Wael Sami Elkholy
Interdisciplinary Music Theater Group Cairo (IMTGC)

Interdisciplinary Music Theater Group Cairo

How can a DANCER become a MUSIC COMPOSER?

How can a MUSICIAN play music out of a PAINTING?

How can an ACTOR act the MUSIC?


How can any art form become music OR/AND music become any expression form of Art?

10 Egyptian artists with different skills (dance, music, visual, media arts, etc...) are mixing their expression practices in a contemporary form of Interdisciplinary Music Theater. The music is the central axle of the entire project.

The Interdisciplinary Music Theater Cairo is an artistic interaction and exchange project between Switzerland and Egypt to initiate a group of Egyptian artists, who will take charge afterwards to develop, create and launch a Musiktheater Alumni centred in Cairo, and spread the genre through their artistic work and projects in the Arab world.


The project is a cooperation between the Egyptian composer Wael Sami Elkholy and Prohelvetia Cairo. It is based on series of 6 workshops/phases over 3 years with different Swiss experts in the field of Musiktheater.

Artists and performers:

Actresses: Nanda Mohammed, Mona Soleiman, Barra Radwan. Choreograph and dances: Ibrahim Abdo, Nermin Habib.

Musicians: Mohamed Sami - Violin and electronics and Ehab Magdy - percussionist. 

Visual artist & percussionist: Amr Fekry. Filmmaker: Shady Elhakim. Light: Mohammed Haddad.

Production Assistant: Bassam Yaqout

1st Phase - March 2016

The first phase took place in March 2016 with the Swiss composer, percussionist and performer Pascal Viglino.

During the first phase, coaches gave an introduction with theoretical clarifications in the field of interdisciplinary music theater followed by examples through videos and media links.

Afterwards, they worked with all artists on individual musical theatrical fragments.

In addition, Viglino gave a successful solo performance, which is considered as the first Interdisciplinary Music Theater performance in Egypt.

The cooperation with Pascal Viglino will go further in the second phase October/November 2016 to realize a big show of one hour, which based on the fragments and pieces from the participants themselves. The performance will take place in Falaki Theater – American University Cairo during the first week of November 2016.

The project will be continued with various Swiss artists in 2017/2018.

2nd Phase - October/November 2016

In cooperation with the Swiss composer Pascal Viglino, the IMTGC artists and I worked on Ma'at Ra', the first Interdisciplinary Music Theater production of the Group in Cairo and the middle east. The performance’s idea has been inspired by the works of the American music composer John Cage in his book “Song Books.” This book is one of the most influential works, that follows a “by chance” methodology and includes pieces of four kinds: songs, songs with electronics, directions for a theatrical performance, and instructions for a theatrical performance with electronics.

To apply the concept, the artists used Tarot cards, which are used for fortune telling. To merge this idea with the Ancient Egyptian heritage, they chose Ma’at Ra’ cards - The Goddess of Truth & Justice for Ancient Egyptians. Each artist selected three Cards and conceptualized three pieces according to them in his artistic field and aesthetic. During ten intensive days, we created, worked on ideas and featured a dramaturgy of the show. The premiere took place in AUC Falaki Theater in Cairo on November the 4th, followed by another successful show on the 5th.

During that Phase, Pascal Viglino and Wael Sami Elkholy presented their Interdisciplinary Music Theater Project Out of Cage in Cairo on the AUC Falaki Theater and in Alexandria Bibliotheca with a joyful success.

3rd Phase - February 2017

room "s" sounds is aWorkshop and presentation of works in progress using the audio score as a source of performing

The participant artists will collect sound recordings from different places and spaces in the surroundings to zoom acoustically.

These sound collections will be the basic material for the following creations. They can be used not only as soundscapes but also as audio scores. We’ll work on different processes of translation and transfer the audio material into different artistic languages. After the workshop, the participants will present their creations in an interdisciplinary and open-end collage form.

This event is a third phase of the interdisciplinary music theatre project with Pro Helvetia Cairo. It is based on the idea of Barblina Meierhans, composer, sound artist, and Wael Sami Elkholy, the artistic director of the IMTGC project, composer, singer, and performer.

Elkholy initiated the IMTGC - Interdisciplinary Music Theater Group Cairo and had started the project under the patronage of Pro Helvetia Cairo in 2016.

room "s" sounds project is formed of a workshop and works in progress presentation in collaboration with the Swiss composer and sound artist Barblina Meierhans.

The workshop takes place at the Egyptian centre for culture and arts (Makan) from February 13 till 22, and it is held mainly for IMTGC members in cooperation with Music Composer Atelier.