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Pulse 8 enchants with Moroccan design

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Marrekesh Magic
Pulse 8 bandleader Meg Cheekes (left) and design co-ordinator Danah Cheekes making adjustments to one of their CK28 costumes. Photo: Shirley Bahadur

WHAT if you could visit the exotic market square in Morocco and become part of the multicultural mêlée of round the clock activities that occur there? What if you could meet and interact with the henna painters, the water sellers, the tribal entertainers, the treasure seekers, the spice and gem traders, the gypsy caravan and the Majorelle people?

Well since this is near impossible for the majority of us, the designers of Pulse 8 have generously stepped in to bring a Trini replica of that experience to us.

Marrakesh, the band’s theme for CK28 will take masqueraders and onlookers to the renowned exotic market square where pleasure awaits.

The design team

The band’s design co-ordinator Danah Cheekes, along with Peter Elias, Tracey Julien, Cristine Saddlar and Antoinette Maund, have pooled their creative resources to come up with costumes they believe will blow the minds of revellers come Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

According to Cheekes, actual work on the designs began in July and took two months to complete.

“I like to start early to get things done on time,” Cheekes said, but admitted that on Ash Wednesday this year, she did not want to hear anything about Carnival.

“I just wanted to sleep and not wake up till June,” she chuckled.

Although this is her fourth year as a designer, the sales manager at American

Airlines has always worked behind the scenes assisting her mother, veteran designer and now bandleader Meg Cheekes.

“It is a lot of hard work, especially since we worked on the designs mostly at night, but the stress is worth it when you see masqueraders having fun,” Danah said.

The evolution of Marrakesh

The idea for the theme was Meg’s, who did all the research. “I did a lot of reading on the subject— I watched TV, especially the Travel Channel; I spoke with people who had visited the square; and, I went online,” Meg said.

Danah, however, was the one who selected the names for the ten sections. “It was a difficult process, but I went with what I felt people would love,”she said.

She said the selection of colour was of utmost importance because the band had a standard to maintain.

“I researched the names before briefing the rest of the design team. We discussed, we vetoed, we approved.”

All this before the “tweak queen,” as Meg is fondly called, was summoned. In her defence Meg argued, “At the end of the day when I look at it I want to be 100 per cent sure.”

The prototypes of the costumes, Danah said, were then lined up and scrutinised so they could get a general idea of what they would look like on the road.

Love and War

Danah admits that she encountered lots of conflict working with her mom, but said it was also quite interesting. “Although there are two different personalities interacting, it is good that we are able to bounce ideas off each other.”

Asked what it was like working with Danah, Meg sighed loudly before disclosing, “It is great to get input from a younger generation. I have implemented a lot of her ideas but she still has some things to learn about operating in this industry. She is a panic to work with. A fireball. What I’m trying to get her to do is take little bites of the apple as opposed to gulping the apple.”


(Next week: D’Krewe and Love Is...)


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