Antoine’s ‘Past to the Present’ for Labor Day

Aaniya Johnson portraying “Turkey Indian.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

With over 25 years in the carnival business, Trinidadian Kenneth Antoine says he is reviewing the past and examining the present for this year’s West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.

Antoine, producer, designer and band leader of the Brooklyn-based Antoine International, told Caribbean Life that the band will portray “The Past to the Present” this Labor Day.

“The reason is because we are losing our true culture,” he said. “This is a reminder of what it is.”

He said “The Past to the Present” will compete in the large band category, with about 300 masqueraders.

“We are international, so our players are from the islands and the U.S.,” said Antoine, also considered one of the top “wire benders” for large and small costumes in Brooklyn.

Some of the sections in “The Past to the Present” are: “Africa,” “Washer Woman,” “Dust to Dawn,” “Swan Lake,” “Clowns,” “Tribal Indians,” “Scandalous,” “Souix,” “Mohawks,” and “Brazilian.”

“We have a very good chance of placing high in the competition because of our designs and concepts,” said Antoine, who founded Antoine International in 1991.

Kerrisa Norris portraying “Bright Africa.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

He said the band has won top titles over the years, including King, Queen, Individuals, Junior King, Junior Queen and Junior Band of the Year.

“My goals and objectives are to keep our culture alive and produce a mas band that will give us a sense of pride, reminding us of our homeland,” he said.

Antoine said he has been getting help with costume production from experience mas-makers, including Michelle Russell, as well as from a host of volunteers.

“My masqueraders can expect quality costumes at a reasonable price, good music and all-inclusive food, water, etc.,” said Antoine, who, besides his native Trinidad and Tobago, has produced mas bands, over the years, in Boston and Philadelphia, as well as in the region – Belize, Dominica, and St. Kitts and Nevis, among others.

“Let us have a beautiful incident free Carnival for 2013, because it’s all for our culture,” he exclaimed, stating that masqueraders will gyrate to DJ Sound City.

Antoine International is located at 1619 Nostrand Avenue, between Tilden Avenue and Beverley Road in Brooklyn.

For more information, call Antoine at (347) 303-7857 or (347) 666-5829.

Michelle Russell portraying “Secret of the Sky.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

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