Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus
“Hope Hunting” lies between the lines of physical theatre, social proclamation and dance. A thumping black golf, headlights on, sits in waiting, Music thumping from its metal shield. A man who is many men leaks in out of the metal beat, his story, A hunt for hope.
The performer mutates into separate entities. Morphing from one character to the next. Through speech, movement, and sound we are twisted and contorted through ideas of masculinity, morality and nostalgia. Through wet forgotten roads of memory; the hunter takes the audience with him. He hits and swerves at extreme stereotypes of cultural and social class. The masks of men as a form of personal defence against the self and the world we live in today. The consequences of boredom on the psyche are ripped open through physical labour on stage.
Teetering on the fine lines between comedy and tragedy. To find the importance of self-belief. No matter where you are from, what class you are placed. There are essential needs of love ingrained in all of us. Removing the masks of ego and cultural affectations we hope to find a common ground of truth and hope.
Fade to white
Lazarus rising as the concrete bird of Paradise. An attempt to deconstruct the stereotype of the concrete disadvantaged male, and raise it up into a Caravaggio bright white limbo. It looks to make the smicks, the spives, the hoods, the gypsies, the knackers into the birds of paradise. It is a hunt for hope.
Choreography: Oona Doherty
Performance: Sandrine Lescourant ” Mufasa”
Driver: Luca Truffarelli
Light: John Gunning
Production: Gabrielle Veyssiere
Supported by: Dance Resource Base, Art Council of Northern Ireland, The
MAC Theatre – Belfast, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festi-val, British Council,
Prime Cuts Production. Selected for a European tour by Aerowaves in 201.
Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus has received numerous awards such as Best Performer Dublin Tiger Fringe (2016), Total Theatre Award and The Place Dance at Edinburgh Fringe (2017), and the First Jury Prize and the Audience Prize at (Re) connaissance (2017).
Oona Doherty was born in 1986 in London. When she was 10 she moved to Belfast. She studied at St Louise’s comprehensive college in Belfast, The London School of Contemporary Dance, University of Ulster and LABAN London. She has been performing dance-theatre internationally since 2010 with various companies, including: TRASH (NL), Abattoir Fermé (BE), Veronika Riz (IT), Emma Martin/United Fall (ROI), Enda Walsh & Landmark Productions (ROI).
She created her first solo work Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus in 2016. With this performance, she was awarded the “Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival Best Performer Award” in 2016 and the winner of the “Total Theatre Dance Award” at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and the 1st Audience place and Jjudges 1st place at (Re)connaissance in Grenoble in 2017.
She created her first group piece Hard to be Soft – A Belfast Prayer in 2017, which was then voted “no.1 UK dance show of 2019” by The Guardian and was selected as one of the “top 10 Irish Artists” in 2017 by the Irish Times. In 2019, she created Lady Magma: The Birth of a Cult, a piece for 1 actress and 5 dancers, that was presented in 2022 in the Festival d’Avignon, France. In August 2022, she premiered her latest piece: Navy Blue, a piece for 12 dancers, a contemporary ballet with the music of Sergei Rachmaninof and the British composer Jamie xx.
Doherty’s distinctive and visceral choreography has sparked international attention, earning multiple awards, amazing reviews and prestigious artistic opportunities both in Ireland, Europe and worldwide. She creates intense, compelling works that appeal for societal change. She has forged a wide range of artistic relationships locally and internationally including Jamie xx, (La)Horde, Luca Truffarelli, John Scott and Girl Band.
Oona won the Venice Biennale Silver Lion in 2021. She was one of the Aerowaves Twenty17 selected artists, a Prime Cut Productions REVEAL Artist and The MAC Theatre Belfast HATCH Artist in 2016-17. In addition, she was an Associate Artist at Maison de la Danse de Lyon (FR) in 2017-18 and La Briqueterie Vitry-sur-Seine (FR) in 2017-19. She was Dublin Dance Festival Artist in Residence in 2020-22 and is a Big Pulse Dance Alliance Artist 2021-23.