Sutra Foundation

Since 1983 ~ 2016


CLICK on image or left side floating yellow option to do have a look at the Friends of Sutra brochure and benefits to know what Sutra has in store in terms of performances, exhibitions and other fun events. We invite you to see the abundant benefits you will gain by being a ‘Friend’ of Sutra.

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*Valid for one year  |  *Tax Exemption for the amount given
Dikecualikan Cukai Pendapatan Dibawah Seksyen 44(6) Akta Cukai Pendapatan 1967   |   Ruj: LHDN 01/35/42/51/179.6.6110 Tarikh Kuatkuasa: 01.06.2007  |  No. Warta Kerajaan: 15395 Tarikh Warta Kerajaan: 25.10.2007

By Cheque In favour of ‘Sutra Foundation’ To be posted / couriered to: No.12 Persiaran Titiwangsa 3, 53200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Please provide your nameaddressemail IDand mobile number along with the cheque to enable us issue the Tax Exempt receipt.

Online bank transfer Account Name: Sutra Foundation A/c No: 101- 459972 - 101 Bank: HSBC Branch: Lebuh Ampang (Once the online payment has been made, please email your nameaddress, mobile number and reference details to to enable us issue the Tax Exempt receipt.)
Sutra Academy

Sutra Academy offers training in Bharata Natyam (Kalakshetra school) and Odissi (Deba Prasad parampara). Sutra Academy also prepares our senior dancers for contemporary modern dance choreography. When the opportunity arises, Sutra Academy conducts workshops in dance, drama or other techniques of performing arts given by visiting artists. Sutra Academy does not manage salangai-pujas and only conduct arangetrams (first solo debut performance) for those who are truly talented and serious to have a professional career in dance. Over the years of training and performances, through a natural selective process based on hard work and talent, Sutra Academy chooses its senior dancers for professional performance and hopefully career in dance.

For new intake, there are beginners (children classes – above 6 years) in Bharata Natyam and beginners (above 12 years) Odissi.

Teaching and payment schedules are set up according to semesters:

  • 1 Semester – January – March inclusive
  • 2 Semester – April – June inclusive
  • 3 Semester – July – September inclusive
  • 4 Semester – October – December inclusive

Dates for Semester breaks will be advised.

The fees are Rm 180.00 per semester - working out to Rm 60.00 per month. The fees are payable by semesters only. There will be a registration of RM 50.00 for the new intake. We do not encourage individual classes unless previously negotiated.


Ramli Ibrahim (principal),

Divya Nair, Geethika Sree,  Tan Mei Mei,  Thrisherna Morthi, Vetheejay, Harenthiran, Abtin Javid


+ 603 4021 1092 (office hours)


Ramli Ibrahim

Artistic Director & Chairman

Accomplished in ballet, modern, and Indian classical dance, Datuk Ramli Ibrahim is a cultural icon who has performed internationally for almost four decades. As artistic director of Sutra Dance Theatre, Datuk Ramli has choreographed stunning works and nurtured some of the brightest dance talents from Malaysia. Since his return to Malaysia more than thirty years ago, this prodigal son of the Malaysian soil has been instrumental in transforming the dance scene in Malaysia by boldly charting new paths and singlehandedly establishing odissi as a widely appreciated dance form in Malaysia. Besides odissi, Datuk Ramli has also simultaneously contributed to the establishment of Malaysian contemporary modern dance through the creation of a strong body of original works which define ‘modernity’ from Asian perspectives. Datuk Ramli Ibrahim is presently Chairman of Sutra Foundation.

Sivarajah Natarajan

Trustee, Visual Artist, Lighting Designer

A Fine Arts graduate of the Malaysian Institute of Arts (1992), his immense talent as a photographer, lighting and stage designer has found marvelous expression in Sutra, and has enriched the latter's innumerable productions and publications. An involvement spanning 20 years with multiple dance forms—such as bharatanatyam, odissi, makyong, main 'teri, menora, chhau (Seraikalla and Majurbhanj), kudiyattam, gotipua and other dance-theatre genres at Sutra—reflects Sivarajah's special understanding of the nuances of these arts and the tremendous visual possibilities inherent in them. More significantly, this knowledge has deepened his understanding of the need for an integrated approach to the visual and performing arts which he vociferously espouses. Being a ‘dancer's painter’, Sivarajah takes his cues from the dance itself and it is from this vantage point that his painterly designed imagination takes flight. Sivarajah Natarajan’s artistic exploration of the art continues affirming his unique position as a major force in forging an integration of Malaysian visual and performing arts. A critically acclaimed painter and an award-winning lighting designer, Sivarajah Natarajan is a Trustee of Sutra Foundation.

Sutra Dance Theatre

The Artistes of Sutra Dance Theatre

Sutra Dance Theatre is an innovative nerve centre of dance that has, over the last three decades, strived to uphold its aim to nurture the Malaysian performing arts scene. Established in 1983 by Ramli Ibrahim, Sutra Dance Theatre has groomed a generation of Malaysian dancers and taken original Malaysian works to reach out to national and international audience, promoting the cultural diversity and vibrancy of Malaysian dance.


