Oona Doherty is the first artist announced for Freddie Opoku-Addaie’s inaugural Dance Umbrella Festival.
Award-winning choreographer Oona Doherty makes her Sadler’s Wells debut this October as she returns to Dance Umbrella Festival following critically acclaimed productions Hard to Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer (named Best Dance Show of 2019 by The Guardian) and Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus (also included as part of Sadler’s Wells and BBC Arts’ Dancing Nation series).
Navy Blue is the newest choreographic work from the Belfast-based artist, featuring a group of 12 dancers. Soundtracked to music by Sergeï Rachmaninoff and Jamie xx, Doherty’s distinctive and visceral choreographic style explores where we have been and where are heading, as it urgently appeals for societal change.
In 2019, Doherty made her Dance Umbrella debut with two critically lauded works. At the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hard to Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer was a searing evocation of her native city’s streets and inhabitants, delving deep into Belfast’s psyche. It was a show after which The Guardian announced her as “the most exciting young voice in contemporary dance.”
Doherty’s blistering solo performance in Hope Hunt and the Ascension Into Lazarus, saw a sold-out run at the Yard Theatre and a National Dance Award nomination. Described by The Times as a “phenomenal performer who makes the air electric,” Doherty adopts multiple personas of disaffected male youth with fury, swagger and humanity.
Doherty is a Big Pulse Dance Alliance selected artist and Associate Artist at Dublin Dance Festival. Her ambitious work has drawn international attention and in 2021 Doherty was named winner of the Venice Biennale Danza Silver Lion Award. Doherty has collaborated with numerous artists, recently creating music videos with Jamie xx and Rubber Bandits.