NAVY BLUE at Dublin Dance Festival 2023
NAVY BLUE at Dublin Dance Festival 2023
Loading Events
  • This event has passed.
A singer person walks in shadows with blue light around
Scaling Up

NAVY BLUE at Dublin Dance Festival 2023


Using her distinctive and visceral choreographic style, award-winning choreographer Oona Doherty creates an unsettling atmosphere for her first work for the big stage, Navy Blue.


A dark night descends and a group of 12 dancers generate a sense of dread, trapped within a destructive algorithm.


Choreographer Oona Doherty uses movement, music and colour to reflect pain and loneliness, and the struggles and exploitation of working class people. Often angry and defiant, Doherty and her dancers ultimately search for a wider communal healing and redemption.


Featuring music from Sergeï Rachmaninoff and Jamie xx, this compelling new piece considers where we have been and where we are heading, as it urgently appeals for societal change.


“How can I develop unison dread on stage? Dance form as a problematic symbol of freedom? Unison as a type of micro communism? Individualism as a disease? Using classical dance form and theatre norms as the playing field of a violent cycle. A destructive algorithm.” – Oona Doherty


”It’s a properly brilliant piece. It feels new. Not overly relying on the past or having an obvious agenda concerning the future. It feels in, and deals with the present. Rare.” – Matthew Paluch / Granmilano


“- - this complex and energizingly philosophical piece is an unmissable world premiere.” – Maryam Philpott / The Reviews Hub


Oona Doherty

Oona Doherty was born 22.05.1986 London in 1996 she moved to Belfast.


She studied at St Louise’s comprehensive college Falls road Belfast, The London School of Contemporary Dance, University of Ulster and LABAN London. She has a BA Honours and Postgraduate in Contemporary Dance Studies. 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).


Doherty’s distinctive and visceral choreography has sparked international attention,
earning her multiple awards, rave reviews and prestigious artistic opportunities both in
Ireland and abroad. She creates intense, compelling works that appeal for societal change. She has forged a wide range of artistic relationships locally and internationally. Jamie XX I dont know (2019) The Rubber Bandits (2017-2019). So far she has produced highly acclaimed works. Her solo work Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus (2015) was Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival Best Performer Award in 2016 and the winner of the Total Theatre Dance Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017. Reconnaissance Grenoble audience 1st place, judges 1st place 2017.


Oona Doherty was selected one of the top 10 Irish Artist in 2017 by the Irish Times. 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. She created Lady Magma: The Birth of a Cult in 2019. 2021 will see Oona Doherty’s first collaboration with (La) Horde, collective at the helm for Ballet National de Marseille (FR). She is now working on a new piece for 12 dancers, called NAVY BLUE(working tittle) to be premiered in August 2022.


Oona Doherty was one of the Aerowaves 2017 selected artists, a Prime Cut Productions REVEAL Artist and The MAC Theatre Belfast HATCH Artist in 2016-17, an Associate Artist at Maison de la Danse de Lyon (FR) in 2017-18, an Associate Artist at La Briqueterie Vitry-sur- Seine (FR) in 2017-19. She is Dublin Dance Festival Artist in Residence in 2020- 2022. Oona has been awarded from the Venice Biennale Silver Lion in 2021.



Artistic direction & choreography Oona Doherty

Collaboration music Jamie xx

Collaboration script Bush Moukarzel

Costume design Oona Doherty, Lisa Marie Barry

Lighting design John Gunning

Projection & stage Nadir Bouassria

Production management Gabrielle Veyssiere

Navy Blue is a Big Pulse Dance Alliance co-production, co-produced by Dance Umbrella (UK), Dublin Dance Festival (Ireland), Torinodanza Festival (Italy) and Julidans (The Netherlands), co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.


A co-production of the Kampnagel International Summer Festival, Sadler's Wells (London), La Biennale di Venezia, Théâtre National de Chaillot (Paris), Dance Umbrella Festival (London), Maison de la Danse (Lyon), Belfast International Arts Festival, Dublin Dance Festival, Torino Danza, Julidans Festival (Amsterdam), MC2 (Grenoble) PARTNER Pavillon Noir (Aix en Provence), KLAP (Marseille).

Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and DRAC Ile de France.


“The most exciting young voice in contemporary dance”

Big Pulse Dance

Bringing contemporary dance to the people of Europe.