A bastion of traditional and contemporary arts, the Sutra Foundation is bequeathed to Malaysia by one of its most celebrated sons, Ramli Ibrahim. Sutra Foundation carries into the future the thread of his vision and contribution to the Malaysian arts scene. The Foundation strives to develop the breadth and depth of Malaysian performing and visual arts through stimulating the creative spirit of cross-cultural Malaysia. Various cultures come together here to forge a unique ‘sutra’ bond that fosters a universal yet distinctively Malaysian interpretation of the arts.

Sutra Foundation is guided and administrated by its board of trustees:
Datuk Ramli Ibrahim (Chairman)
Dato’ Nor Zakiah Abdul Majid
Sivarajah Natarajan

Abdullah Abu Samah
Nantha Kumar

  Objectives The Foundation shall—

  • To preserve, develop, and promote traditional and contemporary performing arts in Malaysia.
  • Promote Malaysia nationally and internationally through diverse and innovative performances
  • Educate the Malaysian public on traditional and contemporary arts through its programs and courses
  • Develop public participation in all aspects of performing arts regardless of race, creed or religion
  • Provide scholarships in order to develop Malaysian performing arts talents to the highest level
  • Create a laboratory situation which facilitates and stimulates intercultural experimentation.


  •   +603-40211092
  •   Sutra House, No12, Persiaran Titiwangsa 3, 53200, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Moksha (odissi) - the Dance of Joy and Release to end a beautiful night

The spirit of Navarathri is live and well! Vijayadasami at Sutra culminates the 9-day celebration of Navarathri. It has been an ‘eight days a week’ intense dancing during Navarathri as Sutra dancers participated in temple performances all over the Klang Valley and beyond. From Sri Raja Rajeswary Temple (Jalan Ampang), Sri Pasupathinath Alayam (Kota Kinabalu), Sri Mariamman Temple (Rawang), Lakshmi Narayanan Temple (Jalan Ipoh), Sri Subramaniar Temple (Jalan Reko, Kajang), Uchi Pilliar (Kajang) to several performances at private functions and at Amphi-Sutra, itself – Sutra dancers took in their stride the joyous spirit of Navarathri. Like previous times, Navarathri is […]


Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple Kuala Selangor & present From Alarippu to Moksha 2016 (AtoM 2016) A 6-day Festival of Indian classical dance featuring A confluence (sangam) of Dance Institutions of Malaysia, Singapore and India at The Subramaniar Swamy Temple, Kuala Selangor Artistic direction Ramli Ibrahim & Smt.Vinosree Shangkar 16 – 21 Nov, 2016 (Wed – Mon) 7.30 pm – 9.30pm ‘The only offering that truly enriches is the one that is dedicated to the Divine’ Radhakrishnan Fine Arts | Klang This is the third successful year that From Alarippu to Moksha Festival has been held at the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple, Kuala Selangor. After the success ofFrom Alarippu to Moksha 2014 […]

ganjam (37)

Navarathri is a Hindu festival, held over nine days with recitals of dance, song and music at temples, sabhas and homes. What is very fascinating here is that this festival is extremely similar to that of the Chinese Nine Emperor Gods Festival – normally celebrated by the Taoist community. This event fits into the festival as it is dedicated to the Arts and is active for the Indian communities in Kuala Lumpur and in smaller towns. DATUK RAMLI IBRAHIM When I heard Sutra Foundation presenting its performance during the Navarathri Festival this year, I quickly made sure that I have […]


At the launch of DAMIANI, the new jewelry boutique in Pavilion, KL. Dinner with Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh With Mala Chandran and Datin Azliza, CEO of Bluinc.


Navarathri is an auspicious 9-day celebration, usually celebrated with recitals of dance, song and music performed all over the temples, sabhas and homes. The week is especially dedicated to the Arts and is active for traditional Indian communities in Kuala Lumpur and other smaller towns. Sutra dancers will be busy performing in sabhas and temples taking in venues at Sutra itself, to performing in temples in Rawang, Kajang and even Kota Kinabalu. This is especially creative and challenging time for new talents- a time when the dancers perform their newly-learnt repertoires. Sutra has designed a comprehensive program for its Dance Outreach […]


Sutra Dance Camp 2, (11 – 13 September) was a concentrated 3-day training for our ‘Group 1′ Dance Outreach Program (Kajang/Sg Choh) students. Since the once-a-week class was not enough to develop the full spectrum of artistic and technical know-hows, the dance-camp offers a good opportunity for intensive group training during their school holidays.  The young dancers were able to brush-up with old works as well as learning new items, simultaneously, being able to train in contemporary and jazz. We hope by these early exposures etheir minds are opened to the diverse possibilities of that the world of dance offers.


