Former Agri Minister laid to rest

first_imgThe atmosphere at Cotton Field, Essequibo Coast Region 2 was sombre as the former Minister within the Agriculture Ministry, former Region Two Chairman Alli Baksh, was laid to rest on Saturday. Baksh died at his Cotton Field home on Wednesday last at about 13:00h.Scores of family members, flanked by leaders of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), their supporters and other loved ones, gathered at the Baksh residence to give the former Parliamentarian a fitting send off.The funeral service, which was conducted according to Islamic rights, commenced with the draping of Baksh’s coffin with the flag of the PPP/C in honour of his years-long service to the country through that political party.Opposition Leader and General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Bharrat Jagdeo, during his remarks at the funeral, said Baksh had given most of his life towards the struggles of the PPP party. Jagdeo said Baksh had been a man with a vision, and had been part of something that had captured the ideology of the late Dr Cheddi Jagan.“Alli Baksh’s life epitomized that of Jagan. What Alli Baksh did was admirable; he fought the colonial (authorities) for the betterment of Guyanese,” Jagdeo said.The Opposition Leader further described the former minister as having been a true patriot who had not only fought for the PPP, but for the people. He added that many persons had admired the qualities Baksh had had, and the work he had done, especially in his position as Regional Chairman.“Every community has a vision of Baksh,” Jagdeo stated.Former President Donald Ramotar also reminisced on the life of Baksh, saying he had fought to improve the lives of ordinary people. According to Ramotar, Baksh had had a charming charisma and an understanding personality.“Alli never died; everything you watched in Essequibo Coast you see Alli in it. I am very proud to know him; the relationship will forever live on,” Ramotar noted as he recalled fond memories of the camaraderie they had shared.Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt said Saturday was the saddest day for the people of Region Two, since the region had lost a “good father.” Ramdatt said that under Baksh’s leadership, many transformative projects had been done in the region, such as setting up of the Guyana School of Agriculture and the Essequibo Technical Institute, among other things.Ramdatt said Baksh had been a “people’s man”, and would have reached out to many persons throughout Guyana over the years.Former Regional Vice Chairman and First Secretary of the PPP in Region Two, Vishnu Samaroo, also shared fond memories of Baksh, having worked alongside him for 13 years. Samaroo said Baksh had been very instrumental in changing the landscape of Region Two. He told mourners that Comrade Baksh had always wanted to see progress continue in Guyana.Extending condolences on behalf of the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) was former Housing Minister Irfaan Ali, who said that Baksh had been a legendary, a motivator, and an example for many young people to emulate.Also extending sympathies to Baksh’s relatives and friends was General Secretary of the Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO), Sheila Veerasammy. She said Baksh had served as a mentor to many women, and had made a lot of sacrifices for the PPP.Condolences were also extended by former General Secretary of the PPP, Clement Rohee, who also recalled the work Baksh had done over the years as a party member and as a public figure.Tributes were also extended by representatives of the Guyana Rice Producers Association and the Guyana Workers Union.Attending the funeral were top PPP officials, including Dr Roger Luncheon, former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Gail Teixeira, Bibi Shaddick, Anil Nandlall, Juan Edgill, Zulfikar Mustapha, Dharamkumar Seeraj and Frank Anthony.Baksh was interred at the Anna Regina Cemetery at the end of the emotional funeral service.last_img read more

