Lovers of the arts, it’s time to get excited. The 65th annual Perth International Arts Festival is back and ready to celebrate all things creative.

Showcasing some of the world’s greatest living artists, the Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF) is Australia’s longest running international arts festival and one of the biggest annual cultural events held in Western Australia. PIAF runs from the 10 February to 5 March and aims to demonstrate Western Australia’s resilient and diverse culture by exploring the role that leading visionary artists have in shaping the modern world. The line-up is bold, with more than 180 events centred around themes of migration, reconciliation, accessibility and empathy. This year PIAF even has its own official scent; lemon myrtle, which will be appearing at event venues and influencing the cuisine of participating Perth restaurants.

With so many events to explore, we’ve put together a list of our top picks and highlights for 2017’s PIAF.

Boorna Waanginy – Opening Event

PIAF Opening Festival
Fri 10-Sun 12 February 2017
Experience the beauty and diversity of Western Australia’s flora and fauna with this family-friendly walkthrough event. Running continuously from 8pm-10:30pm, Kings Park and Botanic Garden will be transformed into a spectacular array of light, colour and sound. This stunning start to the festival has been designed to demonstrate how technology combines with the natural world to create an interconnectedness between all living things.
Where: Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Free Event

A O Lang Pho – Circus

A O Lang Pho- Circus
Thurs 16- Sat 25 Feb 2017
Get ready to be awestruck by Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam, who will make their Australian debut. Set to traditional Vietnamese music, a cast of 15 acrobats and five musicians use an array of contemporary circus maneuvers to portray the story of a serene Vietnamese village being disrupted by urban development. This incredible demonstration of juggling, balancing, contortion and other daring feats will have audiences delighting in the thrill of the circus while celebrating Vietnam’s traditional and colourful culture.
Where: The Regal Theatre
Tickets from  $36

The Dark Mirror: Zender’s Winterreise – Musical Theatre

Zender's Winterreise- Musical Theatre
Fri 10- Sat 11 Feb 2017
The West Australian Symphony Orchestra joins with celebrated English tenor Ian Bostridge, to bring to life this haunting musical event. Created by renowned opera director Netia Jones, Zender’s Winterreisse tells the story of a wanderer who embarks on a journey of reflection, love and loss. The spectacular composition, combined with Bostridge’s flawless performance creates a timeless interpretation of Franz Schubert’s iconic song-cycle. This 90-minute performance is a true cultural experience, sung in German with English surtitles.
Where: Perth Concert Hall
Tickets from $36

Flit – Music & Animation

Flit- Music and Animation
Fri 17- Sat 18 February 2017
Award-winning composer, Martin Green, has grouped together an array of incredibly talented English musicians and songwriters to create this stunning animation and live music event. Green, who was inspired by his 90-year-old grandmother’s stories about being forced to flee Europe in the 1930s, portrays exciting tales of worldwide travel through the use of live music. The  music is combined with cleverly designed stop-motion animation. Running for 75 minutes it guarantees to be a fun and sensory show that engages audiences with the cultural world.
Where: Perth Concert Hall
Tickets from $36

The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family – Theatre

The Gabriels- theatre
Sat 11- Sat 18 February 2017
Voted The New York Times’ ‘Best Theatre of 2016’ The Gabriels, combines three plays into one major event. Written and directed by Tony Award-winning playwright Richard Nelson, the story follows a family of upstate New Yorkers who are trying to make sense of the rapidly changing world. The play starts at 1:30pm and finishes at 8pm, with breaks between with two breaks throughout. Although this play is a marathon experience, it is truly worth it for the tremendous performances and witty reflections of life in the United States.
Where: Subiaco Arts Centre
Tickets from $76.50

Betroffenheit – Dance

Betroffenheit- Dance
Thurs 23- Sun 26 February 2017
Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite and playwright and performer, Johnathon Young have come together to create this dance production which centres around themes of raw human emotion. Pite and Young invite audiences to leave the past at home and take the time to come into the present and begin to question issues surrounding loss, trauma, addiction and recovery. An action packed two hour show, this performance combines drama, comedy, dance and poetry to entertain and engage audiences.
Where: State Theatre Centre of WA
Tickets from $36

Reflections on Grief – Conversation

Reflections of Grief-Conversation
Fri 24 February, 1pm
PIAF Conversations are the audiences’ chance to more personally connect with the Festival artists. Facilitated by Ruth Little, Reflections on Grief asks a numbers of artists, including Jonathon Young (Betroffenheit) and Dmitry Krymov (Opus No. 7), “How do artists process unfathomable public and private grief and reflect it back to us in their art?”
Where: Perth Writers Festival Precinct
Free event

Opus No. 7 – Theatre

Opus 7- there
Tue 21-Sun 26 February 2017
From Dmitry Krymov, an influential Russian set-designer and director, comes Opus No. 7, a collaborative visual masterpiece. Opus No. 7 explores the oppression and censorship faced by the Soviet Union under the reign of Stalin. Krymov, who was a painter and set-designer long before he made his debut into to the world of directing, somehow manages to combine an array of seemingly incompatible props, colours, sounds and puppetry to showcase this genre-defying masterpiece. The show runs just over two and a half hours, including an interval and is performed in Russian with English surtitles.
Where: ABC Perth Studios
Tickets from $25

Masterclass: Gregory Maqoma (EXIT/EXIST) – Dance

Exit/Exist- Dance
Thu 9 February 2017
Combining dance and music, South African choreographer and dancer Gregory Maqoma celebrates his heritage through the themes of spirit and resilience. Maqoma combines traditional African and contemporary dance as well as live music from The Vuyani Ensemble to create a vivid and personal cultural story. The production runs for a modest, but captivating 60 minutes with no interval.
Where: State Theatre Centre of WA
Tickets from $25.50

Lady Eats Apple – Theatre

Lady Eats Apple- Theatre
Thur 2-Sun 5 March 2017
Back to Back Theatre’s contemporary new piece, Lady Eats Apple , is an exploration of the fragility of humanity and the inevitability of death. Set in an expansive inflatable structure, this production is truly contemporary in its execution. It runs for 75 minutes with no intermission and headphones, which are supplied, must be worn throughout the performance.
Where: State Theatre Centre of WA
Tickets from $25.50

All Images courtesy of PIAF