Title: CARIFESTA X : sizzle and fizzle
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA00100690/00001
 Material Information
Title: CARIFESTA X : sizzle and fizzle
Physical Description: Newspaper clipping
Language: English
Creator: Seales, Iana
Gibson, Jules, photographer
Publisher: Stabroek News, Saturday, 23 August 2008, pages 1, 7 & 8
Publication Date: 2008
Subject: Caribbean
Programme of Activities
Artistic Director
Mohamed, Paloma
Woodside Choir
Dewar, Marilyn
Duke, Meghan
First Born
Griffith, Linda
Daniels, Vivienne
Yoruba Singers
Shakti String Orchestra
Samaroo, Celia
Young Bill Rogers
Marshall, Tamika
David, Celeste
Classique Dancers
X Factor Dancers
Theme Song
Punch, Lisa
Bostic, Ansell
Hall, Mark
Ala Kondre Drummers
Traditional Culture
Queh Queh
Masquerade Bands
Indigenous Peoples
Trinidad and Tobago
Abstract: Article reports on the programme of activities for the CARIFESTA X opening ceremony at the National Stadium Providence on Friday, 22 August 2008.
Funding: Digitized with funding from the Digital Library of the Caribbean grant awarded by TICFIA.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA00100690
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
Holding Location: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier: CARIFESTA X 2008

Full Text

Vol. 22 No. 23 SATURDAY, AUGUST 23,200

All the contingents joined in the revelry in the grand finale at the Cifesta opening ceremony last night. Juies Gifn photo
1 ( .. n ia~ t et pm, e(mn atngt 0"

STABROEK NEWS, Saturday, August 23., 2008

Carifesta X

Sizzle and fizzle

By lana Seales

Carifesta X kicked off at the
National Stadium yesterday with
some stellar performances in an
hours-long programme that
dragged on amid a sometimes
inaudible sound system.
Unusually stormy August
weather and torrential rain delayed
the start of the packed pro-
It was as if the weather dried up
rather than soaked the proceedings
but there were those few moments
when the cultural plenitude that
Guyana had promised material-
ized; holding promise for what is
to come as the country hosts the
region's cultural festival for the
second time in 36 years.
There were no parachuters as
promised owing to the blustery
weather conditions that lashed the
stadium for just over an hour push-
ing back the starting time but there
were the CLICO fireworks- an
impressive display that lit up the
night sky like fresh hope.
"We did fairly okay tonight and
as for coordination and execution
there are some things to assess",
Artistic Director of Carifesta X,
Dr. Paloma Mohamed told
Stabroek News last evening as the
curtains came down on the open-
ing ceremony.
What could have been had
there been a smooth execution is

the question that lingers and
though the night seemed to have
dragged on rather than flowed
there was that feeling that some-
thing special was going to happen
at some stage, and it did when First
Born stood before their home
crowd to blaze a trail of Carifesta
In that one conscious moment
their words of being mentally
tough seemed fitting for a nation
just prior to its biggest cultural
moment since the 1972 Carifesta
opening. The group sang,

"Got to get my head together
To face this tough and stormy
My Irits has got to be so high,
so high ".

First Born's performance
noticeably moved the crowd with
persons chanting the lyrics of the
tune, 'Irits', which had been popu-
lar before but reached unofficial
anthem status at this year's open-
ing, and as they sang the X Factor
dancers rocked to the reggae
rhythms in fine entertaining style.
But it was reggae, dance, mas-
querade and the melodious voices
of a combined local choir which
turned out to be among the most
outstanding features of a pro-
gramme that had much promise
yet subsided into a step by step
event with little feel of vigour.

A beautiful children's costume
dance sequence, a combined effort
of several schools in Guyana,
under the direction of respected
Guyanese choreographers Linda
Griffith and Vivienne Daniels was
the highlight of the dances which
flowed in various sequences early
in the proceedings.
Little butterflies and buttercups
floated across the ground at
Providence dancing to music that
at times was inaudible. Their deli-
cate movements and little flutters
moved with wind blowing over the
stadium and as they grooved to the
rhythms the audience appeared in
a slight trance. It was the future of
Carifesta on display and step by
step they stole the hearts of the

