SPLASHES OF CARIBBEAN colour rode in from the region to celebrate the Year of the Horse in Hong Kong last month.
The 30-member contingent from well-known Crop-Over band PowerX4 formed part of this year’s Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade, held on January 31. The band used the opportunity to launch its 2014 Crop-Over theme, Journey to the Caribbean, which was also the guiding force behind the presentation.
Bandleader Chetwin Stewart reported an overwhelmingly positive response from the five-day trip, which was facilitated by the Hong Kong Tourist Board.
“The route was two and a half miles and we had over 100 000 spectators on either side of the road . . .,” Stewart recalled.
“What we did was have the dancers come out and then they would be followed by the steel pan. Then some of the models and myself in the body paint were flanking the queen costume (sourced from St Lucia).”
The queen was St Lucian native Georgina Charles and the costume was designed by Giovanni St Omer.
The bandleader added the Barbados flag was featured prominently while on the road, as well as the songs from Barbadian and Trinidadian artists.
“We were received well because they all wanted to talk to you and touch you and find out where you were from,” he reported.
Stewart admitted that during rehearsals, the team was a bit “wary” because of the organiser’s exacting standards, noting that “when we were doing the full rehearsal, if we made a mistake, they would make [the performers] do it again. But the first time we did it they were happy.”
Billed New Year Party @ World City, the event also saw performances from Australia, Singapore and the United States of America.
In addition to the float parade, the contingent of musicians, dancers and models performed at other villages in Hong Kong and at a hotel.
As a result of the high energy and colourful costumes shown, PowerX4 was invited to be a part of the 2015 showcase. The band was also approached to do performances in Italy.
The veteran bandleader believed potential abounded in Hong Kong for Barbadian businessmen and cultural practitioners, through the availability of cheaper products and the existing exposure to reggae music.