DIMANCHE GRAS 2015
By TriniSoca Reporters
Event Date: February 15, 2015
Members of the Revelation Institute for Performing Education (RIPE)
On Sunday 15th February 2015, Dimanche Gras was once again hosted on the Grand Stand Stage in the Queen’s Park Savannah. As patrons streamed through the gates, they were met by the youths of the Revelation Institute for Performing Education (RIPE) playing steelpan at the entrance. National Academy for the Performing Arts students were also enlisted to assist in entertaining the crowd prior to the official start of the show with a dance piece titled “African Essence.”
A Fire Limbo performance
The show started just after 7.00pm with flagbearer Mr. Hurbert Diaz standing at attention on the stage in his eye-catching suit of red, white and black, holding the National Flag of Trinidad and Tobago aloft. Dr. Lincoln Douglas, Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism accompanied by Peter Telfer officially opened the 2015 Dimanche Gras show. MCs Errol Fabien and Penny Commissiong smoothly introduced each act and the show swung off with a theatrical tone as another dance piece was performed by dancers in black and white, dancing the Limbo under flames on the stage.
Junior Queen of Carnival 2015, Cyan Lue Sue’ Scarlet Macaw – Treasure of Nariva
The Parade of Costumes kicked off with the Junior Queen of Carnival 2015, Cyan Lue Sue portraying her winning costume, “Scarlet Macaw – Treasure of Nariva”. As the parade glittered and billowed under the lights, the large audience appreciated the show with applause. “The Mystical Queen”, “Sweet Waters of Africa” and “When I Say Africa You Say Shaka” were some of the more popular pieces displayed that night and the expertise of the dancers as they maneuvered their costumes in the brisk wind was evident.
Victoria “’Queen Victoria’ Cooper performs “Venting”
Victoria ‘Queen Victoria’ Cooper opened the competition segment with her song “Venting”. It stood up to its title as she vented her dissatisfaction over the governance of Trinidad and Tobago by the present administration, citing some of the scandals which had been aired in the public domain of late. This performance was somewhat muted in comparison to her second piece titled, “Long Live Kaiso,” an ode to the sweetness of kaiso as the fraternity celebrates 100 years of the art form. She also used her time on the stage to pay tribute to Winston ‘Explainer’ Henry, who joined her on stage as she hailed this “mighty man” of the industry.
Karene Asche performs “Bridge the Gap”
Karene Asche channeled the presence of recently murdered Point Blank hostess, Marcia Henville via pictorial posters as she gave a sharp delivery of “Bridge the Gap” in a Harlequin-esque outfit, commenting on how the grassroots people did not benefit from Trinidad and Tobago’s resources the way the rest of the country did. Her second song, “Every Knee Shall Bow,” was reminiscent of gospelypso and as she performed sheathed in a gold dress the audience sang along lustily with her in refrain.
Heather McIntosh performs “Ah Gone”
Heather McIntosh performed her song, “Ah Gone”. Her contribution drew from her student days in Brazil and referenced how the crime in Trinidad had become so bad that she would now have to migrate and her fusion of kaiso and Brazilian music offered something new in the musical arena. Her follow up was “An Ode for 4″, a crisply delivered statement on how a local television station dedicated to the arts and culture was being exploited for political means.
Devon Seale performs “My Humble Plea”
Another artiste who created a buzz was Devon Seale whose rendition of “Soul Judges” impressed the audience with its clever incorporation of soul music in the kaiso medley. His ballad, “My Humble Plea”, was a powerful statement on the grim reality of criminal lifestyles and an early death facing some of the youths in the country in recent times.
Myron ‘The Incredible Myron B’ Bruce performs “Data Analysis”
Myron ‘Myron B’ Bruce offered “Data Analysis” which he performed in quite a comedic vein, dressed up as Sherlock Holmes investigating Trinidad and Tobago’s scandals complete with pipe and trench coat. It was both witty and on point as he called for self analysis on a national scale. His second song, “Ebola Scare” was another comedic number, demonstrating his skill with double entendre and complete with outfits and characters to support his kaiso, mischievously lampooning the former Minister of Sports, Mr. Anil Roberts in the process.
Neville ‘Bunny B’ Brown performs “Multi Crisis”
Neville ‘Bunny B’ Brown sang “Multi Crisis” which called out the Prime Minister, Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar for compromising the domestic safety of the country by proclaiming solidarity with other international continents to fight ISIS. International policy was chastised since she was seeking to chase international crime whilst local crime continued unabated and was complemented by the misbehavior in varying spheres by her Cabinet composition. His second contribution, “Tame Tame Tame” likewise spoke to the theme of leadership as he compared how the fierce proponents of the early leadership of Trinidad and Tobago, from the Black Power Movement to the Union Leaders, have gone quite “tame” and accepting in today’s society.
