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Update:   Extempo and Panorama finals

Extempo Finals
Extempo is a challenging form of calypso, where the artists draw a topic out of a hat, and then have to make up a calypso on the spot to a standard tune. This often includes biting references to the other performers as well as providing commentary on current affairs and social concerns. In addition, each of the singers performed a prepared song, some of which seemed to be very well known by the audience. As newcomers to Trinidad, we found it rather difficult at first to understand all the words, especially as everything was very loud! The prepared songs were often accompanied by a mini-play as the storyline was acted out on stage. Many of the artists were dressed in colourful costumes and have distinctive names, amongst those here you will find "Crazy", "Short Pants", "Lady Africa" and "Singing Sonia".
The Extempo Finals competition was divided in to two parts and in the middle of this was the Limbo finals. The limbo troupes (typically a group of 5 or 6 young girls) were accompanied by drummers, who energetically brought the excitement up until the performers were ready to attempt to limbo under the pole. The most accomplished were able to get underneath a flaming bar whilst holding glasses of water!

Panorama (Steelband) Finals
Each steelband came on in turn, helped by many of their supporters who had been waiting outside the grandstand. Usually these bands would be maybe twenty to thirty strong, but for Carnival their numbers are swollen to up to a hundred players and pans in most of the bands!  For the final, each band played a single melody, and were often costumed and decorated to match their chosen theme.

Among the bands we saw were the Trinidad All Stars, Phase 2001, Starlift, and the Rainmen.

Stilt walkers and banner-waving dancers added to the overall entertainment of the evening.


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