Sutra Foundation Presents ‘Vision of Forever’ (ODISSI)




Vision of Forever (ODISSI)

Artistic Direction: Ramli Ibrahim

Lighting & Set Design: Sivarajah Natarajan

Featuring Ramli Ibrahim & Sutra dancers

Vision of Forever is Sutra’s Odissi offering following their highly acclaimed Spellbound. Vision of Forever, received tremendous reception at its Malaysian premier in 22-25 April 2010, at the prestigious Istana Budaya with Maxis as its major sponsor. Now, Sutra’s following outside Kuala Lumpur will be able to savour Vision of Forever in several major city centres such as Seremban, Ipoh, Penang and Kuantan.

In actual fact, Vision of Forever had its world premiere in December 2006 at Kalakshetra (Chennai), the bastion of Indian classical dance. Following this premiere, Vision of Forever toured Southern India in 2007; subsequently this spectacular production was performed in Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Coimbatore and Bangalore.

The recent season of Vision of Forever at Istana Budaya, lived up its promises and did not fail to enthral and astonish audience. Performed by the talented and the disciplined Sutra dancers, lit in a spectacular multi-media presentation of award-winning Sivarajah Natarajan, Vision of Forever is a visual feat of the highest calibre that was able to reach out to both young and seasoned audiences.

Vision of Forever excellently exemplifies works of the late Odissi pioneer Guru Deba Prasad Das. Artistic director Ramli Ibrahim is unapologetic in his fathoming of the spiritual and philosophical depth of the complex psyche of India. Vision of Forever unleashes powerful images from the Shaivite and Tantric traditions, bringing out the macabre and terrifying beauty associated with the repertoire of his late dance guru.

Ramli Ibrahim has chosen Odissi repertoire from three major gurus of this tradition: Durga Charan Ranbir, Gajendra Kumar Panda and Deba Prasad himself. At the same time, Ramli has invested this presentation with his inimitable style, rearranging the works in compelling group compositions. Most the works were especially commissioned by Sutra over the last 25 years.

Much has already been said about Sutra’s well-trained, talented and multi-racial dancers of Indian, Malay, Chinese and mixed parentage. Sutra’s major principal dancers such as Revathi, Rathimalar, Nishah Devi, Sivagamavalli, Tan Mei Mei, Michelle Chang, Geethika Shree, and the award-winning Guna will be featured in this production.

There will be several ‘highlights’ presented in this programme such the Rageshree Pallavi danced by Ramli and Sutra’s star, Revathi Tamilselvam. Vision of Forever will also feature the Dasamahavidhya, danced by Guna and Sutra dancers (Dasamahavidhya, an exciting new work based on the Goddess, depicts here ten different emanations and transcendent revelations.) The highlight of Vision of Forever is Ardhanariswara danced by Ramli – regarded as one of world’s best male Odissi dancers with Rathimalar, a senior dancer of Sutra and former dancer of Shobaba Jeyasingh Dance Company (London).

In May/June 2008, Sutra’s Stirring Odissi Festival created an international impact with its month-long mega-event featuring more than 120 dancers, scholars, visual artists and dance critics from all over the world. The hugely successful Stirring Odissi was a significant benchmark which establishes Kuala Lumpur as a creative scrucible of Odissi.

In that same year in September, Sutra Dance Theatre scored successes with a Europe/US tour culminating in a performance of Spellbound at Carnegie Hall, New York, invited by the Dance Festival of India. For more than 100 years, historic Carnegie Hall has presented a dizzy galaxy of famous artists from Horowitz, Caruso, Maria Callas to Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, and Duke Ellington.

The Sutra Dance Theatre is Malaysia’s international dance company and has endured, captivated and enthralled audiences, not just in India but all over the world wherever they performed. Sutra makes an excellent One-Malaysia cultural ambassador, not just for their role in transcending racial and cultural barriers, but for convincing audience that the Arts, eventually, finds it own level.