To The Heart by Thierry Thieû Niang brings an exploration of childhood in today's lexicon at the Invisible Dog Art Center in Cobble Hill on June 16 and 17, 2018.


The Invisible Dog Art Center | Cobble Hill

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 of 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.

They will share the stage with the musician Sean Harold, who gives the ceremony its tempo, serving sometimes as a guide, sometimes as a witness. His music creates a sonic bridge between ancient and future times, a suspended present for these fifteen youths whose intensity will resonate for a while, thanks to the words of writers Linda Lê and to Nemo Hoffman’s artwork.

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

Duration: 60 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 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; it was shown at The Invisible Dog Art Center in 2014.



The Invisible Dog Art Center opened in October, 2009, a raw space in a vast converted factory building with a charmed history and an open-ended mission: to create, from the ground up, a new kind of interdisciplinary arts center. Over the last two years, over 50,000 people have attended our events: visual art exhibits; dance, theater, and music performances; film screenings; literary arts and poetry readings; lectures; community events; and more.

Long-term collaborations with artists are integral to The Invisible Dog’s mission, which is to create not only a new kind of art center, but also a new kind of artistic community.
The Invisible Dog brings together artists of all career stages, offering them unique opportunities for involvement. Over the last two years, the art center has evolved organically, developing with and alongside its diverse roster of collaborators.

Neither a commercial gallery nor a concept-driven non-profit, The Invisible Dog has a unique role in the New York arts scene. It has become a place where artists working in all media can do things they wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else in New York. The Invisible Dog’s core values of experimentation and collaboration are kept in view throughout the curatorial process, and as a result, our artists are freer and more autonomous than is typical.

The building at 51 Bergen Street is integral to The Invisible Dog’s identity. Built in the late 1800s, the 30,000 square-foot building housed working factories until the 1990s, when the last factory shut down, and the detritus from 100 years of industry was left to rot. The building was unused until 2008, when it was discovered by Lucien Zayan. The last factory, which made belts, had a hit in the 1960s with the “invisible dog” party trick, which gave the nascent art center its name.