Global Grooves‘s Project Phoenix, a fire recovery project commission after a storage mill burned down containing previous costumes and structures we helped create. We project managed the making of costumes (made with handmade fabrics) and large puppets for Global Grooves over a 2 year period.

Costumes and puppets by Global Grooves and Cabasa Carnival Arts
Lead Costume Artists and Makers – Emily Wood, Iola Weir, Tony Mason, Mel Roberts.


Mark Waugh


  • SOM

    We released Som (the Spirit of Manchester) into the world for Manchester Day 2019 produced by Walk the Plank as the lead image. We worked tirelessly with a team of incredible artists and volunteers to produce this piece of work. Representing the industries of old with modern day Manchester and its beautiful melting pot of cultures and influences, all painted onto flowing 10m pieces of silk, all hand painted, all hand made.


Design & Concept – Cabasa Carnival Arts, Iola Weir & Candida Boyes

Artistic Director – Emily Wood

Head design and sculpture by the queen of faces AKA Melanie Roberts
Mechanics and movement by the genius that is Ian Broscomb
Beautiful face decoration designed by Lizzie Rigby
Silks & Fabric – Emily Wood

Team of Amazing Artists:

Abbie Boughton
Becky Bryson
Dan Jones
Eleanor Kalaher
Ellesse Young
Fiona Bunting
Gordon Banks
Helen Findlay
Jon Mambo
Julia Walker
Lauren Moore
Lucinda Potter
Rachel Elaine

Huge thanks go to Global Grooves – Manchester for The Vale and their additional support on the day.

Photo by Mark Waugh & Christian Dyson

The Great Garden Carnival

We were commissioned by RHS Tatton Flower Show to produce The Great Garden Carnival from 23rd – 27th July 2014 in their Escape Zone. Over the week we sent out our dancing flutter of butterflies along as well as our vibrant flower-inspired dress wearers who will be carrying large umbrellas adorned with fresh flowers. As well as the dance groups there were 4 different percussion groups parading through Tatton Park bringing a fantastic taste of Carnival to RHS Tatton Flower Show for the first time.

“ This colourful, vibrant parade is taking place twice daily throughout the show and will feature floral umbrellas designed and made by Verdure Floral Design, native butterfly people and toe-tapping percussion to entertain visitors. The parade will finish at the bandstand in Escape, where the carnival vibe will continue. The parade is being organised by Cabasa Carnival Arts, which is a leading multi-regional carnival arts organisation, producing large scale, spectacular outdoor work, which keeps the community at its heart “

Since May 2014 we have been creating large global and British butterflies, flower dresses inspired by the fresh flower umbrellas and a set of tall tropical wings. We have teamed up with Cheshire Dance, who provided 25 dancers from the local area daily for the parades

Our creations were first premiered at Manchester Day 2014. We had a group of our fantastic dedicated volunteers who helped create the butterflies and dresses, parading through the packed streets of Manchester for this annual spectacle celebrating all things Manchester.

juba do leao bespoke costume

Juba do Leão

Cabasa has been designing and creating costumes for this unique multi discipline arts collective specialising in Brazilian percussion dance and melody since 2010.

“Inspired by the floor-shaking rhythms and vibrant dances of North-Eastern Brazil, Juba do Leão take you on an enlightening tour of the intoxicating grooves of Brazil and beyond. Every performance features beats and breaks that offer a dynamic journey of Brazilian coastal grooves for an unsuspecting audience”

Commissions have involved co-ordinating a team of volunteers and seamstresses in the fabrication of costume for 30+ members of the group. A new colour scheme was introduced to the group, reflecting the regal design of traditional costume with a Cabasa twist. The dancers costumes also pay homage to afro-Brazilian deities Orixás, which feature heavily in Pernambucan Carnival styles.