On the 10th episode of Indian Artpreneur Season 2, “The resilient Entrepreneurs” we speak to Datuk Ramli Ibrahim, the Artistic Director and Chairman of Sutra Foundation. Described by international dance connoisseurs as one of the finest artistes of his generation, Ramli Ibrahim is a cultural icon who has performed internationally for more than four decades. His rigorous training in ballet, modern, and Indian classical dance reflects not only his diverse technical accomplishment, but also his multifaceted approach to the performing arts.
As artistic director of Sutra Dance Theatre, Ramli has choreographed stunning works and nurtured some of the brightest dance talents from Malaysia, many of whom have won international acclaim in both traditional and contemporary scenes.
Ramli has been instrumental in transforming the dance scenario in Malaysia to greater heights. Today, he is known for single‐handedly establishing Odissi as a recognisable and widely appreciated dance form in the country, while creating a distinctively Malaysian interpretation of this ancient tradition. As a pioneer, Ramli is recognised internationally within the arts scene, evident in the numerous accolades conferred upon him. He is acknowledged as a ‘Living Heritage’ by the Government of Malaysia as the United Nations declared him to be a UNESCO Living Treasure in 2012.
The President of India awarded Ramli the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2011, the first ever for a Malaysian. The award is recognised as the highest national honour conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. He was most recently conferred the Padma Shri Award from the Government of India in April 2018.