The performance To the Heart, whose title references the heart, began to take shape in 2015 with a workshop at the museum led by the choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang. A few months later, the Festival of Avignon and the Chartreuse de Villeneuve lez Avignon collaborated with the Collection Lambert to produce this hybrid piece blending dance, theater, music and visual arts and featuring 14 young people from Avignon, aged 9 to 17. The piece investigates a question that is universal and relevant today: “What do we do when a child falls?”
Building on the improvisations and uniqueness of each participant, Thierry Thieû Niang immediately decided not to impose his choreography on the children, but rather to define the stage as a space of exchange, sharing, and sometimes conflict, making it a space for living.
The artist Claude Lévêque got involved early on by working on the stage design and creating a neon work based on a drawing by one of the young dancers.
The musician Camille created two a cappella songs for the children, including the famous Dors (sleep). She also led several workshops for them on voice and breathing.
Working on the central theme of falling, the writer Linda Lê wrote a new text, L’Envol (flight), which the youngest member of the group was able to make her own.
Au Cœur was performed nine times at the Festival of Avignon 2016 in three of the city’s emblematic venues: Théâtre des Pénitents Blancs, Chartreuse de Villeneuve Lez Avignon, and the Collection Lambert.
The young Avignon performers then passed on the material to children in Saint-Denis, who performed the piece at the Théâtre de la Villette, Musée de l’Immigration, and Gaïeté Lyrique in Paris.
To the Heart continued to live and breathe in Belfort with a cast of children who had recently immigrated to France.
In June 2018, the Théâtre de la Criée in Marseille decided to include this project in its 2019 program.
Thierry Thieû Niang and the Collection Lambert team continued passing along their work, this time to children who had recently immigrated at the Belle de Mai middle school.
Writing, visual arts and dance workshops were organized over several months between Marseille and Avignon.
The artist Raphaël Zarka also joined the project, making sculptures for the new stage design, and the musician Raphaël Imbert accompanied the students on the saxophone during the performances.
This new incarnation of To the Heart was performed three times during the month of June 2019.