Dizzee Rascal, Neil and Liam Finn, and AB Original head PIAF 2018 line-up

10 November 2017 | 12:52 pm | Staff Writer

Perth International Arts Festival has unveiled a program of bangers, ballads, and brilliance

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Perth International Arts Festival has unveiled a program of “bangers, ballads, and brilliance,” with a world-class music line-up on the billing at Chevron Gardens. Kicking off 9 Feb 2018, Brit grime megastar Dizzee Rascal, post-rock Scots Mogwai, and New Zealand musical dynasty, Neil and Liam Finn, headline the program, alongside American pop-pianist Ben Folds, funk from Ghana courtesy of Jojo Abot, soul kingpin (and proud James Brown doppelganger) Lee Fields, and home-grown hip hop legends AB Original.

Festival director Wendy Martin adds to her signature outdoor spectaculars, pioneered in her first two PIAF seasons, with a newly commissioned soundscape encompassing the entire urban sprawl of Perth’s CBD. Siren Song will feature a chorus of female voices ringing out across the city, via a network of loudspeakers installed on the roofs of buildings, timed to coincide with the sunset. Masterminded by curatorial whizz kids Supple Fox, whose previous installation-events include commissions from Dark Mofo in Hobart and the UK’s legendary Glastonbury Festival, this city-sized sun salute will formally announce the beginning of 2018’s PIAF.

In the arts offering, poet and playwright Inua Ellams, whose intimate show An Evening With An Immigrant was a standout favourite from 2017’s PIAF program, will return to Perth with The Barber Shop Chronicles. Canadian theatre visionary Robert Lepage, returns to Perth for the first time in 12-years with the spellbinding one-man show The Dark Side Of The Moon, and Nat Randall's 24-hour marathon, The Second Woman, will see the Sydney based artist perform the same small vignette 100 times, each with a different scene partner sourced from Perth's local pool of actors. Also, Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimannpour presents his experimental, unrehearsed theatre event, Nassim, in which a series of guest actors grapple with a spontaneous reading in a foreign tongue.

Dance has a strong presence in 2018's program, with a number of the festivals most ambitious shows featuring choreography. In Taiwanese dance troupe U-Theatre’s Beyond Time, a cocktail of martial arts, movement and percussion reflects on a 50-day walking meditation. Vessel by Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet features a collaboration with Japanese sculptor Kohei Nawa in a work that is as much visual art as it is theatre. Australian dance luminaries being showcased at PIAF include Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek, who will restage their iconoclastic dance-theatre installation Attractor, which wowed audiences when it premiered at ASIA-topa in Melbourne.

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Next year’s program features nine Australian exclusives, including Russian Evgeny Grishkovets’ ode to a post analogue age, Farwell to Paper; a profound sensory and spiritual experience inspired by the devastation of Syria’s war-torn Umayyad Mosque, White Spirit; and a new work by Gary Lang for the West Australian Ballet, Milky Way, to be showcased at the popular Ballet At The Quarry.

Full details of the 2018 Perth International Arts Festival program are available now.