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Kalicharan Carnival rises with The Olympians
Mas icon Ivan Kalicharan of Kalicharan Carnival is turning back the pages of time as he places the focus on Greek mythology in his Carnival 2013 presentation, Rise of the Olympians.
The 19-time San Fernando band of the year winner has infused his 2013 costumes with vibrant hues of coral, blue gold and aquamarine which committee member Ayana Kalicharan, daughter of Ivan and Wendy Kalicharan, said has been receiving overwhelming response from masqueraders.
“We have an excellent response, we have a lot more people than last year. Two of our sections are already sold out and we may even have to introduce a new section because of the response,” Ayana said.
Today the T&T Guardian is shining the spotlight on the ever-popular Kalicharan Carnival.
Name: Kalicharan Carnival
The band is the brainchild of husband and wife mas making team of Ivan and Wendy Kalicharan and has been producing Carnival Bands in San Fernando since 1983. Kalicharan Carnival has copped the Band of The Year Title 19 times in San Fernando and continues to impress.
For 2013 Kalicharan Carnival is presenting its take on Greek mythology in its presentation, Rise of the Olympians.
The presentation features eight sections: Gods and Goddesses of War; Gods and Goddesses of Hunting; Gods and Goddesses of Wine; Gods and Goddesses of the Sea; Gods and Goddesses of Love; Virgin Gods and Goddesses; Gods and Goddesses of the Sky; and The Underworld.
Ayana said the response to the band’s sections has been so overwhelming that a ninth section is being contemplated.
However, she said, “We have to wait and see what happens.
We do not like turning people away and we still have a month and a week for Carnival. Two sections are sold out so we are getting a good response and should it be necessary for us to implement another section we are prepared to do it.”
Carnival track record
Kalicharan Carnival’s record speaks for itself with 19 titles to its name.
According to the band’s Web site, Kalicharan Carnival’s queen Wendy Kalicharan won the National Queen of The Bands title in 1997 with her presentation Caribbean Blue which was designed by Gregory Medina and Chris Santos. She won the San Fernando Queen Title on seven occasions and her son Aaron Kalicharan won the Carnival King Title in San Fernando in 2000 with his presentation Triumph & Glory and in 2009 with his presentation Spirit of The Ocean which were both designed by Follette Eustace. In 2003 both Aaron and Wendy created history by becoming the first mother and son to win the King & Queen of the Bands titles in the same year in San Fernando.
The band is confident Rise of the Olympians will once again capture top awards for the Kalicharans.
Traditional mas or bikini and beads?
Ayana said: “The Rise of the Olympians is depicting the Greek Gods and Goddesses. This time we decided to go into history. Every year we go down a different avenue. This is more creative history, it is our interpretation of what we think they (the Gods and Goddesses) looked like and what they will look like in the future.”
The colours are more vibrant, Carnival is colour.
“We have eight sections with various colours. The Gods and Goddesses of the Sky is white, gold and silver. The Virgin Gods and Goddess is coral and aquamarine. The Gods and Goddesses of War is royal blue, gold and red. The Gods and Goddess of Hunting is burnt orange and bronze. The God of the Underworld is green, grey, silver and black and the Gods and Goddesses of wine is green, purple and bronze,” she continued.
Apart from traditional feathers and beads the Rise of the Olympians costumes also features gold body armor, shields and swords.
Ayana said preparations at the band for Carnival 2013 began last August.
“We are somewhat on top of the ball, but with Carnival there is always a rush at last minute to do something. Our labour is free labour, friends and family. We do not pay to get anything done and we work right through until we get it done. We do not have a morning shift and an evening shift. Everybody pitches in and get the work done,” Ayana said.
While she lamented that San Fernando bands always face challenges when it comes to getting corporate sponsorship, “we have our key sponsors and for example, bmobile, Carib, Blue Waters and Angostura. They are our key sponsors.”
She said she has high hopes for Carnival 2013 in San Fernando.
“I think the administration, (San Fernando) City Corporation is working together to improve Carnival so I would only see things going in a positive direction,” Ayana said.