VIA BERLIN

What happens when you use classical music as your main ingredient to convey a self-written storyline about a topical and social subject, within a theatrical setting?

It might be hard to imagine, but that is what we do with our music theatre company VIA BERLIN

Via Berlin is a young, Dutch music theatre group founded in 2008, when we started off as ‘Nieuwkomer’ (newcomer) at the Dutch music theatre company Orkater. Since then, we’ve reached over 45.000 people with 10 productions and have grown to be an independent company.

To us text and music, as well as the actor and the musician, are two completely equal means to convey the storyline. A continuous (classical) musical line exists throughout our pieces, and often the music even gets the leading part. The text merely gives the outlines of the story, location and characters; the images and music fill in the rest.

All of the performers on stage are both actors as musicians. This way of working creates a tight unity and an organic fusion between the two disciplines, bearing in mind that the individual qualities of the performers are preserved. Making music theatre about a topical subject using classical music as the main storyteller in combination with self-written text, is unique in the Netherlands and abroad.

With social and topical subjects like ‘war’ or ‘illegal immigrants’ as the underlying theme, the plays of Via Berlin are about intimate, personal stories, which symbolize universal happenings.

Our trilogy on WAR was awarded with the Dutch Charlotte Köhler Prize in 2014.

Here we will guide you through our pieces;

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We made a triptych about WAR 2009/2014

A mouth full of sand / From now on your name is Pjotr / Home Sweet Home

played in the Netherlands, England and Brazil.

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A diptych about ILLEGALITY 2015

Dead End & Comrfortzone

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MASOTES DREAM 2015

A collaboration with Orkater/Via Berlin and South Africa. Where Dagmar directed a full South African cast.

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The poetic duet ONCE    2016 /2018

about DEGENRACY EN LOSING ONESELF IN LONELINESS.

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BREAKING THE SILENCE, about living under dictatorship  2017/2018

played in the Netherlands / Kosovo / Russia and China

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and the INSTANT- triptych 2016/2020

Instant Happiness / Instant Love / Instant Loneliness

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Dè ESPERANZA  2019

big New music theatre production in collaboration with Orkater / Ragazze Quartet and Carel Kraayenhof

celebrating Via Berlins 10th anniversary.

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2018/2019

INSTANT LOVE

PART TWO INSTANT-TRIPTYCH VIA BERLIN TOGETHER WITH CELLOOCTET AMSTERDAM

Breathtaking and  shocking NEW music theatre piece about human trafficking

performed by Via Berlin

together with Cello Octet Amsterdam.

Director Ria Marks

Choreographer Pim Veulings

Text Ko van den Bosch.

Acting Dagmar Slagmolen & Harald Austbø

Composer Harald Austbø

Music Cello Octet Amsterdam

more information:  www.viaberlin.nl

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2017/2018

                                      BREAKING THE SILENCE

NEW music theatre piece performed by Via Berlin together with Berlage Saxophone Quartet.

Breaking The Silence is the love story of a woman under a dictatorial regime. Her husband has disappeared. He was a gifted composer, the woman a talented cellist in the service of the regime. When the man disappears without a trace one day, the woman begins a feverish and dangerous search that takes her right through the past. Has her husband betrayed her? Is he a victim of the system? What has changed between them over the years? Through Sjostakovich’s music and old tape recordings she tries to reconstruct the events, which will eventually change her life radically.

Music of Sjostakovitsj / Ligeti and Peter Vigh

Director Ria Marks

Choreographer Pim Veulings

Text Sophie Kassies.

Actress Dagmar Slagmolen

Music Berlage Saxophone Quartet

more information:  www.viaberlin.nl

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2016

INSTANT HAPPINESS

PART ONE INSTANT-TRIPTYCH VIA BERLIN TOGETHER WITH CELLOOCTET AMSTERDAM

NEW music theatre piece performed by Via Berlin together with Cello Octet Amsterdam.

The disposable society effortlessly feeds our insatiable appetite for immediate gratification. INSTANT HAPPINESS is simply for sale. Via Berlin (Orkater / De Nieuwkomers) and Cello8ctet Amsterdam carry out research into the obsessive (western) demand for disposable fashion for bottom prices, which leads to degrading working conditions in Asian clothing factories. How does this self-designed system of demand, supply and stifling power relations work? Can you do well within a bad system? Or is the system stronger than free will?