A CIRQUE DU SOLEIL REHEARSAL REVEALS AS MUCH ARTISTRY AS ATHLETICISM

first_imgAdvertisement Running off to join the circus sounds like avenue of the carefree, what one would do instead of, say, getting a 9-5 job. But after an hour backstage at Cirque du Soleil’s touring arena production of Corteo, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who works harder to create something that feels and looks so magically effortless.Hours before the curtain is scheduled to rise, the arena is abuzz with activity. A giant teeter-totter sits in the middle of the stage and a team of strong young men take turns leaping on and off of it, higher and higher in the air. The rehearsal playlist includes “Champagne Supernova” and, appropriately enough, “Jump.” Backstage, a performer works out some choreography with her spotter. A six-foot tall chandelier made of steel and decked out with sturdy acrylic beads sits in the corner. A very muscular shirtless gentleman warms up by lifting weights. A young woman casually juggles bowling pins next to a pair of beds that are actually trampolines.When the muscular gentleman starts to spin around the stage in a giant metal hoop (the Cyr wheel, more about that in a minute), it strikes me that it’s almost more impressive to see such physical feats performed outside of the magical bubble of the show. These are real people in warm-up clothes, leaping, spinning, flipping, twisting to the very edges of physical possibility. Login/Register With: A member of Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo show performs on the high bar during practice for the show at Toronto’s Scotia Bank Centre. PETER J THOMPSON/NATIONAL POSTTiming is Everything“I was originally a trampolinist…so I could already do a lot of the flips and flying through the air,” says Harvey Donnelly, one of the acrobats featured in the teeterboard act. “The next thing to learn is how do you get those flips onto that piece of apparatus. And that’s the hardest thing is learning the timing of the teeterboard and learning how to jump off at the right time, and how to land back on.”Spinning and FallingThe Cyr Wheel is a steel circle large enough to frame a human body spread-eagled like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. It’s named after Canadian circus performer Daniel Cyr, who is credited with reinventing it for the circus. Performers frame themselves in the circle and roll around the stage, sometimes at a leisurely pace, sometimes at a manic spin. It’s dizzying to watch, much less to be in.Donnelly joined Cirque du Soleil on the strength of his trampolining skills. It was only after he was hired that he learned how to use the Cyr Wheel. “I’m not going to lie, that is a lot of spinning and falling, spinning and falling,” he says. “I thought that there was some secret potion, some trick, but there’s not, there’s just getting it, spin until you know how to keep spinning and then once you work out the timing, you got it.”As for how many weeks of spinning and falling before he got it, Harvey is modest. “The truth is, if you ask any circus performer how long it took them to ‘get it’, the first thing you think is ‘I’m still trying to get it!’ But really to get a comfortable spin and not fall on my bum, it took me about six weeks.” A performer uses a hoop during practice for the show. PETER J THOMPSON/NATIONAL POSTThe CostumeWhile Donnelly is spinning (not falling, at least not on my watch) onstage, Catherine Duval, the assistant head of wardrobe, is backstage mending tears, replacing buttons and generally making sure the hundreds of costumes in her charge are clean and – more importantly – safe for the performers to wear each night. The costumes evolve when new cast members join and develop their performance. “After training you can feel how the costume lives,” says Duval. “It always depends what is the act onstage, but for us here it’s important that everybody be comfortable and safe – we need to check all the costumes each day to make sure they have no holes, or missing buttons.”Duval and her team are also on hand as dressers for the cast. “We zip, unzip, untie – everything,” she says. “There are some quick changes…we have the grand angels at the end, and when they come out of the stage, there are big wings and we need to unclip, undress and it’s really quick. It’s not stressful, but it’s a really quick one – we need to be on time.”Suspended pole performer Stephanie Ortega of France practices. PETER J THOMPSON/NATIONAL POSTThe Lights“About once a week, we will rehearse our teeterboard in our show lights,” says Donnelly. “We prefer not to be in our show lights, simply because it’s so hot. In the show you’ll watch us to a six or seven minute full acrobatic act in a jam-packed arena under the lights, and by the time we come offstage we’re dripping with sweat!”The stage lights may make the acrobats sweat, but they’re also obviously a key part of the magical transition. The chandeliers, for example, are made of steel and dripping with clear acrylic beads that the acrobats dangle from. Backstage, one of them sits on the ground, at least four feet in girth and almost six in height. The steel looks firm and strong, and the beads are sturdy – but from out in the audience, the lights transform acrylic and steel into sparkling crystal and brass.Juggler Johan Jusslin of Finland. PETER J THOMPSON/NATIONAL POSTThe Moment Before“I’m in a team of five guys, so we’re always warming up together,” says Donnelly. “Minutes before we hit the stage we’ll talk through our act, so we walk and talk our way through it. We stretch, warm up, usually joking. But we’ll always take a minute or two of silence to go through everything in our heads. But really the best way I can describe it is, the moment you hit the stage it’s like, have you ever dived into a cold pool? You know the moment your feet leave the edge of the pool but you haven’t hit the water yet? When we step on stage, we’ve jumped into the cold pool.”SPECIAL TO NATIONAL POST Facebook Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement All in a day’s work at Cirque du Soleil’s traveling production of Corteo.What comes first, the apparatus or the acrobat?Julie Dionne is one of the acrobats in the big chandelier act, and she has been with Corteo off and on since the beginning, having worked on the show’s original development in 2004. “Because our apparatus is already so dramatic, they’re huge chandeliers, so it gives a tone to the act already,” she says. “And then in creation…it was a lot of research with a new apparatus, the physical vocabulary.” Sometimes they’d come up with moves that were beautiful, but couldn’t be seen amid the lines of the chandelier. “There’s two ways – you put yourself in a good mood, the ambiance, and you find the vocabulary, or you go very technically, ‘what can I do as an acrobat and what does that express?’”last_img read more

