Bands bring vibrant choreography to Savannah stage

CARNIVAL COLOURS: This masquerader from The Lost Tribe's Fly enjoys herself during the Parade of the bands at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain on February 13.  - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
CARNIVAL COLOURS: This masquerader from The Lost Tribe's Fly enjoys herself during the Parade of the bands at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain on February 13. - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Several mas bands had presentations complete with choreographed dances during the Parade of the Bands on Carnival Tuesday.

Among them were the mini traditional band Clowns ‘N’ Tongue, medium band K2K Alliance and Partners, and large band The Lost Tribe.

Presenting itself for judging at the Queen’s Park Savannah, the Lost Tribe presentation Fly was, according to the announcer, a direct reflection of the “God is a Trini” attitude many locals had.

The presentation included dancers in flowing pants and wings, moving around a woman dressed in white and carrying a wicker basket. Some also carried poles with bird-shaped kites as they moved to music, mostly composed of bird songs.

All seven sections were named after birds but very few traditional feathers were seen. Instead, they were made of other materials, such as cloth and wire.

In one section, Coquette, the costumes included multi-coloured flowing skirts or long pants with head ties and long cloth neck pieces.

Although one of the biggest bands to cross the stage with 13 sections, Yuma portraying On Tour: A World to Celebrate seemed to be one of the most organised. Security officers kept the masqueraders moving on stage and only allowed the next section on after the previous one had cleared it.

While most sections looked similar with their colourful feathers and bikinis, one, called Oil and Music, stood out with its black, bronze and blue colouring as well as the incorporation of pan sticks and the outline of notes on the pan to the costume.

Eighteen bands crossed the Savannah stage from 9 am-1 pm, including Ronnie and Caro Mas Band, Republic Bank Exodus, and several traditional mas bands highlighting minstrels, apes, blue devils and more.

Exodus mas players chipped across the stage to the sound of the steelpan belting out older calypsoes. Most were dressed in crisp white sailor hats, shirts, pants, or dresses. On their chests were printed a black butterfly whose wings were made out of steelpans.

There was also a group of older sailors at the back of the band who were less concerned about the music, the stage, the audience or the judges, and for a while, were completely absorbed with ensuring their cups had the right mix of alcohol.

More serious about the sailor mas, small band Belmont Exotic Stylish Sailors portrayed Dusk Till Dawn (A Celebration of Darkness to Light). An individual masquerader, dressed in a pearlescent black and gold sailor costume, methodically performed a sailor dance while the other masqueraders were dressed in various sailor costumes including the fireman and fancy sailor.

There were even a few sailors resembling the Midnight Robber and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves while throwing powder everywhere.

The First Citizens Original Jab Jab presented Ancestral Warriors. An individual masquerader was wearing the traditional jab jab costume with mirrors and horizontal stripes. But, in addition, there was a backpack with large green leaves as well as small silver and green masks and large mirrors.

The jab jabs demonstrated synchronised whipping in the air, the two-handed use of whips, and several one-on-one whip fights.

The Dog Soldiers presented the Pow Wow Festival. The colourful authentic Indian mas included the usual colourful costumes and elaborate headdresses. They also carried shaman staffs, bows, arrows and hatchets, and had a couple of children enjoying themselves as well.

A few well-known faces crossed the Savannah stage, including Sharon Rowley, the Prime Minister’s wife, in K2K Alliance, veteran director/actress Penelope Spencer in the Lost Tribe, and former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam in Harts Carnival.


"Bands bring vibrant choreography to Savannah stage"

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