A visual music performance told by eight cellists, raw music and moving choreographies.

Director Dagmar Slagmolen

Choreographer Pim Veulings

Composer Jan Kuijken

Music Cello Octet Amsterdam

more information:  www.viaberlin.nl

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OUR DIPTYCH ABOUT ILLEGALITY

  • DEAD END 
  • COMFORT ZONE

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DEAD END

Dead End is a physical and musical performance between two man, created on the wide beach at the Oerol festival. We see the journey of a man symbolizing many more illegal immigrants. Coming from the sea, on the run through different countries and finally reaching a border crossing-point, where he finds himself in a trial of strength with the guard. The audience is sitting safely behind the guard, watching anonymously from the public gallery.  After a heart-breaking plead sung to the audience, the man runs off, having no other option than to go and live an illegal life.

more information:  www.viaberlin.nl

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COMFORTZONE

It’s like an animal that is threatened with death; instinct takes over. There is no more room for social carefree moments, everything is armed, it can be done any time.

A group of women is looking for support in a time of confusion. They are taken in tow by the hostess who proclaims a visionary look at the future.

When in their midst a refugee appears, emerges from that wonderful future prospects and the sudden occurrence reality an almost unbridgeable distance.

more information:  www.viaberlin.nl

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    2016/2018

OUR DUET

ONCE

Once there were two sisters; praised classical musicians, who played sold-out performances all over the world. They lived an affluent lifestyle and had many admirers.

Now they are old, the fame and money are gone.

With their world getting smaller and smaller, all they have left is each other for laughter and comfort.

In solitude the sisters reminisce and relive their glory days.  They try everything to hide the decline that comes with getting older, but when your memory betrays you and your hands start shaking that is easier said than done.

A poetic musical performance about degeneracy and losing oneself in loneliness.

more information:  www.viaberlin.nl

 

2009 / 2014

OUR WAR TRIPTYCH:  

  • A MOUTH FULL OF SAND  
  • FROM NOW ON YOUR NAME IS PJOTR
  • HOME SWEET HOME

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A MOUTH FULL OF SAND

Is about a Dutch pregnant woman who seeks her lost husband, a war photographer, in Afghanistan. She finds him back in the middle of the desert, but he is gaunt (uitgemergeld), dehydrated, traumatized, ánd living together with an Afghan woman. The Afghan woman, using her music, is the only one allowed to come close to him and touch him, leaving the Dutch wife left out and desperate. A mouth full of sand is about reaching the point when loving someone also means to let go.

more information:  www.viaberlin.nl

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FROM NOW ON YOUR NAME IS PJOTR

Based on the history of Chechnya – a country where men are fighting the war and women are on the side-lines-  a small group of women from different religious backgrounds is forced to work in a sewing-workshop. Every day, uniforms from fallen soldiers get repaired to be sent back to the frontline. But when nightmares and terrors enter the workshop, and prejudices seem to take over, the women no longer accept the meaninglessness of their lives.

From now on your name is Pjotr is about realizing that everybody has his own personal tragedy, and acknowledging someone else’s pain can make your own suffering more bearable.

more information:  www.viaberlin.nl

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HOME SWEET HOME

The war is over. A soldier returns from battle, back home. What he finds is a bare and empty village. There is nobody. In his head is his wife alive and weaving memories, delusions, traumas, desires and hopes the days together. Till his wife really suddenly appears in front of him.

At Home Sweet Home, we go one step further and higher in our quest. Female strings against the male drummers brings tension with it which fits well with the theme of the show. In addition, the combination of the characteristic timbre of strings with those of artists offers a broad spectrum of possibilities for interpreting different spheres, such as masculinity versus femininity, violence versus tenderness, versus rhythmic melodic, from subtle to deafening.

more information:  www.viaberlin.nl

 

BOOKINGS:

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Because of the strong universal eloquence of our pieces, as well as the large share of music, the productions of Via Berlin are suitable for international performances. We are used to performing both inside and outside, on a wide variety of locations and in different languages.

We are also interested in starting up international collaborations to create new pieces together, or sharing our way of making music theatre with young people.

For bookings and further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

zakelijk@viaberlin.nl

dagmar@viaberlin.nl

publiciteit@viaberlin.nl

www.viaberlin.nl