Winston “The Original De Fosto Himself” Scarborough performs his song “Games”
Winston ‘The Original De Fosto Himself’ Scarborough likewise addressed the political maneuvering of local leadership, in his song titled “Games”. He painted both the Government and the Opposition with the same brush and proclaimed them to be in league with the games they play, thus proving Basdeo Panday’s observation to be correct when he once said, “Politics has a morality all its own.” His second contribution was the “Message for the Patriarch,” which was a call for the public to come together and unite against racism, to save the country from crime and be of assistance to fellow citizenry. Again, the politics of the day was taken to task as he blamed the politicians for dividing the country. Black Stalin was also given acknowledgement in his performance as this was the first year in the great bard’s career that he would not be performing due to health related issues.
Brian London performs “Who Vex Loss”
Another artiste who brought Dr. Leroy ‘Black Stalin’ Calliste into Dimanche Gras arena was Brian London, who had him appear live on the large overhead screens via Skype to take part in his performance of “Who Vex Loss”. The crowd cheered as Stalin danced and bounced overhead. Brian London also sang “Wishful” which, like Karene Asche, took a rather spiritual tone and translated as prayer-like. It was distinctively different to the offerings of the other competitors though this too was a nationalistic tome.
Duane O’Connor performs “Citizens Pride”
Duane O’Connor performed “Citizens Pride”, a patriotic tome saluting his love of his mother land Trinidad and Tobago. It stood out as a nod paid to the cosmopolitan construct of the country and the goal of national unity in his cry to “Put country first!” His second song, “Dance of Deliverance” saw him dressed as Moses calling on the public to vote and in so doing, do the “dance of deliverance” for the country in freeing it of the present tyranny of poor management.
Reigning Calypso Monarch, Roderick ‘Chucky’ Gordon performs “The Rose”
The reigning Calypso Monarch, Roderick ‘Chucky’ Gordon defended his crown with two offerings, “The Rose” and “I Believe”. “The Rose” was a political commentary calling out the Prime Minister for apparent vanity in seeming to need to smell like a rose despite the numerous scandals dogging her management choices and cabinet faux pas. His second song, “I Believe” was about the salvation of this country through many mediums, politics, trade unions, religious diversity. He spoke out against the mindset that has leaders placing party before country and the corruption that seems endemic, calling on the people to unite as one people, one nation. He was well received.
Joanne ‘Tigress’ Rowley performs “Peace Chant”
Joanne ‘Tigress’ Rowley started off with “What You Willing To Die For”. Moko jumbies danced in the background as large pictures of various martyrs to the national interest in the form of Marcia Henville, Dana Seetahal, Wayne Kublalsingh and a granny who was gunned down, gazed at the audience from hand held posters waved by the her Moke Jumbie dancers. She used them to inspire and invoke thought on what “you willing to die for?” Her chorus was a cry and invocation for greater engagement from the public to do as these martyrs did and follow in their footsteps. Her second song, “Peace Chant” took a gentler tone though she was equally entertaining as she danced and flounced in a sea of pink ruffles and lace.
Selvon ‘Mistah Shak’ Noel performs “Target”
Selvon ‘Mistah Shak’ Noel gave two high spirited performances, “Pretenders Reminder” and “Target”. “Pretenders Reminder” condemned the politics in Trinidad which is reflected in the kaiso arena and the theft of lyrics by other artistes. ‘Mistah Shak’ was unrelenting in his forceful denunciation and his next song “Target” was likewise sharp in its delivery as “The Kaiso Hitman” proceeded to take aim at the government for the many managerial missteps they have made, resulting in numerous national scandals.
Reigning Calypso Monarch, Roderick ‘Chucky’ Gordon
While waiting for the results to be announced, door prizes were handed out and the crowd was treated to a rousing performance by Keith ‘Ajala’ Sutherland as he sang “Bring Down The Power”. The event’s theatricals did not fail to thrill and entertain as the results were announced and TUCO President Lutalo Masimba took to the stage to hand out the prizes to their respective winners. Once more, ‘Chucky Gordon’ was announced to be the reigning King and he took to the stage to the cheers of his supporters to accept his award. The show had once more proven itself to be a premier gem in the Carnival season of performances.
1st Chucky Gordon
2nd Devon Seales
3rd Karene Asche
4th Heather McIntosh
5th Mistah Shak
6th Brian London
7th Duane O’Connor
8th Myron B
10th Queen Victoria
11th Bunny B
12th The Original De Fosto Himself