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.

Teachers: Ramli Ibrahim (principal), Divya Nair, Geethika Sree,  Tan Mei Mei,  Thrisherna Morthi, Vetheejay, Harenthiran, Abtin Javid

Enquiries: + 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.


​Stirring Odissi 2008 International Odissi Festival 23 May – 14 June, 2008 Dear Friends of Sutra, Many a time, especially during these times of the MCO/Lockdown, when our freedom of movement is drastically curtailed, we remember the good days of easy connection with our fellow artists. A major event which manifested this spirit in a huge scale was the Stirring Odissi 2008 in Kuala Lumpur. This 6-week festival spanning performances, exhibitions and seminars, was clearly the most extensive and comprehensive encounter of Odissi dancers, visual artists, scholars and writers, in this part of the world. The Stirring Odissi 2008 commemorated the […]


Dear Friends, The Malay Mail had published Datuk Ramli’s recommendations for the Arts on 19 May 2020. Article in the link below:


• The idea of an Arts Council answerable to several dynamic and progressive Boards related to Arts and Culture, not unlike those installed in the early days of Australia and its UK counterparts, may be a good transitory model to govern Arts & Culture. However, the success of any concept depends on the right leadership – an enlightened and opened minded Minister and his/her officers-in-charge. It is vital that they have the passion, commitment and integrity to implement the changes that would translate visions into reality.   • Suppose we take the above suggested model for an Arts Council, which […]

Embrace 5 pic

​Asyiknya Rasa Asli Temiar Community 14 April 2015 Dear Friends, Welcome to Embrace 5 – Significant Moments, Then & Now, our online mini documentary series, compiled from Sutra’s archival library. On 14 April 2015, Sutra presented a unique in-house Temiar Cuisine dinner which we called ‘Asyiknya Rasa Asli’. The Temiar community is one of the larger families of Orang Asli or Indigenous population of the Peninsula. This brief video focuses on the unique and seldom encountered experience of Temiar cuisine, in order to get to know their culture better. The Orang Asli of Malaysia faces numerous challenges in their present […]

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​​Narthaka Festival 2012 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Joined in Dance  Celebrating the Vigour and Beauty of Male Dance Dear Friends, Welcome to Embrace 3, which brings us to the interesting focus on Male Dance. Sutra Foundation’s Nartaka Festival was mooted together with Natyanjali Trust of Chennai, to bring attention to the decline of male dancers in the dance profession. The Festival was co-directed by myself and Chennai-based bharatanatyam dancer/guru Shri Shanmuga Sundaram. It was aimed at creating awareness that male dancing is exciting, beautiful and worth cultivating. It is most unfortunate that boys, due to the perception that dancing is ‘un-cool’, […]

Cover Pic- Episode 2 - 1

Sutra Dance Outreach Program Ground Zero Abstract Sutra Foundation started its Dance Outreach program in 2013 with the intention of offering opportunities to children and teenagers (from age 6 to 15 years old) to benefit from a formal training in dance. In 2014, Sutra Dance Outreach program had expanded to three areas outside of Klang Valley, where the youths are deemed to be living in environments which are saturated with commercialism and befuddling values. The program’s major objective is to provide the best teaching methods and early exposure to the exciting and creative world of Indian dance. Through the program, […]

Cover Pic - Episode 1 - 1

An improvisation with Balinese Gamelan, Semara Ratih (December, 2004) Dear Friends, we have found another amazing archival video in the YouTube. It is amazing that this performance took place 10 years before the 2015 event in Kashipur/Odisha, the video of which I had posted recently.  Some of you may already know the relationship between Bali and Odisha that had existed for millennia. Some may even have noticed from the previous video that my ‘improvised’ movements were inspired by ‘Balinese’ dance movement. The main reason for this was, not only because I had been intimately associated with Bali and had been […]


Shree Datuk Ramli Ibrahim is a name that stands tall amongst the finest artists in the field of dance ranging from Konark and Khajuraho to Paris and New York. Acknowledged as “Living Heritage” and “Living Treasure” from the Government of Malaysia and UNESCO respectively, it is his unique definition of art and culture that sets him apart from the crowd. Read more here:

postponed (1)

Dear Friends & Students of Sutra, With much regret Sutra Foundation announces the postponement of it’s immediate activities until further notice. This is in line with the government’s directive to restrict public movement and gatherings. In this uncertain times we are deeply saddened, but cognizant that our first priority must always be the safety and well-being of our patrons, staff and dancers and also the greater community at large. Artists who have committed time and money to events which have to be postponed, are one of the hardest hit by this global pandemic. To Sutra’s patrons and sponsors, who have […]

The star

      For full article click here The longstanding ties between India and Malaysia by BHASKARAN PILLAI 


Dear Friends, Sutra Foundation is proud to present artist Phillip Wong in his first solo exhibition at Sutra Gallery to kickstart the year with the date 02-02-2020. Phillip, a high-profile contemporary artist who believes in reaching out to the community, especially the youths, is also a Member of the National Visual Development Board, Malaysia. Ocean: Reflections of the Human Mind, the title of his exhibition, features paintings and art installations which attempt to bring into play the metaphor of the ocean-waters as the mirror in which we look at ourselves – in the totality of – past, present and future […]

Ramli Ibrahim 2020

  Read more here : Ramli Ibrahim: Motac tak cukup visi, k’jaan ulang silap sama


NEW DELHI, Dec 28 — Malaysia’s acclaimed choreographer of the Indian classical dance Datuk Ramli Ibrahim performed in New Delhi on Friday evening as he began a multi-city tour of India. To read more visit : Ramli Ibrahim performs in Delhi to start his multi-city India tour  

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  ‘Glorious Passages‘- An Odissi dance performance enthralls art & music connoisseurs for feature stories visit

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A strong performance by an Odissi dance group at Tagore Theatre provided a peek into the signature works of late Guru Debaprasad parampara. The event, ‘Glorious Passages’, was being organised by Aurodhan Art Gallery, Puducherry, in association with the UT’s department of cultural affairs.   While UT adviser Manoj Parida, who was present on the occasion, enjoyed the show, others too were seen lauding the performance.   Odissi exponent Ramli Ibrahim along with Geethika Sree and other four dancers performed during the event. The idea behind theprogramme was to promote classical dance form.

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