10pm.

Tuesday comes and the city comes alive. Everyone makes their way to a major city, for the road parade. Port of Spain is the main city, and its where over fifty thousand revelers adorned in full costume are ready. They all want to pass the ‘big’ stage in the Queens Park Savannah. The dance starts and goes non stop until midnight. This is how we party. This is how Trinidadians have fun. The spectators line the streets and mingle within the masquerade bands. Everyone dances, even children.

There are many discussions about whether we have gotten better and improved our carnival. The older folks think maybe we have lost ‘our’ perspective on what makes ‘real mas’. Others, the younger folks believe its a great revolution of creativity. I have played mas many times. The masquerade is an experience which one should know to understand how it affects our society. I love costumes, and becoming a different character to dance and party on the road – our streets, our stage.

A couple years ago I discovered a picture of me playing mas when I was 20 years old and at the time my costume was considered risque. As my kids looked at the picture they said, “mom that’s a lot of costume!” I laughed, I recalled the costumes now, many are beads, feathers and adornments for swimming suits, with a headpiece. My son, chuckled and advised some women have started using pasties and body paint. In fact, I did see this a couple days later in our daily newspaper.

The YouTube video above is the best illustration of what will be seen for carnival 2016 ongoing as I write.

Machel Montano has been making music from a very early age. He has won, the Soca King of the world many times. His music, is quite similar to zouk – a French Antilles  tempo. It invokes rhythmic sensuality and Machel Montano never misses a beat! His lyrics are mostly about revelry, culture and freedom of happiness and enjoyment!

I would love to see more costumes and less swimsuits.. simply because it is exciting to capture the story. It’s also good to be in character, as acting the dance creates something for the imagination to dream about. The creativity and the designers have this challenge. Give the people what they prefer (nudity) or tell the story and maybe the economics will be affected. Innovation is good, mas is good, storytelling is our culture!

Trinidad&Tobago a destination for carnival!

 

Engage with me and share some feedback on how this message works for you!  Thanks for reading,liking, commenting and sharing. Enjoy your wonderful day!
You can also share on Facebook and Twitter
Artwork: Artistree -andrew.innocent@hotmail.com

Credits: YouTube  machelmontanomusic

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Let’s Talk: It’s Carnival – Trinidad&Tobago Style!

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Carnival…

There is no other carnival anywhere in the world like Trinidad&Tobago! Its about a total release of  music, rhythms, masquerading, showmanship, freedom of expression and culture!

Just that word in passing can conjure up dancing in the streets. The total abandonment of social conformity takes over as men, women and children dance to the sounds of the steel-pan and soca artists & calysonians!

Ahhh, there is that music… this how it feels!

 

Masqueraders are in costumes which are gaily colored. Some are fully clothed but many are two piece swimsuits with glitter, feathers and beads adorning the bodies of the actors..’all players of the mas’. I have been there and the feeling is exhilarating, unlike any you will ever feel unless you are in Trinidad for Carnival. Anyone can ‘play mas’, by registering with a ‘band’ and approximately nine hundred USD!

Music flows at the highest frequency. The beat moves and everyone synchronizes movement. It is an inbuilt sensory of a vibe, a feeling. Our soca artists can stir crowds with a single beat and song. Social commentary takes over when Calypsonians both old and young express and incite revelry !

The season starts at the beginning of the calendar new year, but preparation starts from a few months after each carnival season. On the Saturday before Carnival Monday and Tuesday – always two days before Ash Wednesday- children take over the streets, masquerading in costumes. Our junior steel-bands are there together with the music DJs all lining the streets of Port of Spain and other cities nationwide .

It begins.. it is here! Our culture, our Carnival – Trinidad & Tobago! Join me for a cultural fiesta of sharing over the next few days.

Share your feedback and any topics you’d like to have covered. Let’s talk Trinidad & Tobago carnival!
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DWordslayer
*Please note the undermentioned are a couple of my personal favorites from the hundreds of tunes released for the 2016 Trinidad Carnival season! They are shown for your personal enjoyment and credit is given to the artists and YouTube for making publicly available.
Credit: YouTube Video TooReal Music Lyrikal ‘Freedom-2016 soca'(Prod. By Kubiyashi)(Trinidad) Performed By: Lyrikal
Credit:YouTube VideoJulianspromosTV | 2016 Media Aaron Duncan’Can you Feel It -2016 soca’ (prod. AdvoKit Productions)

Artwork: Artistree -andrew.innocent@hotmail.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.