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Bencha Theater consists of an enthusiastic international team of "flying" professionals, musicians, and dancers with over 15 years of experience in creating and performing spectacular shows and events.


Each team member possesses unique qualities in acrobatics, dance, theater, or technology, which we combine to create extraordinary productions. We are fearless in the air, but our passion and dedication to our craft shine through in every performance.

Bencha Theater team


Rachel Melief oprichter en artistiek leider van Bencha Theater
Dimiter Simeonov 3 voudig wereldkampione Master of sport in Acrobatics
Micka Karlsson medeoprichter Norrköping Circus en Variété



Founder and artistic leader of Bencha Theater. She was born in a family of many performers. After finishing the dance academy in Rotterdam, she danced at many dance companies and she has specialist herself in balancing and aerial acrobatics. ​She was a dancer and acrobat for many year at Bencha Theater, but now she is focused on the organization, guiding emerging acrobatic talent within the group and creating beautiful choreographies.



Since the age of seven, Dimiter has been involved in acrobatics. As a member of Bulgaria's national team, he won three gold medals at the Acrobatics World Championships, earning the titles of World Champion and Master of Sport in Acrobatics. Besides his role at Bencha Theater, Dimiter worked as a freelance acrobat and stilt walker with various total theater groups. Dimiter is a co-founder of Bencha Theater, guiding emerging acrobatic talent within the group, contributing to technical aspects, and teaching acrobatics at various professional training programs.



Micka began her performance career as an artist in the Swedish Norsholms Ungdoms circus. Later, she co-founded her own circus, Norrköping Circus and Variété, winning the European Acrobatics Championships in 1996 and participating in the World Championships in Monte Carlo multiple times. Since 2005, Micka has been an integral part of Bencha Theater, serving as an acrobat and dancer. She also plays a role as a production assistant and trainer for emerging talent.

Sarah Kooij maakt onderdeel uit van Bencha Theater



Sarah's passion for gymnastics started at a young age, leading her to join the National Gymnastics Team of the Netherlands at the age of 13. Transitioning to the world of theater, she participated in various productions. Sarah joined Bencha Theater as a freelancer in 2005 and became a permanent member of the team, contributing significantly to the core of Bencha and works closely together in the creative process.

Marieke van der Heyden cello, theremin en glasharmonica artiest
Robert Baba componist met Marieke van der Heijden voor Bencha Theater
Boy Looijen winnaar van diverse cirucs awards
Nils Valkennorgh choreograaf
Marc van Laere manager Bencha Theater
Sylvia Idelberger



With a love for both music and theater from a young age, Marieke combined the two after completing her conservatory education. As a cellist, she works in various music and movement theater productions, performing both nationally and internationally. Marieke excels in translating ideas into musical concepts, composing and performing for Bencha Theater. In addition to playing the (electric) cello, she also plays the theremin and glass harmonica.



Robert's musical journey began at a young age. After studying at the Rotterdam Conservatory, he pursued a degree in jazz at the Arnhem Conservatory. Robert is versatile and enjoys working in various music styles, from the Metropole Orchestra and musicals to experimental music and jazz sessions. Since early 2006, Robert has been part of Bencha Theater, collaborating with Marieke van der Heijden in composing music for the acts and musical concepts.



From a young age, Boy excelled in the sport of Rhonrad gymnastics, winning the world title in 2011 and becoming the Dutch champion 27 times. Since 2007, he has been a professional artist on international stages, winning several gold circus awards. Boy is a valuable addition to the Bencha team.



Starting early with gymnastics and acrobatics, Nils later transitioned to coaching in sports. After his competitive career, he entered the world of performing arts, showcasing his skills with straps and aerial pole acts nationally and internationally. In addition to performing, Nils is active in the TV and film industry, creating choreographies for his acts and others. He recently joined forces with Bencha Theater.



Born and raised in Belgium but has been residing in the Netherlands for a while now. He graduated from the Fontys Dance Academy in Tilburg with a focus on Performing Contemporary Urban Dance. Kenneth has been seen in productions such as Peter Pan under the direction of Martine Muller and in the opera Antigona. Since September 2020, he has joined Bencha Theater and is embracing the new discipline of wall dancing.



They've known each other for a long time. Marc and Bencha Theater have been working together for years. His business acumen and the creativity of Bencha Theater forms a fantastic combination Both want to convey an experience and make beautiful things that touch people. A support for the Bencha team and a business helping hand for the bookings related to the event



This go-getter and professional also has her own company and has joined forces with Bencha Theater for a co-production, Mobilé creatures, a street theater performance that will go premiere in the spring of 2024. The strength and clear approach and the chaotic but super creative approach of both makes for a very pleasant collaboration.


Bencha Theater assesses the technical requirements for each performance and selects the best team for the job. They prefer working with:


Rigging and Sound - Ignas Eeltink

Rigging and Multi Technology - Ton Soepenberg

Rigging and Technology - Diter Toprek

Technical Producer for Video Wall Dance - Frank Verbeek 

Other credits:

Photography - Jostijn Ligtvoet Fotografie

Website - Jesse Reinier Nieuwenhuijzen

Video - Maarten van Rouveroy


Bencha Theater collaborates with various freelance acrobats, dancers, singers, and stilt performers, including Closeact Theatre, Teatro Pavana, Sylvia Idelberger, Kenneth Gérard, Alma Nieto, Diana Vildanova, Irina Sokolova, Mirella Pirskanen, Anneke Frankenberg, Anna Gehlin, and Femke Luycks. The team has also worked with artists such as Romain Touron, Rosana Caldarera, Richard Verbree, David Maes, Deborah van Genechten, Vivian Hendriks, and more.

Een man voert luchtacrobatiek uit door tegen een muur omhoog te lopen, waarbij hij vastzit aan touwen. Zijn bewegingen getuigen van indrukwekkende lenigheid en controle

Discover what we can do for you, Contact us.



Promoting and initiating theater, dance, acrobatics and music in the theater and at cultural festivals and in the educational field, partly by creating acrobatic, dance and (music) theater performances for national and international theaters.

For the next three years, the foundation's goal is to create acrobatic dance (and video projection) against buildings and walls. An art and theater form with which the foundation has already experimented a lot and basic know-how is available.

RSIN: 820763718


The foundation works on a non-profit basis. The board members perform their work unpaid. The board strives for transparent business operations, whereby the additional functions of permanent employees and the board are reported and conflicts of interest are avoided.

See the policy plan below.


Chairman: Roy Grunewald
Secretary: Telemachus of Luxembourg
Treasurer: Vivian Hendriks

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