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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

MacFarlane gets CHOGM contract: Chutney/Bollywood segment for opening


A Chutney/Bollywood segment will be included in the cultural act for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) opening ceremony on November 27.
Carnival designer Brian MacFarlane has once again been contracted by Government to produce the opening event.
Following the Fifth Summit of the Americas opening ceremony in April, the producer was criticised by many, including the Indo-Trinbago Equality Council (ITEC), for a lack of sufficient East Indian cultural representation.
"When we actually went through the script at the end of it all and checked these complaints, the whole committee, we realised that the East Indians got more play than the Africans did," said MacFarlane during an interview yesterday at his Rosalino Street, Woodbrook, mas camp.

"Their segments were longer. There was a whole segment on Phagwa that was done, that was never shown because the cameras can't pick up everything that was being shown because the stage was pretty big.
"Nevertheless, we have looked at it and listened to what they have to say. There is going to be a whole sort of chutney with a Bollywood twist if, you want to call it that. That's going to be put in to it."
MacFarlane, who recently launched his 2010 presentation "This is Resurrection, The Mas" at Buccoo Reef, in Tobago, said he was already in talks with a popular local East Indian group to perform the Chutney/Bollywood piece.
He revealed that entertainers such as Sparrow, Denyse Plummer and Mungal Patasar have already been confirmed. He said a grand and exciting portrayal of Trinidad and Tobago's culture can once again be expected.
"It will be on par with what we did for the Summit of the Americas," he said.
"I have already made my presentation to the whole committee, including the Honourable Prime Minister who is very excited about the whole thing. We have started work already. And it's going to be the same amount of performers. Maybe 700 to 800. And the reason for this is there is no time for costume change because it moves so quickly."
MacFarlane defended the undisclosed multi-million dollar cost for his services in April.
"The cost that was quoted in the papers first of all had VAT in it. Secondly they itemised it as the cost for the opening ceremony, it was not, it was the cost for everything that was done," he said.
"The entire Summit Village, all of the artistes 800 plus, bringing Machel from away, bringing Arrow, also the lighting, the revolving stage, the fire-proof drapes we had to use by law," he said.
"All of the events we did at the Prime Minister's residence, the Diplomatic Centre, the plenary. So it was numerous, numerous events that took place the cost covered. So when you really start to break it down you would realise it is not that much."
Along with the opening, MacFarlane will also be working on the production of the Summit Village and other meetings for the November summit.
Trinidad Express

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