performance & dance

Oona Doherty - Hard to Be Soft

Delving deep into the psyche of her native Belfast, the dancer and choreographer presents a searing evocation of the city’s streets.

The multi-disciplinary performance is rich in gloriously simple yet revealing imagery, shot through with a visceral physicality.

Called ‘one of the most exciting talents to emerge in contemporary dance in recent years’ by the Irish Times, Doherty uses dance as a medium for understanding and perhaps a catalyst for social change.

Incense rises into the darkness. A lone character emerges, posturing defiantly, barely unable to conceal the turmoil beneath such exaggerated masculinity.

An army of young women pound the stage in tribal formation, their synchronised display intimidating yet not free of vulnerability. Father and son tussle topless over a tortured family history.

Unfolding over four distinct verses, this tender tribute weaves everyday stories into a tapestry of mesmerising movement, religious iconography and haunting sound by DJ David Holmes.

Part of Dance Umbrella 2019, London’s international dance festival.

Dates & times

11 Oct 2019
Approximate run time: 60 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Queen Elizabeth Hall


£18 - £22
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
£18, £22


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Content warning
Contains some swearing and moderate aggressive behaviour.