Thursday night saw over one thousand guests pour into the Perth Concert Hall for the unveiling of the 2014 Perth International Arts Festival.
Surrounded by an auditorium filled with smoke, awash with red lighting and a velvet curtain back drop, the crowd waited in excited anticipation for the evening to begin.
General manager Julian Donaldson began the evening with welcomes followed by a moving and relevant “Welcome to Country” by Barry McGuire. Chair of the Festival Board Margaret Seares reminded the audience of the importance of the arts in the community before thanking and acknowledging the 2014 Festival sponsors.
Formalities completed, the evening then belonged to Artistic Director Jonathon Holloway. He unveiled the 2014 program, an onerous task considering he needed to introduce a vast array of acts that are to make up the largest festival Perth has ever presented.
With an introduction to rival Beyoncé Holloway emerged centre stage backed by a wash of white light, looking a bit like James Bond. Bond had arrived to rescue Perth from the international artistic wilderness.
As in previous years Holloway’s presentation was humorous, informative, exciting and full of passion. By the time he had finished he had me, and I’m sure the rest of the audience, faced with the tough call of which events to book tickets for.
Opening the 2014 festival will be Veles e Vents. Created by Xarxa Teatre from Spain the event is described as a family friendly spectacle of explosions, music and movement. It has become a highlight on many arts lovers and families calendars, causing a swell in audience numbers in previous years. For the first time in the Festival’s history the event will be performed over three nights from the 7 February.
Other family friendly festival delights include I think I Can, The House where Winter Lives, The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean and Sacrilege, a giant Stonehenge bouncy castle!
Performances from over ten different countries make up the Theatre, Circus, and Dance section of the program. Highlights include Bianco (circus), Mies Julie, Not by Bread Alone (Performed by Israel’s Deaf-Blind Theatre Ensemble), Krapp’s Last Tape, An Iliad, The Shadow King and Haze (performed by the Beijing Dance Theatre).
The Classical Music program includes Otello, The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Dawn Upshaw and Ludovico Einaudi. The Chevron Festival Gardens will once again present some of the best musical acts including Public Enemy, DJ Shadow, Husky, Charles Bradley and Mikhael Paskalev.
Acutely aware that the digital arts have a legitimate role, 2014 will see the program embrace an engagement with the digital world. Digital highlights include I think I can, Situation Rooms and The Game Changers.
The closing to this years festival is Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea, an event that will try to answer the question, ‘What does Perth sound like?’.
To answer this question people are being asked to send the Festival team recordings and ideas of the city of Perth in sound. Composer Tod Machover will then craft a symphony to be performed by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra representing the sounds of Perth. (You can upload sounds to perthfestival.com.au or text to 0498 500 100)
The program launched, the crowd made its way to the balcony to enjoy a drink, bite to eat and share in the excitement and conversation in anticipation of the 2014 Perth International Arts Festival.
The Perth International Arts Festival will engage Perth audiences from the 7 February until the 1 March, 2014.
Lottery West Film Festival: 26 November 2013 – April 2014.
The Perth Writers Festival: 20 – 23 February 2014.
For full program visit 2014.perthfestival.com.au
Perth International Arts Festival 2014: 07 FEBRUARY – 1 MARCH 2014
Bookings now open for Friends of the Festival.
$80.00 makes you a Friends of the Festival and includes access to best seats, temporary membership to the University Club of Western Australia during the Festival, newsletters and updates.
Bookings for General public open Tuesday 12 November 9:00am (WST)