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What happens when you use classical music as your main ingredient to convey a self-written storyline about a hot social topic, within a theatrical setting? And how can musicians use their bodies more with walking choreography’s and playing by heart to extra support the storyline,  while still producing excellent live music?

It might be hard to imagine, but that is what I do as a Director/Choreographer with soloists, quartets, large ensembles and even with big orchestra’s; such as the Norwegian Chambre Orchestra, Calefax Wind Quintet, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Residence Orchestra, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Dutch Chamber Choir, Cello Octet Amsterdam, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Philharmonie Zuid Nederland, Ragazze Quartet and Harpist Remy van Kesteren.

 Beside being a freelance director/ choreographer, I am the artistic director of 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 70.000 people with thirteen new productions and have grown to be a strong well known independent company.

To us text and music, as well as the actor and the musician, are two completely equal means to convey a 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 hot social topics like war, illegal immigrants, human trafficking, the consumption society, dictatorship and domestic violence as the underlying theme, the shows of Via Berlin are about intimate, personal stories, which symbolize universal happenings. And we create our shows as a starting point for a bigger conversation. Thats why we work closely with two universities and their scientists and students in our Via Berlin Academy, to research our topics together with Arts-Based Research and create a strong context program surrounding our shows, when presenting them to an audience.

Our trilogy on war was awarded with the Dutch Charlotte Köhler Prize. And we get structural four year funding from the Dutch Performing Arts Fund and structural four year funding from the Arts fund of the city of Amsterdam.

For more information about Via Berlin, view my special post about Via Berlin or go to:  www.viaberlin.nl


Awards & Nominations

  • Nomination for the International YAM-award: Best Small Ensemble  2021 for DRAGENFELE. A multi disciplinary music theatre solo for Andreas Ljones.
  • 2 International YAM-award for SHADOW MUSIC: Best Large Ensemble & Production of the year 2018! A Choreography for the 25 musicians of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra on the music of Schönbegrs Verklärte Nacht.
  • Nomination Naledi Theatre Awards 2015 (ZA) category best “cutting edge” production  for MASOTE’S  DREAM: Orkater/ Via Berlin/ Tambo theatre productions
  • Nomination YEAH award 2015 for CELLOSTORM with Cello Octet Amsterdam, toured through
    The Netherlands
  • Charlotte Köhlerprice 2014 for the WAR-TRIPTICH from my own music theatre group Via Berlin
  • Nomination  2013 for CELLOSTORM WITH Cello Octet Amsterdam 

To contact me:    dagmar@viaberlin.nl