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Perth International Arts Festival opens at new Elizabeth Quay hub

Perth International Arts Festival opens at new Elizabeth Quay hub
February 12, 2016

The opening of the Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF) 2016 has seem with the unveiling of the new Festival home at Elizabeth Quay – in advance of a spectacular opening weekend featuring a stellar cast Western Australian artists.

The new Chevron Festival Gardens at Elizabeth Quay is the vibrant new hub for festivalgoers to gather, eat, drink, and enjoy a dynamic line-up of world-class musicians over its 24 nights.

This year's opening performance, Home, will celebrate Western Australia's rich and complex history, with Langley Park being transformed for the event.

One of the Festival’s key events, the ambitious new Australian workHome is following in the large footsteps of last year's Giants, which drew millions of people to Perth's streets. Home is a free event that will see more than 500 performers grace a 60-metre-long stage.

Wendy Martin, in her first year as the Festival's Artistic Director, said the success of last year's massive opening had inspired her, stating “I felt it was my responsibility to tell something about this place — made by artists from this place and telling stories from this place.”

Electronic music pioneer Nightmares on Wax opened the Contemporary Music program last night (Thursday 11th February) with a sold-out show against a dramatic city backdrop.

Thereafter, Chevron Festival Gardens will take audiences on a journey through poetic folk to African rhythms, contemporary jazz to high energy Balkan, including a diverse program of artists including Jose Gonzalez, Kev Carmody, Goran Bregovic, Little Simz, Jóhann Jóhannson Marlon Williams, Sleater-Kinney, Ibeyi and the first Australian appearance of House Gospel Choir.

The $17.6 million 64th Perth International Arts Festival is the inaugural program for Artistic Director Wendy Martin and gathers 1,000 of the world’s finest artists in more than 350 events over the next three weeks.

Home, which opens the Festival, is a visually sumptuous theatrical spectacular set against a 60-metre-long cinematic backdrop representing the wide horizon of Western Australia, with stunning animations projected across five massive three-storey houses.

Directed by Nigel Jamieson in collaboration with Noongar elder and artist Dr Richard Walley, this PIAF commissioned opening event features more than 500 performers on stage – a 60-piece orchestra, 300 members of the Noongar community, hundreds of school children and an impressive line-up of Western Australian artists – The Drones, The Triffids, The Panics, Pigram Brothers and The Waifs, Ernie Dingo, John Butler Trio, Tim Minchin, Shaun Tan and Tim Winton, as well as hundreds of musicians and artists, to guide you on this musical and visual journey from the suburbs to the sea and from our backyards to the bush.

On the 40th birthday of an iconic cultural site, The Snake Run Project commemorates Albany’s gnarly downhill skate park with a free opening event of contemporary dance, freestyle skateboarding, street art and live music. Perth audiences will be treated to a celebration of skateboarding with Art & Motion, that sees highly regarded Australian visual artist Shaun Gladwell and skate world legend, American Russ Howell, join forces with the ambient sounds of DJ Rok Riley to bring the hypnotic sport to life.

Under Martin’s artistic vision, the 2016 Festival brings innovative works from around the world to WA audiences.

The opening weekend of the 2016 Theatre program is equal parts philosophical, raucous and haunting, with an array of world-renowned international productions and mesmerising Australian talent.

In 2016, the Festival’s Dance program invites world-renowned talent to Australian shores. From one of India’s most important dance-makers, Aditi Mangaldas, comes the Australian exclusive of Within, celebrating phenomenal speed and precision of Kathak technique. Performing in Perth for the first time, Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui illuminates the great religious and philosophical texts in Apocrifu against the choral backdrop of the Corsican ensemble A Filetta. Aurélien Bory’s Plexus depicts dancer Kaori Ito entrapped in a breathtaking forest of 5,000 cords, Brazilian choreographer Lia Rodrigues illuminates a visceral and sensory dance experience in Pindorama and The West Australian Ballet’s muchloved Ballet At The Quarry returns with five works under the stars.

The 2016 Music program journeys from ancient choral delights to glorious baroque, spirited ragtime, bebop, and contemporary orchestral jazz. Wynton Marsalis and Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra perform Swing Symphony with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for two sold-out shows at the Perth Concert Hall. Over three days the Chamber Music Weekend rejoices in Mozart to Messiaen, Back to Bartok, Liszt and Ligeti, plus a day-long program of Schubert, inside the stunning acoustics of Winthrop Hall and its grounds. Making its world premiere, Soft Soft Loud: Blood on the Floor features Marc-Anthony Turnage’s masterpiece at the Fremantle Arts Centre. In an Australian exclusive, the all-male Corsican sextet A Filetta perform their signature soaring vocals and heavenly harmonies influenced by their island’s strong vocal traditions. Italy’s most revered early music ensemble Concerto Italiano use seventeenth-century instruments to perform Claude Monteverdi’s vibrant baroque masterpiece Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610 (Vespers for the Blessed Virgin).

The 2016 Visual Arts program is studded with extraordinary art experiences. Renowned Indian artist Bharti Kher presents her first solo exhibition in Australia, In Her Own Language, Sweden’s Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg create a netherworld of strange delights and encounters, The Secret Garden. Spanish Australian artist, Dani Marti combines woven textures and film in Black Sun, Ryan Trecartin’s fast paced and ecstatic visions are running at the Art Gallery of WA, while the John Curtin Gallery exhibition Face to Face shows mesmerising works by acclaimed artists Shaun Gladwell, Carsten Höller and Jon Tarry.

The Perth International Arts Festival opened yesterday (Thursday 11th February) and runs through to 6th March, with a number of performances across all artistic platforms on offer.

Images (from top): Nightmares on Wax, Home, entry to the Chevron Festival Gardens and performances in the Chevron Festival Gardens.

31st January 2016 - PUBLIC SPACE AT PERTH’S ELIZABETH QUAY FORESHORE PROJECT GETS OFFICIAL OPENING

11th November 2015 - STATE THEATRE CENTRE OF WA TO BE KEY VENUE FOR THE 2016 PERTH FESTIVAL

6th November 2015 - PROGRAM REVEALED FOR 2016 PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL 2016

28th July 2015 - PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL HONOURED WITH NINE HELPMANN AWARDS

12th March 2015 - 1.65 MILLION ENJOY 2015 PERTH FESTIVAL EVENTS

27th November 2014 - NEW PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL DIRECTOR REVEALED 

12th August 2009 - WA ARTS BRACED FOR TOUGH TIMES


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