JUNE 16 & JUNE 17 – DANCE – A young body lies on the ground. Is it alive or dead? Are we on a nearby beach or in a garden, a schoolyard maybe? Like many of us, Thierry Thieû Niang was upset by the photographs of refugee children washed ashore that made global headlines back in 2016.

For the choreographer, childhood has always been at the heart of his work: childhood in the world, childhood in art, childhood as a time of trials and learning where everything is possible, and childhood as a moment when one can just as easily fall and be reborn.

To The Heart is another Niang’s exploration of childhood. Inspired by the powerful photographs of the bodies of refugee children lying on the ground, the project is a chance for the artist to speak to children and teenagers and show the joy that children express when they play (alone or in groups), running, falling, playing dead, or pretending to be reborn.

Whether the participants will already be experienced dancers or fresh newcomers, together they form a unique and fluid community. Their fragility and commitment will tell stories of blooming, fall, loss, and consolation.

Performers will share the stage with a musician and who gives the ceremony its tempo, serving sometimes as a guide, sometimes as a witness abd will resonate for a while, thanks to the words of writers Linda Lê.

Saturday June 16 at 7:30pm
Sunday June 17 at 5pm 

Duration: 45 minutes

Suggested donation: $10

From the moment he meets the young actors who will appear in To the Heart, Thierry Thieû Niang starts calling them by their first names.
 A sign of recognition, or of extreme affection. Every one of them is a person.

A schoolteacher and psychomotor therapist by training, the choreographer knows how to set up the ideal conditions for movement and for future exchanges, for his research has long been for and with all bodies; with children, with older people, with people with autism, or with prisoners, he likes to create spaces where all can coexist. And to tell everyone that dance is a simple joy and that walking with someone else is in and of itself a way of existing, a life project.

He thus brings together artists from various fields and horizons Linda Lê, Marie Desplechin, Ariane Ascaride, Anne Alvaro, Audrey Bonnet, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Claude Lévêque, Denis Darzacq, Jean Bellorini, Pierre Guyotat, Vincent Dissez, Eric Lamoureux…

He has also worked  with directors for the theatre and the opera – with Patrice Chéreau on his latest creations, for instance – but also with singers and visual artists.

Du Printemps (A Time of Spring), created for the Festival d’Avignon in 2011 with twenty-five amateurs aged 60 to 90, then went on a world tour, adding local performers at every step along the way, ; shown at The Invisible Dog Art Center in 2014.

 This project receives the support of FACE Contemporary Theater, a program of FACE Foundation in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, with the support of the Florence Gould Foundation, Institut francais-Paris, the French Ministry of Culture, and private donors.