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'Sea of Love' to honour Carmen

Fri 2 Mar 2012 In: Events View at NDHA

Carmen Rupe’s life will be celebrated in a special float at Sydney’s Mardi Gras on Saturday. Producer Koko D’Vyne tells us all about it. The float being planned “Our entry will be themed ‘Carmen: Sea of Love’ and will commemorate, celebrate and pay tribute to the remarkable life of Carmen Rupe amidst a cavalcade of sound, colour and movement,” says Float Producer Koko D’Vyne. The New Zealander turned Sydney diva is one of the many people whose lives Carmen touched. “As a young person and moving to Australia from New Zealand she personally was a comfort of warmth love and understanding,” D’Vyne says. “I lived not very far down the road from her and I would always see her dressed in her bold colours driving in her scooter greeting everyone she passed,” she recalls. “I initially worked with Carmen when I was coordinating the Save Our Samoa Australia on Oxford Street where she was one of our headlining acts performing her dedication Unchained Melody. It truly was a night to remember - her infectious laughter and gleaming smile can get you from anywhere. “She created a path way and a platform to all glbti to be more comfortable about who we are as people to embrace and love and be strong in everything we set our mind too.” A working bee to create the float props and costumes D’Vyne says the float will represent Carmen as a sea of love. It will use images of her through the years, including her scooter and “her signature accessories of roses and flowers to portray her love for colour and fabulosity, also tying in … New Zealand and Australia with the use of the Maori tiki and the cultural diversity of people she meet in Australia”. The float will be ten metres and will involve 85 people. “We have Carmen’s family leading the float with banners next to Carmen’s scooter, which will be towed by four Maori Warriors. We have Cook Island dance group Spirit of the Island, Lavashe Couture, Kapa Haka Groups, Tropical Island Hula and all her friend and loved ones,” D’Vyne says. Miss Ribena will be the float’s MC, while it will also include Australian divas Christy McNicol, Del Williams and D’Vyne herself. “It is crucial to represent such an iconic figure within the community,” D’Vyne finishes, saying Carmen represented the two sides of the Tasman wholeheartedly. “We all have a path in life and Carmen fought and supported so many things in her time I feel her path was to share and spread the word of love and to keep loving and staying fabulous while doing this.” Carmen riding through the streets of Sydney on her scooter (picture by Jenny Templin and courtesy City of Sydney) Jacqui Stanford - 2nd March 2012    

Credit: Jacqui Stanford

First published: Friday, 2nd March 2012 - 12:18pm

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