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

Hard To Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer

18 - 19 May 2018

Booking Information

Dates: 18 – 19 May
On the Abbey Stage

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: €13 – €34

Running Time: 55 minutes

Post-Show Talk: 19 May

To book for a group of 6+ call (01) 87 97 226

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 experiences and realities 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.

A prodigious talent, Doherty has garnered international attention as one of Europe’s most gifted and promising dance artists, most recently 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.

Parental Advisory: This performance contains strong language.

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.

#HardToBeSoft   #DDF2018


'Stunning... a piece that needs to be seen again and again'
The Irish News


Video © Luca Truffarelli


Photography © Luca Truffarelli


  • Concept, Choreography & Performer: Oona Doherty
  • Performer: Ellen Burns (Ajendance Youth Dance Company)
  • Performer: Lucy Burns (Ajendance Youth Dance Company)
  • Performer: Lynn Gourley (Ajendance Youth Dance Company)
  • Performer: Rachel Harris (Ajendance Youth Dance Company)
  • Performer: Zara Janahi (Ajendance Youth Dance Company)
  • Performer: Niamh McErlane (Ajendance Youth Dance Company)
  • Performer: Beatriz Pina (Ajendance Youth Dance Company)
  • Performer: Bryan Quinn
  • Performer: John Scott
  • Performer: Caitlin Shaw (Ajendance Youth Dance Company)
  • Performer: Nicole Wray (Ajendance Youth Dance Company)
  • Composer & Sound Designer: David Holmes
  • Set & Lighting Designer: Ciaran Bagnall
  • Film & Photography: Luca Truffarelli
  • Projections: Jack Phelan

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Abbey Theatre
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D01 K0F1