Bianco, a show by NoFitState, where Mad Max meets circus: a bunch of young, strong girls and similarly aged chiseled boys who climbed like monkeys under and over scaffold-like props. These props were removable objects standing in the middle of Le Grand Chapeau while we, the audience, stood in a big circle and watched in total awe.
After every act the audience was gently directed to make space for the props coming off and for the new ones to come into the ring. While all the amazing acts were executed, the band played exciting or soulful music.
The energy, the rawness, the no pretense of this show in combination with the excellent live music made this show a better circus experience than Cirque du Soleil ever was for me.
Art, an emotionally stirring experience. Pablo Picasso once said that the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life of our souls. Reminiscent of a vibrant Fringe World Festival and now at the end of PIAF, the Perth International Arts Festival, I believe that Picasso hit the nail on the head.
And this to me is the importance of PIAF; this Arts Festival is an opportunity, an invitation almost, to see performances we normally would not choose to see, or rather, performances that would not come to town. However, at the end of a hot summer, all the outside bars and eateries that are especially set up for the festival, are an encouragement to go out and to explore art. The festival creates the opportunity to discover for ourselves what art (form) we like but never knew we did.
Obviously, sometimes we miss but mostly we hit and surprise ourselves. Honesty requires me to admit that occasionally, a pre-show anxiety creeps up in me and I look for excuses not to go – thank goodness that my excuses are weak: not one show of the many we have seen over the past few years have disappointed. And, if a show doesn’t surprise me, delight me, or move me, it is thought provoking – but never boring. Although …
This season I attended one show that took me completely out of my comfort zone: all I could think of was “avant-garde, this is pure avant-garde”. Yet, although I found the performance totally inaccessible, at the same time I realized that I was watching a class act with the best musicians supporting the best artist in his field. What a chance to experience this!
And now it has all come to an end for another year. But in November, after the program launch, we will eagerly bend over the program to read about, to discuss and to select new shows, new art, new experiences.
For 2014 however, the festival is over …