Published on May 21, 2016 by TEDxKL Ramli Ibrahim explain the dual nature of the classical indian dance. He briefly shows how the idea of creation and destruction is being merge to create this wonderful artform. Datuk Ramli Ibrahim has set dance stages ablaze from Chennai to Paris for more than three decades. His rigorous training in ballet, modern, and Indian classical dance reflects his multi-faceted approach to the Arts. As the artistic director of the Sutra Dance Theatre, he has choreographed stunning works and nurtured some of the brightest dance talents from Malaysia. He has been instrumental in transforming […]


My Mother I have always believed that mothers, rather than fathers, have the strongest influence on the children, particularly the sons. In a patriarchal Muslim family like mine, the ‘politics of power-play’ naturally comes about from the male-female encounter among siblings. Trust me, in my family, any suppressed feminine notion would eventually found a way of exerting its sway on the male members, eventually balancing the equation. The women made the decisions though in the outset, my family seemed patriarchal. My mother, being of the strongest personality, is the matriarch of the clan. My sisters who tried their best to […]

Ramli at Villa Sukun, Bali
photo: A. Prathap

Ramli at Villa Sukun, Bali 2016 | photo: A. Prathap Sutra Foundation evokes the blessing of Ganesha, the God of Wisdom and Remover of Obstacles during this auspicious occasion of Vinayaka Chaturthi. May the Elephant-Head Ganesha grant us the wisdom to make the right decisions and to rise above the challenges and obstacles presently facing our beloved nation and also in our daily lives. Sutra Foundation

ramli profile01

Sutra wishes for Malaysia to continue being progressive on all fronts — especially in education, sustainability, city-planning and anti-corruption efforts. The rakyat want efficiency and good governance at all levels, but sound policies need able, visionary and trustworthy leaders to implement them – good governance, after all, should be above petty politics. There is a worrying trend of clamping down on the public voice and a rise in extremist and absolutist values, which is polarising and poisoning the mindset of the populace. Right education seems to be the long-term antidote and solution. Dissemination of knowledge and right information, integrity and ethics seem to be […]


Dr Dinanath Pathy at Damansara Performing Arts Centre, July 2016  |  photo: Abtin Javid Sutra Foundation is saddened to hear this morning the passing away of one of Odisha finest artists-scholars-writers – Dr Dinanath Pathy. A renaissance man of Odisha, Dinanath Pathy was not only an artist-par-excellence who integrated the various artistic genres but was also a cultivator of talents and builder of institutions. Just recently in 2016, Sutra was fortunate to have collaborated with Dr Pathy in two major odissi productions – GANJAM and Amorous Delight. Sutra Gallery had also presented Pathy in several solo and group exhibitions. Dr […]


It is wonderful to finally able to launch Sutra’s pictorial book ‘Quintessential Sutra’ in Ubud, Bali. Bali is featured extensively in the book. Sutra’s formative days when works were conceived and festivals were presented, were spent in Ubud, Bali. From Datuk Seri Lim Chong Keat, James Murdoch, Asri Ghafar to Baris dance, Anak Agung Anom to many other wonderful memories were chronicled somewhat in the book. The extent of chain reaction continues to the U.S. where Asmeen Khan who is a supporter of Sutra, sponsored our performance at the Kennedy’s Centre of Performing Arts Washington D.C. (2015).  And of course, the cultural connection of Bali and Odisha/Odissi must […]

IPCA Invitation front

Sutra Foundation is delighted to learn that a great art ‘happening’ in the form of an artists’ conclave with a strong representation of Odiyan artists, is to be held soon in Bhubaneswar (the information is attached). We are pleased to note many familiar names – that many of the Odiyan painters who will be present at this encounter have also exhibited at Sutra Gallery. We wish them the very best! Sutra Foundation congratulates Dr Dinanath Pathy and Jyotiranjan Swain for spearheading this important event and get-together which we hope will generate positive impact to Contemporary Modern Art in Odisha. We are secretly proud that the two-way Malaysia-Odisha creative exchanges in visual art […]


PRESS RELEASE                                                    Indian Classical Dance :  SAPTHASHREE, Nuanced Numerical   Ajith Bhaskaran Dass, internationally acclaimed Malaysian Bharatha Natyam dancer is presenting his new work in Bharatha Natyam, entitled Sapthashree, Nuanced Numerical.   Ajith is an exponent in exploring the subtle nuances of Bharatha Natyam and offering a wide range and choice of themes.  Using Bharatha Natyam not only as a repertoire but as a language of its own, he will be giving audiences 120 minutes […]


Amorous Delight is something different. The Sanskrit anthology Amarushataka had been given a new life through the dance by Sutra. Nobody in Malaysia had heard of this anthology before and suddenly here is this incredible voluptuous odissi production, which interprets the notion of love from an ancient poet. The audience was touched by the subtle and sophisticated reading from the concentrated visual and aural experience. The dance composition and direction by Meera Das and Ramli Ibrahim, the rich lighting design by Sivarajah Natarajan, the dancing by Sutra dancers – all contributed to the rich poetic interpretation. One is consumed with […]

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TEL: +603-4021 1092 Fax: +603-4023 2548