Like a documentary dance by Ken Loach, Oona Doherty lets in the souls we rarely see on a dance stage: Belfast's male working class. Their violence, their vulnerability, their outbursts of anger and their sense of boredom.
The dancer Mufasa-Sandrine Lescourant balances aggression, humour, joy and despair in rapid sequences. The portraits vibrate with a sometimes almost overwhelming physical and vocal energy. Gestures, sounds and words are combined in a distinctive body language. One by one, ideas of masculinity and morality are dismantled in a desperate search for hope.
Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus is a performance that dismantles stereotypes and finds beauty in the periphery.
This is what Oona Doherty says about her art:
"My work attempts to play with the barrier between the flesh and the soul, the audience and the stage; to share a kinetic experience. I'm motivated to explore states of pure metaphysical honesty. To bring the sex, the punk, the romance and the chi back into the body, the black box, the white cube, and Ireland.''
"Hope Hunt" won Best Performance at the 2016 Dublin Tigre Fringe Award and the Total Theatre Award for Dance at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival.
"Hope Hunt" is the perfect introduction to Doherty's stunning embodiment of a stratum of society rarely touched on in dance, the working-class male: specifically chavs, neds, smicks (depending on where you come from), often demonised, rarely sympathetic. But Doherty takes on her subjects not only with keen observation but, more importantly, with love."
Oona Doherty is a dancer and choreographer based in Northern Ireland. Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, the University of Ulster and LABAN London, she has received both BA and PhD awards in contemporary dance studies.
Oona has been on stage since 2010, collaborating with companies such as TRASH (NL) Abbattoir Ferme (BE) and Veronika Riz (IT). She now creates her own work, which has had great success both nationally and internationally.
The performance "Hope Hunt" won Best Performance at the 2016 Dublin Tigre Fringe Award and the Total Theatre Award for Dance at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival.
Sandrine Lescourant, better known as "Mufasa", is a French dancer and choreographer. Growing up in the suburbs of Paris, she discovered ballet at an early age and then contemporary dance and Mandingue (traditional dance from Mali). But it was shortly after completing her training that she fell in love with hip hop culture and got involved in battles and the hip hop underground scene.
Mufasa has worked with several recognised choreographers, such as Thierry Surace, Sylvain Groud, Anthony Egéa, Amala Dianor and Oona Doherty. She also runs her own dance company Kilaï which is currently finalising its third work acoustic.
Sandrine "Mufasa" Lescourant
Oona Doherty, Chris McCorry, Strength NIA
Driver + post show DJ
Sarah Gordon, Oona Doherty
Original Hunter Juice and continued Chi
Arts Council of Northern Ireland, British Council 2015-2016
Luca Truffarelli Simon Harrison (portrait)
Touring with Dansnät Sweden in autumn 2021