bench invasion





bench invasion – the art of listening
In this performance, I go with 10 people, each with a bench under their arm, into public space. We actively invite people to come and sit next to us. We build the benches. We sit, we slow down. We are present, we listen.

At the end of each encounter, we invite that person to a final moment later that day. After each encounter we move. We take the bench under our arms and walk on in the public space looking for a new person.

At the final end of the performance, we all come together: the bearers of the benches and the sitters. Bystanders are also invited.

We turn the benches into one long table in the public space.

With words, music (violin) and with a glass, we toast to the beauty of small encounters and life.

After, the communal table turns into benches again. The square is empty and everyone continues on their own way.

Central themes are connecting people (again), being present and celebrating, and all of this happens in public space.

Photos of the invasions at the Oerol Festival (NL), London (UK), La Strada, Graz (AT), Ruhrfestspiele (DE), in Bruges (BE), Lithuania (LT), The Netherlands …:

Playing dates

Date Location Info
Sunday 3 March 2024 Gent  
Sunday 14 April 2024 Aprilfestival, Esbjerg (DK)  
Tuesday 16 April 2024 Aprilfestival, Esbjerg (DK)  
Thursday 18 April 2024 Aprilfestival, Esbjerg (DK)  
Saturday 20 April 2024 Aprilfestival, Esbjerg (DK)  
Monday 29 April 2024 Brugge  
Wednesday 8 May 2024 Brugge  
Saturday 11 May 2024 CIRKL, Leuven  
Sunday 12 May 2024 CIRKL, Leuven  
Tuesday 14 May 2024 Brugge  
Saturday 18 May 2024 Biennale, Esch (LU) option  
Tuesday 11 June 2024 Brugge  
Sunday 30 June 2024 MoMeNT-festival, Tongeren  
Saturday 6 July 2024 Juli: Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Monday 8 July 2024 Juli: Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Wednesday 10 July 2024 Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Friday 23 August 2024 Gothenburg Dance & Theatre Festival, Sweden (SE)  
Saturday 24 August 2024 Gothenburg Dance & Theatre Festival, Sweden (SE)  
Friday 30 August 2024 Freedom Festival, UK  
Saturday 31 August 2024 Freedom Festival, UK  
Sunday 1 September 2024 Freedom Festival, UK  
Thursday 31 July 2025 31/07 - 3/08 option Stockton UK  


Idea: Dieter Missiaen en Els Degryse
Artist: Dieter Missiaen
Text: Els Degryse / Kommil Foo
violin: Anna Buevich // Anouk Sanczuk
Bench design: Marec Zeghers (

With the support of Perplx, Miramiro, CirkLabo.
Many thanks to Craig Weston, Sander Decuyper, Stef De Blieck, Marec Zeghers, Michael Minjauw, Lowie Vandenberghe (House Of Time Brugge), Gwendolien Sabbe, Martine Linaer-Gijsen, Tanja Ruiter, Wendy Moonen, Oerol Festival, Uitwijken – Brugge Plus, Te Gek!?, CC De Spil Roeselare, CC De Steiger Menen, Centre des arts de Rue – Ath, L’attitude 50. And all bench carriers.