Sutra Foundation Performs at Kuala Lumpur’s Shantanand Auditorium After World Tour

Jaya Ram – helmed by Artistic Director, Datuk Ramli Ibrahim – was recently performed at Khajuraho Dance Festival India.

Jaya Ram by Sutra Foundation MY 800450. Music Press Asia

Jaya Ram, the Odissi production of the Sutra Foundation, performed on the grounds of the Temple of Fine Arts in its second season since its world premiere in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in September, 2022.

Hosted by Alaka Foundation, the 3-day performance is a rewarding display of sophistication after opening at The Konark Festival (Odisha) Dec 1, 2022. Since then, they have also been presented at Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF) and more recently at the Khajuraho Dance Festival in February.

This production – commissioned by the renowned Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda, a leading dance maker of Odisha and a long-time collaborator of Sutra Foundation – was born out of extensive field research conducted in the culture-rich region of South Odisha, India, by him and Padma Shri Datuk Ramli Ibrahim.

Jaya Ram, a totally new and original Odissi production, drew its inspiration from the influences of folk genres both in music and movement, of Rama Natakam and Ram Leela, enriching the present repertoire of Odissi with the myth of Lord Rama, Hero of the Ramayana.

Datuk Ramli Ibrahim led Sutra Dance Theater to perform Jaya Ram. Music Press Asia

“It was a night when Arts and Culture triumphed and our humanity was once again sensitised. The experience of watching this timeless epic brought the best of our intentions and sensitivities to the fore.”

Ramli Ibrahim, Founder & Artistic Director of Sutra Dance Theater.

Despite different interpretations and controversies regarding authenticity within the dance community, the tradition of Odissi dance has absorbed innovation while retaining its underlying values, with spirituality remaining a core component. The relationship between master and disciple is considered special and sacred, with orally transmitted chants in Sanskrit ritually sung before performances. The sacredness of the body of the dancer and the performance space has also been regarded as central to the dance’s value system.

All aspects of dance & music compositions and libretto were commissioned to distinguished experts of their respective fields in Odisha.

Jaya Ram celebrates the Malaysia-India 65-year diplomatic relations and represents a significant cultural collaboration between the two nations.

Jaya Ram by Ramli Ibrahim Sutra Foundation. Image by S Magendran. Music Press Asia
[Jaya Ram draws inspiration from folk genres, enriching the present repertoire of Odissi with the myth of Lord Rama, the hero of the Ramayana.]


Concept & Artistic Direction
Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda & Datuk Ramli Ibrahim

Music Composition
Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda & Guru Dr Gopal Chandra Panda

Lighting Design
Sivarajah Natarajan

Artistes of Sutra Foundation

Sutra Foundation, a bastion of traditional and contemporary arts bequeathed to Malaysia by one of its sons, Datuk Ramli Ibrahim was established as a full-fledged and tax exempt Foundation in 2007. It carries into the future the thread of Ramli’s vision and contribution to the Malaysian arts scene and strives to develop the breadth and depth of Malaysian performing and visual arts by stimulating the creative spirit of cross-cultural Malaysia.

Sutra Foundation has presented outstanding local and international artists and groups and has cultivated professional and creative staffs in the areas of lighting, stage management, theatre production and administration. Various cultures come together here to forge a unique ‘sutra’ bond that fosters a universal yet distinctively Malaysian interpretation of the arts.

Sutra Foundation has been vital in maintaining Sutra’s activities when the arts face challenging times. It continues to provide Malaysia with sustained activities in the performing arts (Sutra Dance Theatre), exhibitions (Sutra Gallery & KamaRia Gallery) and teaching (Sutra Academy). Immense care goes into crafting a Sutra Production – be it in terms of impeccable design input, selection of dance talent, devising sets, costumes, lighting or graphics and marrying them to the choreographic intent to assure a flawless production.

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