Balloons and doves

Carifesta officially opened with
the parade of participating nations
which lasted for some time as each
country soaked up their welcome
on the ground. Some walked out
waving flags and smiling as the
then sparse crowd at the stadium
welcomed them.
Others liked Trinidad and
Tobago burst onto the ground with
excitement, beating drums and
dancing as if hot with Carnival
Some Guyanese who wanted in
on the action got up from their

seats shaking and from a few cor-
ners waving little Trinidad flags.
The contingent from Jamaica was
not a large one but they were high-
energy, feeding off of a Guyanese
crowd obviously still wrapped up
in the successes of Jamaican
sprinter Usain Bolt who dominated
the 100 and 200 sprints at the
Beijing Olympics.
But it was the Surinamese who
really captured the hearts of
onlookers as they came fully cos-
tumed for the opening depicting
what they said was Caribbean
unity. Their rich costumes were
most eye-catching.
Minister within the Ministry of
Education, Dr. Desrey Fox fol-
lowed the parade with an
Amerindian incantation. The chant
is rare and is passed on from the
spirits after several initiation rights
in the indigenous culture.
As Dr. Fox ended her chant the
stage set on the ground at
Providence filled with local per-
formers who raised a large golden
bird and also released balloons tied
with little white doves. The doves
signalled the opening of the festi-
val and were in keeping with the
spirit of Carifesta that indicate the
marriage of the traditional new,
past and future.
Dance sequences followed this
with over 1,000 local dancers tak-

Turn to page 8

These Antiguan women do their thing in the 'parade of nations.'

Page 7

Page 8 STABROEK NEWS, Saturday, August 23., 2008

Sizzle and fizzle

From page 7
ing over the stage to perform
various numbers. Designers
Michelle Cole-Rose and
Trevor Rose outfitted many
of the dancers with costumes
that were beautiful to look at,
particularly those that the
younger children wore.
The combined choir
which harmoniously blended
around 300 of the country's
gifted singers drawing from
the experienced to the bud-
ding vocalists took the stage
belting out Caribbean folk
songs after another. The
songs spoke of the bounties
of the region particularly
about food. The choir was
under the direction of

Marilyn Dewar and Meghan
Duke of the Woodside Choir.
There was also a tradition-
al Queh Queh welcome and
later in the programme came
a maticore, between them
they represented traditional
ceremonies that are held
before marriage in the
African and Hindu communi-
ties respectively.
What followed was a per-
formance of dancers from the
Guyana Hindu Dharmic
Sabha under the direction of
Dr. Vindhya Persaud in a
sequence referred to as the,
'lotus dancers'. They were
simply beautiful bringing
colour and graceful move-
ments to the stage.
The Yoruba singers fol-

This man was part of the impressive looking
Surinamese delegation at last night's opening cere-
mony for Carifesta X. (Jules Gibson photo)

lowed with a lively perfor-
mance that seemed to have
awakened persons in atten-
dance who were part of the
inaugural 1972. Their style,
traditional African folk
rhythms, was a wonderful
complement to the proceed-

Fashion and the
Ala Kondre

In a tribute to his father
reigning calypso monarch
Young Bill Rogers performed
the popular Shanto, "West
Indians weed woman" but
was barely audible. He sang
his heart out and left the stage
having done Guyana and his
father proud.
It took a while for
Suriname's Ala Kondre
drummers to take the stage
but while it was raining heav-
ily at the stadium they were
informally introduced to the
Guyanese audience; beating
away as it poured trying to
keep the spirits of the per-
formers alive.
The Ala Kondre drum-
mers are a combination of
drummers skilled on all types
of traditional drums from
Suriname. The drummers
teamed up with Guyanese
international flautist Keith
Waithe for a wonderful,
entertaining performance. It
was among the more special
performances of the opening.
But while this was unfold-
ing a parade of local models
filled the stage showcasing
dazzling Guyanese fashion.
Designer, Sonia Noel;
Richard Younge of Trinidad
and Tobago and Kofi Branch
of Barbados choreographed
the fashion parade which was
among the more pleasing
It was hardly a gala with
the chutney band and the pop-

ular local Shakti String
Orchestra kicked off a com-
bined chutney presentation
with singer Celia Samaroo, a
well known chutney artist in
the forefront of everything.
The group sang a medley of
local and regional chutney
songs. Aspara, a new Indian
dance phenomenon in
Guyana, backed the singers.
Local divas Tamika
Marshall and Celeste David
were in action later on and
they rocked the house accord-
ing to those who could hear
them- others struggled to fol-
low the performance.
The local masquerade
group, which was the centre-
piece of the opening ceremo-
ny, delivered. The flouncers
hit the stage dancing feverish-
ly as the popular 'Mother
Sally' and the 'Wild Bull'
gyrated around the ground.
Their act was immediately
followed by a masquerade
group from Trinidad which
aroused much interest when
one of the performers, the
Blue Devil, stormed on the
stage blowing fire. Their pre-
sentation was the icing on the
cake of an incredible mas-
querade sequence.
But the show ended appro-
priately with rising Guyanese
singer Lisa Punch performing
her infectious Carifesta
theme song.
The song was composed
by Ansell Bostic and Mark
Hall and arranged by
Assistant Commissioner of
Police Bovell and Robert
Bums of the Guyana Defence
Punch backed by an amaz-
ing 100-piece steel band and
the Classique and X Factor
dancers with fireworks as her
backdrop wrapped up the
evening in fine style. As her
voice soared across the stadi-
um the performers covered
the ground in a grand display
signalling the end.

A Suriname band leads the large contingent from that country in the 'parade of na

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