Following the success of Tornar (2015) and INVITED (2018), dancer and choreographer Seppe Baeyens builds upon his exploration of shaping a temporary community in Birds. For this new creation, he steps outside the theatre walls and ventures into the public space with a group of performers and musicians. There the normal course of events is interrupted – sometimes invisibly and sometimes plainly. Time and time again, unexpected compositions arise from playful interactions between onlookers, participants and coincidental passers-by, in which everyone appears to influence the outcome. Birds is a generous, social choreography that seeks out connection and imagination.

Since 2011, Seppe Baeyens has been closely associated with Ultima Vez’s activities. In his productions he mixes professional and non-professional dancers and actors. Baeyens searches for new artistic working methods, spread over a long period of time, based on co-authorship with the participants. His productions are not so much about individual expression, the symmetrically performed movement or the harmonic choreography, but the honest and authentic connection between the dancers during the performance. Accordingly, the live music and visual design play an important guiding and supporting role. In his latest project Birds, Seppe Baeyens also wants to broaden and diversify the creation process itself. He asked Martha Balthazar and Yassin Mrabtifi to create and accompany the performance with him.


Seppe Baeyens: The starting point for Birds is not the theatre space but the everydayenvironment. We will be going to organise the public space as a dramatic space, without depriving it of its accessibility. We strive to blur the boarders between the random passer-by spectators, performers and audience in a social and shared choreography. I also asked Martha Balthazar and Yassin Mrabtifi to co-create Birds. Until now, I have mainly applied my ideas on intergenerational and intercultural participation to the participants and audience of my performances. I am now extending that line to the creation process itself.


“Amazingly enough, Baeyens’ passion for social inclusion never impedes the artistic nature of his projects. This fact dispels the generally established notion that participatory work absolutely has to be consensus art.” – Charlotte de Somviele (Contemporary dance in Flanders & Brussels - Kunstenpunt)


“Participation theatre: this is way too often a synonym for pieces that put the viewer in the spotlight without, however, allowing them to participate. This in and by itself makes Seppe Baeyens’ work so special. He involves the spectators in his performances as fully-fledged partners. He always leaves their dignity intact." – Pieter T’jonck (Klara)


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CONCEPT, DIRECTION & CHOREOGRAPHY Seppe Baeyens IN COCREATION WITH Yassin Mrabtifi, Martha Balthazar

 CREATED WITH AND PERFORMED BY Annette Baussart, Emile Claus, Inès Bafdili, Rosa Boateng, Yacine Sangara, Gaspard Herblot, Kyria Tsara, Chisom Lois Onyebueke Chinaedu, Aude Uytterhoeven, Aiko Niang, Jago Pauwels, David Jarama, Isabelle Azaïs, Evarista Azaïs Jarama, Anthony Quintard, Yassin Mrabtifi, Martha Balthazar, Seppe Baeyens, Teddy Guilbaud

MUSIC COMPOSED BY Stef Heeren ARABIC PERCUSSION COMPOSED BY Saif Al-Qaissy LIVE PERFORMED BY Stef Heeren, Saif Al-Qaissy, Gaspard Herblot, Kyria Tsara

DRAMATURGY Kristin Rogghe



SET DESIGN Fatima El Ouahabi, Björk Llaguno Alvarez, Loïse Vargas Y Jimenez, Jolien Gillijns coached by Eva Raffaella Menga & Bram Kerkhofs (LUCA School of Arts)



COPRODUCTION KVS Brussels, STUK - House for Dance, Image & Sound (Leuven) co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union as part of DANCE ON, PASS ON, DREAM ON, tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf, Festival de Marseille

RESIDENCIES STUK Leuven, KVS Brussels, tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf, CAMPO Ghent, Berliner Festspiele

WITH THE SUPPORT OF Tax Shelter measure of the Belgian Federal Government, Casa Kafka Pictures Tax Shelter empowered by Belfius. Ultima Vez is supported by the Flemish Authorities and the Flemish Community Commission of the Brussels Capital Region

SPECIAL THANKS TO Decoratelier, Circularium, Maison des Cultures et de la Cohésion Sociale, MolenWest, Espace Catastrophe