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Ramli Ibrahim & Sutra Dance Theatre
Ramli Ibrahim & Sutra Dance Theatre
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Forum Art Gallery Chennai in association with Media Mix



—engaging the traditional in the modern

Artistic Direction Ramli Ibrahim

Lighting Design Sivarajah Natarajan


Forum Art Gallery is proud to present Sutra in its new contemporary modern dance production, Transfigurations. Forum Art Gallery has been a staunch supporter of Sutra, Malaysia’s premier dance company, and has, in previous years, spearheaded for Chennai the premieres of many of Sutra’s distinctive works such as Spellbound (Odissi), Vision of Forever (Odissi) and Rasa Unmasked (Contemporary Modern) among many others.

Sutra Dance Theatre is not only known internationally for its excellent productions of Indian classical dance but is a leading dance company in Malaysia with impressive contemporary modern dance repertoires rooted in Asian dance traditions. 

In the last few months, Sutra Dance Theatre has had unprece­dented successes in its international tours, the most recent being Encounters: India (Brisbane, Australia) 13 – 19 May, 2013 and the International Dance Festival SAMAKALA, Bhubaneswar 11 -13 June, 2013.

Creatively driven at full speed by it’s artistic director, Ramli Ibrahim, Sutra has performed within the last two years, in New York, Europe, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Oman, Australia with both contemporary Indian classical and modern rep­ertoires. Ramli Ibrahim—a household name whose contribution to the awareness of both contemporary traditional and modern dance in Malaysia is immense, has garnered for Sutra at least six international awards including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2011 for Odissi (India), the Living Heritage Award 2012 (Malaysia) and Datukship from Malaysia’s King 2013.

Transfigurations is about exploring and redefining in dance, Asian viewpoints with a global perspective. The production examines myths—the archetypes of mythology and how their avatars perpetuate their imprints in our contemporary psyches through vari­ous transfigurations


Transfigurations provides an opportunity for the Chennai audience to savour an exciting range of Sutra’s artistic creativity of contemporary modern works, from both Sutra’s newly commissioned and estab­lished repertoires.


Among the work featured is the awaited Chennai premiere of She Ra, commissioned to Dutch-born Kalpana Raghuraman, a cutting edge choreographer based in The Korzo Theater, The Hague (Netherlands). She Ra received great response when it had its world premiere in Kuala Lumpur 2012.


Sutra, under the artistic direction of Ramli Ibrahim envisions the phenomena of tradition and modernity in the context of contemporary dance, as existing in a continuum. Transfigurations present the profound and the popular within what is experienced as the ‘contemporary’ - eventually what is encapsulated is the amalgamation of the individual and the collective psyches as manifested in the traditional and modern.


Transfigurations invite the audience to re-examine the traditional within the modern and the modern—and innova­tive—concepts within the traditional/classical.


(It is relevant to mention that Sutra has always strived to re­define ‘modernity’ in dance from Asian perspective, and that one of its major achievements is in the modern and innova­tive concepts which it effectively introduces in its classical productions without compromising traditional sensibilities.)

Curatorial note / Press Release


 Forum Art Gallery Chennai
in association with Media Mix
engaging the traditional in the modern
Artistic Direction Ramli Ibrahim
Lighting Design Sivarajah Natarajan