• Hard To Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer

    Photo credit: Luca Truffarelli

  • Hard To Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer

    Photo credit: Luca Truffarelli

  • Hard To Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer

    Photo credit: Luca Truffarelli

  • Hard To Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer

    Photo credit: Luca Truffarelli

  • Hard To Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer

    Photo credit: Luca Truffarelli

  • Hard To Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer

    Photo credit: Luca Truffarelli

  • Hard To Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer

    Photo credit: Luca Truffarelli

Dublin Dance Festival in association with the Abbey Theatre, Prime Cut Productions and Belfast International Arts Festival | Northern Ireland

Hard To Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer
(Oona Doherty)

A Bright White Limbo.
Four Episodes… like Sci Fi Stations of the Cross.
An Alternative Reality.
Belfast.

Trailblazing dancer and choreographer Oona Doherty, in collaboration with renowned DJ and composer David Holmes and designer Ciaran Bagnall, presents Hard To Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer. A reflection on their hometown, this four-part dance work is based on the experience of living in today’s Belfast. 

Exploring masculinity, sectarianism, culture, class and sexuality, Doherty abstracts the memories of her youth to create a physical prayer: a celebration of all that we have and an invocation for all that we are missing. This powerful new piece features a unique cast of performers, including nine Hip-Hop dancers from Belfast’s Ajendance Youth Dance Company.

Doherty has garnered international attention, winning the Total Theatre Award for Dance at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and receiving rave reviews for her standout performance in Enda Walsh’s Arlington.

★★★★★ “She’s a simply phenomenal performer… a raw, switched-on, fragmented and yet meticulously detailed performance, swift and clear and full of sharp body language underpinned by a blistering, intuitive intelligence.” - The Times on 'Hope Hunt and the Ascension Into Lazarus'

★★★★ “A powerful stage presence…there’s nothing usual about Doherty…This is dance with grit in its veins, with dirt under its fingernails and a violent secret in its heart.” - The Scotsman on 'Hope Hunt and the Ascension Into Lazarus'

“Powerful stuff… Hard to be Soft is a piece that needs to be seen again and again” - The Irish News

Concept & Choreography: Oona Doherty
Performers: Oona Doherty; Ajendance Youth Dance Company featuring Ellen Burns, Lucy Burns, Lynn Gourley, Rachel Harris, Zara Janahi, Niamh McErlane, Beatriz Pina, Caitlin Shaw & Nicole Wray; Bryan Quinn & John Scott.
Sound Design & Composition: David Holmes
Set & Lighting Design: Ciaran Bagnall
Photography & Film: Luca Truffarelli
Projections: Jack Phelan
Producers: Prime Cut Productions

Buy Now

Abbey Theatre, on the Abbey Stage

  • Dates
    Fri 18, Sat 19 May
  • Times
    7:30pm
  • Duration
    55 mins approx. (no interval)
  • Cost
    €13-€34 (conc. rates available)
  • Post Show Talk:
    Sat 19 May

Notes
Contains strong language.

Supported by

Produced by Prime Cut Productions. Co-commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival, the Abbey Theatre, Prime Cut Productions and Belfast International Arts Festival. Supported through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Support for the Individual Artist Major Award, The British Council and La Briqueterie - CDCN du Val-de-Marne.