CARIFESTA IX – REVIEW BY PAMELA
October 9, 2006
The ninth staging of the Carifesta Caribbean festival, hosted by Trinidad came and went. The theme was “Celebrating our people, contesting the world stage”.
The September 22nd opening ceremony at the Hasley Crawford Stadium though full of splendour and colour, lacked excitement; it was obviously disorganized and a little lukewarm. One highlight of the opening ceremony was the 900 excited children dressed in their white enchanting costumes bordered with different colours and white flat circles surrounding their happy faces. They formed letters of “Carifesta” on the field. That must have taken a lot of organization and practice!
The other highlight of the opening ceremony was the fireworks spectacle. What a beautiful sight that was! The Trinidad contingent, the largest of all, wore red T shirts and black pants. They walked along the track with seemingly little enthusiasm. The much smaller contingent from Barbados thoroughly enjoyed themselves; they were active, excited, vibrant, loud and the most exuberant group present. Their mascot wore a pierrot grenade type costume and exhibited his acrobatic skills to the delight of the large audience. He was absolutely fantastic.
Numerous fringe activities of Carifesta IX were taking place around the Country. Some failed to draw much attention, probably due to insufficient advertising. Others played to packed houses. The production “Mornument” written and directed by Davlin Thomas of Trinidad and the National Dance Theatre of Jamaica’s performances were both well attended.
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“,1] ); //–>One production which failed to attract the audience it deserved was St Mark’s Place” written, produced and directed by Chadd Cumberbatch who also acted in the play as well. This play was presented by the group from Montserrat and should have been seen by everyone. It was an excellent production which looked at the HIV/AIDs issue from a different perspective where persons (including a baby) contracted the disease, died and arrived at the “pearly gates” to be judged.
Chad Cumberbatch portrayed a menacing, rasta haired, red jacketed, homosexual devil. The small crowd simply
loved him. Another plus for this production was the way in which the audience became involved. This was a deliberate strategy which worked. I wish more people were exposed to this excellent production.
I viewed the closing ceremony on T.V. The ceremony seemed to be compensating for what was lacking in the opening ceremony. The energy and excitement was evident with fireworks befitting a grand finale.
Bahamas will be hosting Carifesta X in 2008.