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Hard to be Soft – A Belfast Prayer

Hard to Be Soft is a four-part dance piece about everyday life in Northern Ireland.

1 October - 31 October

North Rhine-Westphalia

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Image courtesy Oona Doherty

Image courtesy Oona Doherty

Hard to be Soft – A Belfast Prayer is a dense description of everyday life in Northern Ireland, a portrait of the working class, its hardship and its vulnerability. In her straightforward narrative style, dancer and choreographer Oona Doherty explores stagings of masculinity, the roles of women, class identity, religion, sexuality, anger and resistance, based on memories of her own youth in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In this four-part dance piece, the irrepressible and fragile energy of Belfast becomes tangible. Oona Doherty and her dancers move powerfully between ravenous intrusiveness and restrained tenderness. The piece is an attempt to overcome this legacy through their movement and their sweat.

Oona Doherty is an Irish choreographer based in Belfast. Oona studied at London School of Contemporary Dance, University of Ulster and Laban London (BA Hons; Post Graduate in Contemporary Dance Studies). Since 2010, she has created and toured internationally dance and theatre works with Companies such as TRASH (NL), Abbattoir Ferme (BE), Veronika Riz (IT), Emma Martin/United Fall (IE). Doherty’s work has recently been performed at festivals around Europe, including Ravnedans Festival Norway, Dublin Dance Festival, Kampnagel’s Sommerfestival, and many more. Her creations include Docnite, Hope Hunt and the Ascencsion into Lazarus, Leather Jacket Deluxe, Lady Magma, Echo Hunt, and Navy Blue. 2021, she was awarded with the Venice Dance Biennale’s Silver Lion.


Theater im Depot
Immermannstr. 29
44147 Dortmund

Theater Dortmund
Theaterkarree 1 -3
44137 Dortmund

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