STORYTELLING RETURNS TO CHLDREN’S MAS WITH
ZANTE CARNIVAL BAND
Story telling has returned to children’s mas with the new Zanté Carnival Band and their 2020 presentation Inaru’s Gift. A good story for children must have magic, mystery and teach lessons and there is all of this in Inaru’s Gift. Additionally, in keeping with the core values of their organisation, the band will address the critical social issues of bullying and mental health. This is in light of statistics which show that a growing number of children and young people are being affected by mental illnesses from developmental disorders to depression and suicide.
Inaru’s Gift is geared for children 6 to 12 years old. Costumes include traditional characters such as Pierrot, Dame Lorraine and Sailors, and there are also depictions of the forest, ocean, and butterflies – all part of the magical story. The concept centres around two young Traditional Carnival Characters who are relentlessly bullied. One day after a terrible incident, they flee to the ocean to drown their sorrows and never return to their home, the Barrack Yard. Fortunately, their lives are saved by a series of magical events and a loving ancestor of the Traditional Mas. Her name? Inaru.
The carnival band evolved from the Zanté Carnival and Theatre Arts vacation camp which focuses on Traditional Carnival and Theatre arts. At the camp, the children learn to stilt walk, drum, wire bend and have story telling sessions, all culminating in a grand production for parents and supporters. An important feature of the Zanté brand is that it provides opportunities for children from vulnerable communities to participate in its programmes. This is achieved through sponsorship and donations from concerned citizens. For instance, this year the House of Angostura, in keeping with its on-going commitment to community and cultural initiatives has pledged its support through its Angostura LLB brand for children to participate in Inaru’s Gift.
The band and the story are the brainchild of Dara E. Healy, Band Leader and Creative Director. Dara is Founder of the Idakeda Group and the ngo Indigenous Creative Arts Network, ICAN; Dr. Eintou Springer is the main Creative Force. Inaru’s Gift has the involvement of a skilled, experienced and committed team. These include co-ordinator Donna Gittens-Charles, with 30 years of designing and producing children’s mas bands; Nia Thompson, also a producer of children’s mas and skilled in the carnival arts and project manager Hugh Thomas with over 16 years of experience. The exciting designs are the work of young designer Anthony Dinally with input by the creative team.
More information about Inaru’s Gift is available online at Zanté Carnival and Theatre Arts Connection on Facebook and Instagram at zantecamp. Interested persons may also contact 742 0535, 366 7558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.