Dimanche Gras, 2012

Tighter show, younger competitors at Dimanche Gras
Originally published in the Guardian's Carnival Souvenir on Thursday 23 February, 2012
Roland St George portraying Ralliez Vous A Mon Panache Blanci won the King of Carnival title at Dimanche Gras, 2012. Photograph by Mark Lyndersay.

About the worst thing that happened onstage at Dimanche Gras was the heartbreaking fall of Sobeit’s stiltwalking King, Jhwalan Thomas who wrestled with his harness, then bent over double and with agonising slowness, collapsed to the ground, crushing his costume, a wireframe globe titled Alpha.

In better news, the competition strove mightily to more efficiently manage the sheer magnitude of the talent being offered onstage. But delays were inevitable with 12 calypsonians, each singing two selections and 20 Kings and Queens, each keen to make maximum use of their allotted time on the big stage.

The agonising intermission showpieces were absent in this year’s edition of the show and the calypso segment was bisected again, with the costume competition separating the performances of the calypsonians.
The stage arrangement was sensibly organised to minimise the time spent on resetting it between calypso and costumes. The only complaint the audience might have nursed is the one embedded in the design of Dimanche Gras, the insurmountable reality of two major competitions crammed in one evening’s entertainment.

Despite the efforts at streamlining the production, Calypso Monarch winner Duane O’Connor would close the competitive segment of the show at close to two in the morning, almost nine hours after the first entertainers hit the stage.
O’Connor, who won the Young King crown earlier in the season, was a crowd favourite with his sprightly song, ‘The hunt is on,’ which asked questions, none of them particularly challenging, about the role of Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne.

Alleyne, clearly pleased with O’Connor’s approach, closed the first round performance of the song with an appearance in a costume approximating the uniform of a Police Commissioner, to ‘arrest’ the singer.
Runner - up Kurt Alleyne also challenged the turgid pace of the compositions that suffused much of the calypso contribution for the night with songs that were witty, intelligent and barbed in the tradition of his self - appointed role as the last badjohn of calypso.

Taking the title of Queen of Carnival was Charisse Bovell portraying ‘Mother of humanity - The weeping Madonna.’ from Brian McFarlane’s In search of Santification. Bovell appeared last year as the final queen designed legendary mas designer Wayne Berkeley for Genesis 1 Creation by The Word and associates.

The King of Carnival, Roland St George, a longtime rival of Curtis Eustace, drubbed Gerard Weekes, competing as Malak Yahweh and Eustace, portraying D Midnight Messenger into second and third place respectively with ‘Ralliez - Vous A Mon Panache Blanci,’ a massive costume depicting a crouching figure in silver, white and black, festooned with skulls.

Dimanche Gras Results

Calypso Monarch
1st Duane O’Connor
2nd Kurt Allen
3rd Karene Asche
4th Devon Seales
5th Heather McIntosh
6th Hollis ‘Chalkdust’ Liverpool
7th Michael ‘Sugar Aloes’ Osuna
8th Dexter ‘Stinger’ Parsons
9th Brian London
10th Sandra ‘Singing Sandra’ Des Vignes
11th Lesley Ann Ellis
12th Weston ‘Cro Cro’ Rawlins

Carnival King Results
1st Ralliez - Vous A Mon Panache Blanci - Roland St George
2nd Malak Yahweh - The Praying Mantis - Gerard Weekes
3rd D Midnight Messenger - Curtis Eustace
4th The Crow - Adrian Young
5th Icarus Ascending - Earl Thompson
6th Prince Siegrfried: The Story of Swan Lake ‘Tribute to Wayne Berkley’ - Brian Chin
7th Kwak Waka Wakin ‘The Sacred Totem’ - Zinool Mohammed
8th Flight of Conscience - Wade Madray
9th Alpha - Jhawhan Thomas
10th The Tree of Life - Shane Philip

Carnival Queen Results
1st Mother of Humanity - The Weeping Madonna - Charisse Bovell
2nd Last Dance of the Enchanted Witches - Roxanne Omalo
3rd Wachiwi - I Dream Of A Bustle Dancer - Rose Marie Kuru Jagessar
4th D’Woman and D’Butterflies - Shari Derek
5th Amethyst Rising - Kay Mason
6th Harmony - Lanie Lezama
7th The Limbo Dancer - Cherry Ann Patrice Valere
8th Princess of the Mardi Gras - Laura Rampersad
9th Exotic Sunset on the Horizon - Patricia Bailey
10th Princess Odette - Queen of the Swans - Avernell Johnson
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