Karim Tonsy Egyptian Physical Dance started in 1991 when Karim Tonsy was a sophomore at American University in Cairo, Egypt (AUC ). Karim was a theatre major and during this time, he asked the Dean of Sudents why the university did not have a modern dance group, even though they had folklore and drawing groups, and he asked for this to happen—American University Modern Dance Group was then formed. They performed freestyle, modern, jazz, and hiphop. They won first place over all other university dance groups in Cairo in an inter-university competition.
In 1995, Karim Tonsy Physical Dance Company was founded with some past AUC graduates. Their first performance titled, Transmission, took place in May of that same year.
After returning from London, where Karim was continuing his training in contemporary dance and choreography, he decided to return home and finish what he started and keep Karim Tonsy Physical Dance Company alive! The company immediately began rehearsels for their second show Al Radwa, meaning self-contentment. This dance tells a story questioning people’s beliefs about cultural rituals and the use of black magic.
Karim Tonsy Egyptian Physical Dance theatre explores different cultures and creates a unique voice where choreography comes from real events that everyone can understand and relate to. The company believes that dance and movement are a language that tells a story—a time to share and inspire.
Between 1995 and 2005, the company created 14 different dance performances, including the acclaimed show The Other Side of Silence (1997). This show is about a moment between life and death. During these years,the company won various awards including “Best Critic” in the Festival for Experimental Theatre 2000 and the “Achievement Award” at the Modern Dance Festival in Cairo for the show Still Here (2003).
In 2005, Karim Tonsy Egyptian Physical Dance Theatre moved to Chicago,Illinois. Their first show was titled Eden? (2007). The company continued to grow and tell their stories in their new surroundings, and over the years performed Sharia Mohamed Ali (2007), Pendulum (2008), and Club (2009) to critical success. The company will be performing their 20th performance titled, Reset, in June 2010.
- Transmission (1996)
- Al Radwa (1996)
- The Other Side of Silence (1997)
- Survival (1997)
- Makamat (1998)
- Cabaret, extravaganza (1998)
- Echoe, vocal movement (1998)
- Ganoub (1999)
- VS (2000) in collaboration with Frantic Assembly
- To Whom It May Concern (2001) Numb (2002)
- Numb (2002)
- The Meeting, Shakespeare plays (2003)
- Still Here, tribute to Saffo Bertoni (2004)
- Cult (2005)
- liquid (2006)
- Eden? (2007)
- Sharia Mohamed Ali (2007)
- Pendulum (2008)
- Club (2009)
- Reset (2010)