Esplanade Presents



SIFAS Festival of Arts 2023
In Collaboration with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
Sutra Foundation (Singapore)

28 Apr 2023, Fri, 7.30pm

1hr 40mins

(Intermission: 1 x 20mins)

Esplanade Theatre

This event is over.

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An entirely original odissi production by Sutra Foundation in collaboration with Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda, Jaya Ram brings to the stage the myth of Lord Rama, hero of the epic Ramayana.    


While maintaining the format of traditional presentation, Jaya Ram is a unique odissi production that infuses influences of indigenous folk genres in both music and movement. Commissioned to Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda, one of Odisha’s brilliant dance-makers and frequent collaborator of Sutra for the last four decades, Jaya Ram is the brainchild of the two odissi powerhouses, Gajendra Panda and Ramli Ibrahim, that is a culmination of an in-depth research into the folk-dance genres of South Odisha. Distinguished experts from their respective fields in Odisha were brought on for further consultation on other aspects, including dance, music composition and libretto.    


Revolving around Lord Rama, the work references primarily Ram Leela and Rama Natakam, but also draws inspiration from genres such as Daskathia and Sakhi Nata, traditional forms from the same region. It does not however attempt to replicate the concept of a dance drama or jatra but stays true to the structure of presenting odissi repertoire.    


Jaya Ram can be viewed as a collage of primary episodes of the Ramayana which are familiar to the general audience. The images are then positioned within the context of odissi traditional formats of Mangalacharan, Sthai, Pallavi and more.    


The work centres on Lord Rama and attempts to elaborate on the aspect of his personality as mahapurusha, the highest form of purusha (male principle) and as the upholder of righteous values and dharma as described by Valmiki in his Ramayana.    


Sutra Foundation presented the world premiere of Jaya Ram, a highly anticipated event in the Malaysian dance calendar of 2022, and a befitting celebration of the 65-year anniversary of Malaysia-India bilateral diplomatic relations.    


Jaya Ram will then embark on a Malaysia-India-Singapore tour for its second season ending the tour at Esplanade Theatre on Friday, 28th April 2023 as part of the SIFAS Festival of Arts 2023.  


Concept / Artistic Direction 
Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda & Datuk Ramli Ibrahim   


Original Dance Composition
Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda   


Lighting Designer & Production Director
Sivarajah Natarajan   


Group Composition
Sutra Collectives & Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda 


Music and Rhythm Composition
Guru Dr Gopal Chandra Panda, Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda, Guru Satchidananda Das & Smt Sangita Panda 


Assistants to Artistic Directors
Geethika Sree & Tan Mei Mei 


Featuring Artistes of Sutra Foundation
Geethika Sree, Tan Mei Mei, Nishah Govind Kumar, Nithya Kuthiah, Prithylasmi, Vanizha, Rajavel, Vickneshwaran & Harenthiran   


Artistes of Sutra Dance Outreach Program (Kajang, Rawang & Sg Choh)
Harini, Aishwaryaa, Tishaa, Ruphaa, Kirthana, Deepaa, Yovvani, Rucika, Deshna, Jeevitha, Jayden Roy Navineesh & Hareen Loganathan  

Admission Age:
6 and above.
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Artist Information

Datuk Ramli Ibrahim

An accomplished ballet, modern and Indian classical dancer, Ramli Ibrahim has performed internationally for over four decades. As the artistic director of Sutra Dance Theatre, he has choreographed stunning works and nurtured some of the brightest dance talents from Malaysia. Since his return to Malaysia nearly forty years ago, he has been instrumental in transforming the dance scene in Malaysia, boldly charting new paths, establishing, and elevating odissi and bharatanatyam as widely appreciated dance forms that are part of the rich tapestry of Malaysian dance. Ramli Ibrahim studied bharatanatyam under Padma Shri Awardee, the late Adyar K Lakshman who was one of the foremost bharatanatyam gurus of his generation. He himself has been honoured with many awards, the most recent being the Sangeet Natak Akademi award (2011), Datukship (2013) and the Padma Shri award (2018) from The Government of India.  


To Ramli Ibrahim, “dance is a celebration and liberation of the body, mind and soul.” 

Sivarajah Natarajan

Artist, Technical Director, Lighting Designer & Trustee, Sutra Foundation  


Sivarajah Natarajan, pioneer Fine Arts graduate of the Malaysian Institute of Arts (MIA, 1992), is also Sutra Foundation’s Trustee and its technical and stage director. Siva has over 30 years of involvement with multiple world-dance forms, and honed his lighting and stage design skills while winning stage awards along the way. A figurative painter too, Siva’s works on canvas portray the heightened states of form of beings and objects, taking the cue from the dance itself to capture motion in still form. His work in the visual arts influences his imagination in lighting and set design. His major contribution is in integrating the visual with the performing arts towards a unique assimilation with lighting design in theatre. Siva says: “As with painting a picture on a white canvas, I believe in using light as my colour palette to set the desired tones and ambiance on stage”. 

Sutra Foundation

Ramli Ibrahim's Instagram | Ramli Ibrahim's Facebook | Sutra Dance Theatre's Instagram

Sutra Foundation, a bastion of traditional and contemporary arts bequeathed to Malaysia by Datuk Ramli Ibrahim, was established as a full-fledged foundation in 2007. It has been vital in sustaining Sutra’s activities when the arts face challenging times. It continues to provide Malaysia with activities in the performing arts (Sutra Dance Theatre), exhibitions (Sutra Gallery & KamaRia Gallery) and teaching (Sutra Academy). Immense care goes into crafting a Sutra production—be it in terms of impeccable design input, selection of dance talent, devising sets, costumes, lighting, or graphics and marrying them to the conceptual and choreographic intent to assure a flawless production.  


Featuring artists of Sutra Foundation: 
Geethika Sree, Tan Mei Mei, Nishah Govind Kumar, Nithya Kuthiah, Prithylasmi, Vanizha, Rajavel, Vickneshwaran & Harenthiran  

Date & Time

28 Apr 2023, Fri


Esplanade Theatre
Tickets & Prices

Students, NSFs & Seniors

Cat 1 $70 -
Cat 2 $55 -
Cat 3 $45 $40.50

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