Perth Festival 2018 is finally here this weekend! From February 9 to March 4, revel in this specially WA curated program of more than 270 music, theatre, dance, literature, film and visual art events – many of them free.
Audiences and critics are raving about shows already out of the gates, including the French circus smash Il n’est pas encore minuit (pictured above), multi-award-winning music and dance show Attractor and Lisa Reihana’s Emissaries exhibition straight to Perth from the Venice Biennale.
The toast of Perth Festival 2018 might just be Siren Song, the free event that heralds sunrise and sunset – the arrival and departure of the light – along St George’s Terrace each day from Friday, February 9 to Sunday, February 18.
At dusk this Friday evening, the Noongar smoking and clearing ceremony Gnarnk-Ba Karla Waarnginy (Speaking Fires of our Mother) will reach its climax on St Georges Terrace and the exquisite female voices of Siren Song will descend from the skies to soften the canyon of commerce. This seven-minute serenade to the sun by sound artist Byron J Scullin and curatorial duo Supple Fox invites people to share a moment of reflection at dawn and dusk for the first 10 days of the Festival.
As sunset signals the arrival of Opening Night, catch the Australian-exclusive of Beyond Time at His Majesty’s Theatre, a glorious spectacle of martial arts, dance, thundering taiko drums, music and imagery from Taiwan’s award-winning U-Theatre.
At Chevron Gardens, grinding electro-pop duo Electric Fields, described as “Daft Punk meets Nina Simone in a deep forest,” will be joined by Skinnyfish Sound System, kicking of three weeks of balmy nights at the venue – the big Block Party and Ben Folds shows still to come over the weekend.
Other highlights of Artistic Director Wendy Martin’s third annual Festival program include: Michael Clark Dance Company’s tribute to David Bowie To A Simple Rock ‘N’ Roll… Song, the London and Sydney stage hit Barber Shop Chronicles, the dazzling theatre of Robert Lepage’s The Far Side of the Moon and pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s Australian-exclusive mini Debussy festival.
Make sure you don’t miss Korean artist Kimsooja’s first Australian solo exhibition; guest actors crashing the language barrier each night in NASSIM; the world premiere You Know We Belong Together celebration of disability arts; the WA premiere of Gurrrumal at Lotterywest Films and an extended Writers Week with a new hub and new focus on storytelling at venues across town.
PLEASE NOTE: St Georges Terrace will be closed between Harvest Terrace and Milligan Street tomorrow (Friday 9 February) from 6pm–8pm for Gnarnk-Ba Karla Waarnginy (Speaking Fires of our Mother) starting at 6.45pm before Siren Song.
Perth Festival takes over WA from February 9 to March 4.