Sutra Foundation to present new dance show at India's Konark arts festival


The India-bound entourage from Malaysian dance theatre Sutra Foundation includes 23 dancers. Photo: Sutra Foundation

A troupe led by Odissi classical dance exponent Datuk Ramli Ibrahim will perform this week at the Konark festival in eastern India.

The entourage from Malaysian dance theatre Sutra Foundation includes 23 dancers (11 are young dancers from Sutra Dance Outreach Programme).

They will present Sutra's new Odissi production Jaya Ram on Thursday at the Sun Temple of Konark in Odisha state.

Sutra Foundation's last performance at the annual dance festival was in 2017 when it presented the acclaimed show Ganjam.

Ramli expects Jaya Ram to receive a similar response in India.

Ramli Ibrahim seen at the Konark festival in India in 2016. Photo: A. Prathap Ramli Ibrahim seen at the Konark festival in India in 2016. Photo: A. Prathap

The dance guru calls Sutra's latest creation a new "cultural link" in the 65th year of Malaysia-India diplomatic relations.

In expanding the dance form's vocabulary, Ramli has also collaborated with Indian Odissi expert Gajendra Kumar Panda.

"Gajendra and I spent time in south Odisha researching on the folk dance and music traditions which we incorporated into the 'traditional' Odissi repertoire. This requires us to re-conceptualise both the Odissi vocabulary and music elements," said Ramli.

Sutra Foundation will end the year with dance performances on Dec 29 and 30 at the Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF).

"It is Sutra's first participation in DIAF. For this festival, we will be bringing a total of 15 artistes," said Ramli.

Unlike in Konark, where Sutra is performing to live music accompaniment, the artistes will be performing to recorded music at the Delhi event.

"The cost of flying artistes is so exorbitant that it is almost impossible to have the luxury of live music in Delhi," he said. - Bernama

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