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Hard To Be Soft © Luca Truffarelli Photo: Luca Truffarelli

Hard to Be Soft: A Belfast Prayer

Prime Cut Productions / Oona Doherty

A dance piece which looks behind the masks of violence and machismo to the inner lives of Belfast hard men and strong women.

Aggression. Sensuality. Vulnerability. Hard to Be Soft is a dance prayer about — and for — the people of Belfast.

Created by Belfast-based choreographer and dancer Oona Doherty, with driving music by DJ David Holmes (Killing Eve, Ocean’s Eleven, Hunger), Hard to Be Soft looks behind the masks of violence and machismo to the inner lives of Belfast hard men and strong women.

Cast in four episodes, Hard to Be Soft features solos from Doherty herself, a warrior-like hip-hop dance group, and a choreographed wrestling match for a male duet. Using rich, sometimes unsettling imagery from Belfast street life and religious ritual, and set inside a massive, gleaming cage, it contrasts shocking power with meditative stillness.

Oona Doherty is a multi-award-winning choreographer who creates intense, compelling works that appeal for societal change. Hard to Be Soft is a physical prayer celebrating all that we have and an invocation for what we are missing.

Download the programme here

Part of You Are Here

Oona Doherty Choreographer & Director
David Holmes Music
Ciaran Bagnall Set & Lighting Designer
Jack Phelan Projections
Luca Truffarelli Video & Photography

Episodes I & IV Oona Doherty
Episode II The Sugar Army
Episode III John Scott & Sam Finnegan

More information about some of the artists:

Prime Cut Productions
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Oona Doherty
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David Holmes

21-24 August 2019

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book or watch. The 2021 programme will be announced in June.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Sensitive yet unflinching, raw and richly choreographed, Doherty’s dance is a major achievement.

The Guardian

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Funded through the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Edinburgh Festivals and

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