Hard To Be Soft (creation)

Belfast-based Oona Doherty takes a clear-eyed look at her city, where religion is central and social norms weigh heavy. The opening solo explores how men hide their emotions. Female hip-hoppers then offer an inspired tableau of Doherty’s years at a local girls’ school, before a duet pulls down the barriers around male affection. A “physical prayer for Belfast” powered by gritty dance. “Understanding oneself can be a catalyst for social change.”

Piece for 11 dancers

Choreography  Oona Doherty
Dancers Oona Doherty, John Scott, Bryan Quinn
Music David Holmes (Sound design, composition)
Set design Ciaran Bagnall
Lighting design Ciaran Bagnall

Co-production with Pôle en Scènes arts hub at Espace Albert Camus


The company : Oona Doherty

Oona Doherty is an Irish choreographer based in Belfast.

Oona studied at London School Of Contemporary Dance, University of Ulster and LABAN London (BA Honors and 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) Oona’s work has been recently performed at festivals around Europe including Ravnedans Festival Norway, and the Dublin Dance Festival. Her creations include Docnite, the first full length programme of her original work consisting of three episodes exploring metaphysical states; Hard to be Soft – Episode One: Lazarus and The Birds of Paradise (Belfast Children’s Festival and Dublin Dance Festival); Hope Hunt (Galway Dance Days, Tiger Dublin Fringe), Leather Jacket Deluxe, Lady Magma and Echo Hunt. Oona has been teaching dance theatre workshops in Europe since 2012.

She is an ISSAC Associate Artist. In 2016 Oona became The MAC Belfast HATCH Artist and Prime Cut Productions REVEAL Artist. In 2018, Oona presented Hope Hunt & the Ascension into Lazarus at the Sens Dessus Dessous Festival at Lyon’s Maison de la Danse, where she is in residence with students from Villeurbanne’s national music school (ENM) to create a piece for the Dance Biennale. She is also associate artist at the Maison de la Danse for the 2018-19 season.

Empathy with others can be a catalyst for social change

Oona Doherty


MAMC - Musée d'art moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Etienne Métropole, Saint-Priest-en-Jarez

Espace Albert Camus, Bron

Le Caméléon, Pont-du-Château


  • Demi tarif 10€
  • Tarif réduit 17€
  • Plein tarif 20€

Go to the show

MAMC - Musée d'art moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Etienne Métropole

Rue Fernand Léger
42270 Saint-Priest-en-Jarez