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.


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:

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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.

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SUTRA Foundation is restaging Spellbound Odissi but this time the production will feature young dancers from its outreach programme. With artistic direction by Datuk Ramli Ibrahim, Spellbound is one of Sutra’s most successful international productions of Odissi that premiered in 2005 at Istana Budaya. The restaging will be held for one night only on Sept 4 at 8.30pm at Shantanand Auditorium in Temple of Fine Arts, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. During its premiere season in Malaysia, Spellbound captured two Boh Cameronian Awards for Best Direction (under Ramli) and Best Set Design by Sutra’s Sivarajah Natarajan. As part of Sutra’s World Tour […]

Acclaimed as a brilliant Odissi exponent and contemporary western choreographer, credited for his flamboyant and aesthetic performances, Malaysia’s ‘Datuk’ Ramli Ibrahim commenced his career as a dancer with Western Australian Dance Company and later established Sutra Foundation (2007) in Malaysia with a team of talented dancers, travelling all over the world with spectacular performances. In an exclusive interview, Ramli talks about his India tour, his career that spans more than four decades, how he placed Odissi on the world map and much more. Read more here : I can weave through many interesting identities and roles -Ramli Ibrahim

Sutra and Rudrakshya dancers in the upcoming Odissi On High. (Picture courtesy of Sutra Foundation) DYNAMIC, exciting and technically challenging. That’s the fresh creative energy flowing into Sutra Foundation’s Odissi On High, due to kick off its second season next week. Played to rave reviews last year, Odissi On High is a collaboration with Odisha-based Rudrakshya Foundation. Building on the work of odissi’s two pioneer gurus — the late Kelucharan Mahapatra and Debaprasad Das (of which Sutra belongs) — Guru Bichitrananda Swain and Guru Durga Charan Ranbir (with whom Sutra has previously collaborated) have created exciting repertoire, exploring and developing […]

‘Odissi on High’ will tour eight cities in India in May. — Pictures and video by Hari Anggara PETALING JAYA, April 9 — When Datuk Ramli Ibrahim rolled out Sutra Dance Theatre’s Odissi on High last July, the unorthodoxly fast-paced traditional Indian dance performance was a hit among audiences young and old. This year, the breathtaking performance not only returns but will make its way to India to delight odissi followers across eight cities. Raed more here : Malaysia’s Sutra Dance Theatre’s acclaimed ‘Odissi on High’ tours India next month  

  The Indian classical dance forms have inspired artists across the world. Among the list of artists enchanted by India’s cultural heritage is Malaysian Odissi dancer Ramli Ibrahim. Distinctive lyricism, sensuality in movements and the thribhanga —three deflections of head, torso and hip position — combined with the compelling music, bewitched Ramli at a very early age. “I was completely taken over by Odissi when I first saw it and decided to learn it.  However, on hindsight, I wonder if it was destined that Odissi chose me to be its vehicle instead of the other way round,” says the founder […]

  There’s a lot about the classical performance that’s different– there is group choreography rather than a solo performance, the moves are high-intensity, there are multimedia graphics and dramatic lighting – Ramli Ibrahim Of India’s major classical dances, many would argue that Odissi has changed the least. Sure, the devotional form once performed by temple devadasis now includes male dancers. There are more acrobatic moves too. But performances tend to be measured by how well one adheres to a traditional template. Ushering in change is Malaysian Odissi exponent Ramli Ibrahim, who debuts his show Odissi on High, kicking off an India tour […]

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