Friday 31 March 2017

Thursday 30th March: Trinidad Carnival 2017 - Tuesday

As you can see, Tuesday at Trinidad Carnival was an absolute dream for me!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was literally in heaven.  Not only did I get to witness carnival but I actually took part in it!  I wore a "Powder Sailor" Mas to fete with The Trinidad All Stars.  It is one of the original and most established Mas Bands with Keith Christopher Rowley (current Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago) playing mas alongside all of us.  It was so much fun seeing him getting involved with throwing talcum powder and getting covered himself.  I just can't imagine a UK politician doing this at Notting Hill Carnival! 
My absolute favourite costume was this gentleman photographed above, who balanced a wire sculpture on his head & shoulders for the duration of the day and entire route.  He must have done this a few times before - professional! The tinsel and pom pom decoration was just so exquisite.  
In these photos are also shots of another band of "Fancy Sailors" who had sea creatures harnessed to their backs, see the hermit crab here!  Everyone was so smart, I want to dress like this EVERY DAY.  FOREVER.  AND EVER.

(Photo credits: Marsha Trepte in the Quechua sun costume, Mr Dapper in the pink suit, and the fancy sailors with the sea creatures are Belmont Exotic Stylish Sailors.)

Thursday 30 March 2017

Thursday 30th March: Trinidad Carnival 2017 - Monday

On Monday, I was so over-excited at seeing the larger "full" costumes, I didn't realise that my camera was set to "Manuel" mode rather than than "Automatic" so all my photos are out of focus  :  (
But here are a few that didn't suffer too badly and I have managed to salvage.  I may have lost the evidence but the memories are going to last forever!

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Wednesday 29th March: Trinidad Carnival 2017 - Panorama

Just like Notting Hill Carnival, there is a night dedicated to the Steel Pan bands called Panorama.  Here are the small bands parked up infront of the Savannah stadium ready to practise before pushing themselves up to the stage.  I thought these were the main event and watched them each take their turn.  Then I got home late at night and realised the competition of the large bands had only just begun as it was being televised ......... all night. 
 If you can't make it down to the actual fete, the whole thing is aired on TV!  
See my Instagram movie clip here.

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Tuesday 28th March: Trinidad Carnival 2017 - Saturday

 The cuteness of "Kiddies Carnival" continued to the following day with the official start to the main Carnival.  Now the parade's route went via the main "Savannah" auditorium which is the purpose-built arena for Carnival of terraces for spectators and judges.  Its absolutely massive with a central stage to act out the main performance mid-way between the entire day's journey across town on foot.  
I have no idea how the tiny little ones can keep up with the hours on the road or indeed keep on their costume.  Some toddlers are carried thru asleep in arms or pushed in decorated prams.  It's too cute, I can't cope.
Here in my snaps from the side streets, you can see girls with fish crowns on their heads.  One has hers on backwards and the other has taken hers off completely.  I wish they had turned profile so you can see the whole fish on a wire.  It's genius.
I've also captured the braids of the girls in the crowds for the multi-colour plastic beads that decorate the detailed plaits.  Everyone is in party mode, on or off the floats. 

Tuesday 28th March: Trinidad Carnival 2017 - "Fantastic Friday"

Here is my story of recording the Mas (costume) at Trinidad Carnival from the very beginning of my encounters - Fantastic Friday.  There are parades on different days in different towns at different times, all around the clock ........ but this was the first that I came across.  I was in the capital city of Port Of Spain to see a Soca concert for a taste of 2017's fete soundtrack.  (This included a live performance of Ultimate Rejects - "Full Extreme" which became THE MOST PLAYED song for the next week, so much so, that it was permanently in my inner ear even when I was asleep!).  We walked across town, following trails of children in half costume holding their props and headdresses.  This all made sense and came together at an intersection where the procession of bands were going thru a judging panel.  This is why they appear to be in line in these snaps, waiting to cross the line to begin their choreographed routine.

These are traditional costumes, top to bottom: Moko Jumbies (stilt walkers), Dame Lorraine, Baby Dolls,  Grenadan Short-Knee, Fancy Indians, Sailor Mas ........... some of these themes you'll recognise reoccurring over the consecutive days....... 

........... to myself "playing Mas" as a Powder sailor on Tuesday.............. but this moment on Friday was a real highlight and magic memory, as I had finally found myself at Trinidad Carnival seeing the real thing!

(Photo Credit:  Salti Lingo Sylvan, the Moko Jumbie with the red face from TouchDSky)