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
Saturday 29 June 2024 Geleen (NL)  
Sunday 30 June 2024 MoMeNT-festival, Tongeren  
Friday 5 July 2024 Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Saturday 6 July 2024 Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Sunday 7 July 2024 Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Monday 8 July 2024 Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Tuesday 9 July 2024 Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Wednesday 10 July 2024 Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Thursday 11 July 2024 Quebec, Canada (CA)  
Thursday 15 August 2024 Féron'Arts, Féron (FR)  
Friday 16 August 2024 Féron'Arts, Féron (FR)  
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  
Saturday 7 September 2024 Fira Tàrrega (CAT)  
Sunday 8 September 2024 Fira Tàrrega (CAT)  
Thursday 31 July 2025 31/07 - 3/08 option Stockton UK  


Authors: 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.