CANADAS ANSWER TO LADY GAGA CELINE DION TAKES PARIS FASHION WEEK BY

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: Paris Fashion Week is underway and Celine Dion has been basking in the limelight with her bold, colourful and unconventional outfits.Harper’s Bazaar called one of her outfits “legendary;” USA Today described some of her looks as “wacky couture;” and CNN’s Marianna Cerini dubbing Dion as the “queen of couture week.”One of those ensembles even nearly caused a wardrobe malfunction and a nasty fall. Advertisement Advertisement As Dion hastily tried make her way through a crowd, the 51-year-old musical legend stumbled while wearing a revealing Iris van Herpen mesh gown on Monday.The outfit was arguably one of the most jaw-dropping ones during the past several days. But since last week, the Grammy-award-winning singer has been turning heads and fashion reporter Jeanne Beker said that’s just the way Dion likes it.“It’s certainly been entertaining. She knows how to get the paparazzi’s attention and get tongues wagging,” she told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview. “She’s giving us something to talk about – so that’s fun.”Last Thursday, the “Ashes” singer dressed up in a US$6,000 Chanel unitard with a silver belt emblazoned with the brand’s name.center_img @celinedion (Instagram) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Preserving what matters

first_imgThe Sadharan Brahmo Samaj may not be what it once was but it still runs one of Kolkata’s oldest libraries that continues to enlighten its readers with 25,000 rare tomes, journals, manuscripts  and paintings dating back to the 19th century. With most of the treasure trove in dire need of preservation and restoration, a modernisation drive has been undertaken by the Samaj authorities during 2015. Luminaries of the Bengal Renaissance like Shibnath Shastri, Anandamohan Bose, Nilratan Sarkar, Umesh Chandra Dutta, P C Mahalnobis, Dr Jagadish Chandra Bose, P C Roy and Bipin Chandra Pal contributed to the rare pile of books over the years. But many of these have grown brittle over time. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“The whole process of modernization including digitization of the books has begun but it is an expensive process and we could not do it as quickly as we wanted to for paucity of funds. As for restoration of paintings, three out of 19 have been completed and we plan to get three more restored in 2015”, Biswajit Roy, Library Secretary told Millennium Post.A portrait of Debendranath Tagore, father of Rabindranath Tagore, has been recently restored by art collector and restoration expert Ganesh Pratap Singh. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“The paintings are of great historical value since they throw light on some of the most gifted and inspiring personalities of the Bengal Renaissance”, says Singh, who recently displayed some of Rammohun Roy’s original letters in the library. Important journals, some of them a mirror of the times, include Tattabodhini, Tattakoumudi, The Indian Messenger, Bharati, Probashi, Sakal, have yellowed but provide scholars of theology, philosophy and history with priceless research material. Books from personal collections of Jagadish Bose, Pearychand Mitra and P Ray have also enriched the library’s rare possessions.Another art de object in possession of the library is a bust of Raja Rammohun Roy which was originally created in marble by the famous sculptor George Clarke. It is known that Rammohun Roy had modelled for Clarke’ when the original was being created. The replica was in possession of the Tagores of Jorasanko and was gifted in 1936 to the library and is still in its possession.The library allows the city’s research scholars and bookworms to read 5 days a week for a few hours every evening. However you can photocopy relevant sections from the books and periodicals at this heritage(founded 1895) institution.last_img read more