Creative creatures coming up for air

2017-02-14 15:03
Raine Taubert transforms Carnival poster girl Unathi Bango.

Raine Taubert transforms Carnival poster girl Unathi Bango.

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Riding a wave of creativity, the team behind the Cape Town Carnival is in the final stretch to create the spectacular costumes and floats for the event.

The team celebrated the 40-day countdown to the parade last week.

This year’s theme is “Amaza – Ocean Odyssey”, aiming to bring the sea’s secrets to life. “Amaza” means wave, explains Angela MacPherson, head of float building.

A team of up to 90 people work on creating the floats, sculptures, puppets and costumes at the carnival’s Maitland workshop.

Float building takes a sizeable team of designers, metalworkers and electricians, who break down and repurpose floats used in previous years to keep the carnival as green as possible.

There will be 17 floats representing a range of aquatic creations, including jellyfish and lionfish, as well as the mythical land of Atlantis. Spectators should look out for a larger-than-life sea urchin.

Each float takes between three and 10 weeks to create, but the real challenge is finding creative ways to use materials – for this year, the giant sea urchin is made of roof sheeting and some of the headrests are made from coloured cable ties.

The costume department creates not only the outfits but also backpacks, headgear and accessories for all the performers.

“We have nearly 2000 performers who need to be in costume for the carnival,” says Gillian Gregg, head of the costume department.

Makeup goes hand-in-hand with the costume department, with a team of 40 artists working on the performers. This year’s makeup is sponsored by MAC, and makeup artists will have only 30 minutes to complete each lead performer’s look.

“Many months of creative workshopping are going into the design and concepts that will bring this year’s theme to life,” says Brad Baard, creative director of the Cape Town Carnival.


One lucky reader stands a chance to walk in the parade with the People’s Post team. Simply submit a drawing of your design made from newspaper with the theme “Under the Sea” to Deadline for submissions is Tuesday 7 March. The best design will be selected and the designer will be announced on Tuesday 14 March.

A team of about 90 people have been working to create the larger-than-life floats at the Cape Town Carnival warehouse in Maitland.

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