Caribbean carnival ends with celebration

Published: Monday, April 30, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Bridgetown, Barbados:As a triumphant Ricky Ponting lifted the World Cup, 300 steel bands played in unison signaling the end of the two-month long Caribbean cricket carnival.

Celebrations triggered off soon as the world bade farewell to the mega event which has been rather dull in many ways. As soon as the match ended, about 300 youngsters from Barbados formed a human AIDS Ribbon, continuing the battle against AIDS, which has been a highlight of this particular Cricket World Cup.

Supporting the effort was a 37-member band of musicians from Barbados featuring well-known Barbadian music producer, Nicholas Brancker who provided the true Caribbean entertainment from the Hewitt and Inniss stand. The band also featured country's top music and the distinct sound of the Barbadian tuk band.

To support the United Against AIDS and live up campaign, a 48 sec clip was also screened from UK pop star Elton John during the official post match presentation, jointly supported by the ICC, UNAIDS, UNICEF and the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS.

The beautiful spectacle began with a special five-minute presentation entitled ''Cricket Nation : Celebration'' that marked the celebration of the winning team. The short presentation has been described by the Artistic Director Peter Minshall as ''the personification of the champagne cork popping as the victory celebration begins.'' But there was more in store. As the Pan-Caribbean steel orchestra took over the centerfield, a large orchestra of around 600 steel drums and 300 concert musicians drawn from across the Caribbean islands assembled there and started churning out Lord Kitchener's classic "Pan In a Minor".

They were equally supported in dance by stilt walkers and "party people" who ran onstage all dressed in white with large silver bandanas, flanked by hundreds of bele dancers clad in beautiful white frilly skirts and tops.

As the revellers and dancers surrounded the pans, some gigantic puppets also in white, strut out onto the field and encircled the pans at different points, dancing and playing to the audience. These puppets were the handiwork of well-known Caribbean designer, Peter Minshal, who had produced the Olympic Opening ceremonies in Barcelona, Atlanta and Salt Lake City.

The full cast of this grand finale totals just under 1000 performers. While the performers were on stage, the audience waved 20,000 silver bandanas which were distributed in advance and the World bid adieu to the Caribbean and the World Cup amidst spectacular fire works display.


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