Dingolay Mas pays tribute to Shadow

Jamaican American Alexis Schloss portraying “Tempo.”
Photo by Nelson A. King

Inspired by popular Trinidadian calypsonian The Mighty Shadow, Dingolay Mas will this year pay tribute to the witty and dynamic calypsonian in its Labor Day production.

With the presentation dubbed “Shadows,” “Dingolay Mas pride itself as being a unique band, in that we are a one-color band,” co-band leader Trinidadian Eddie Trotman told Caribbean Life in an interview Monday.

“Every year, we structure our presentation around a color,” he said. “The color for this year’s presentation is black and thus birthed the theme of ‘Shadows.’

“This year’s presentation was also inspired by the calypsonian Shadow, who sings the song ‘Dingolay,’” added Trotman, who, with his compatriot, Rachel Hall, found the band in November 2011.

A year before Dingolay Mas was established, Trotman said he and Hall produced a section under Elegance Promotion.

At the conclusion of that mas season, he said they decided to realize their dream by forming their own mas camp.

Trotman said they share “a love for the culture and carnival,” and wanted to “experience the art of hand-making a costume and seeing it come to life, via masqueraders.”

“In an effort to continue the play on words, as it relates to the band, we’ve named each section in our presentation after a song title of the calypsonian artist,” said Trotman about “Shadows.”

He said “Shadows” comprises three mixed — male and female — sections: Tension, Tempo and Play De Devil.

Trotman said Tension features black, “with a splash of colors;” Tempo also features black, “with the beautiful essence of gold”; and Play De Devil is an all-black section, “with a mas interpretation of a ‘jab jab’ theme, and even includes horns.”

Trotman said each section comprises 100 masqueraders, accounting for 300 masqueraders overall.

He said masqueraders come from “all over the world.”

“We pride ourselves on being inclusive and diverse,” said Trotman, adding that Dingolay Mas “don’t compete to lose.

“So, we hope to perform extremely well and win this year,” he continued.

Over the years, Trotman said the band has “performed very well.”

Last year, it placed 1st and 3rd in the Ole Mas Female category; 2nd in the Adult Queen Category; and 2nd in the Medium Adult Band of the Year.

“As is the norm, masqueraders can expect good vibes in a multicultural environment,” said Trotman about this year’s production. “They can also expect a different style of mas with the one-color concept (black).

“As we all know, black is beautiful, and there is allure in the ‘Shadows,’” he added.

Trotman said while preparations started off relatively slow, “we are now picking up pace and heading into the full swing of production to meet our own deadlines.

“Naturally, the founders play a big part in helping, but we also have a Dingolay family that consists of people who volunteer their time for either the love of the band, mas or both,” he said.

Trotman said music will be supplied by Toro Sound System.

The “Road DJs” will be DJ Mejustik, DJ BlaccHulk, New Wave Sounds and DJ KervonPressPlay.

Dingolay Mas is located at 1169 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn. Email – dingolayma[email protected]il.com; Instagram – @dingolaymasnyc; Twitter – @dingolaymas; and Facebook – Dingolay Mas.

Trotman or the mas camp can be reached at (347) 228-8952 or (347) 423-7918/17.

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