Malaysian Odissi dancers perform in Europe, on way to US

September 25th, 2008 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 25 (IANS) A Malaysian dance troupe is winning acclaim in Europe and is on its way to the US for performing the Odissi dance originating in India.Led by the celebrated dancer Ramli Ibrahim of the Sutra Dance Theatre, the troupe has become the only non-Indian dance company to perform at venues reserved for the best, The New Straits Times said Thursday.

Ibrahim and his troupe of seven put up a superb performance at the Rotunda, United Nations Vienna and the prestigious Carnegie Hall Sunday last.

The entourage also performed at the small but charming Baroque hall, thanks to a Korean Shaman who had seen them and thought that Sutra ought to be seen in Vienna.

They have had a triumphant success in Florence, Italy and San Giovanni D’Asso, Tuscany where they performed to thunderous applause and seven curtain calls.

The Tuscany stint was organised by distinguished Malaysian artiste Yeoh Jin Leng.

From Italy, Sutra will go to New York, then Houston followed by Washington as its last venue. They will return to Malaysia on Oct 7. Altogether, Sutra has held 15 performances, including at Carnegie Hall.

Ibrahim told New Straits Times in an interview that ‘live’ music was required for his performance at the Carnegie Hall and for this, he got musicians from Orissa. The Carnegie performance specifically requested a performance to the accompaniment of live music.

“I recognised that it is important that Sutra performs in Carnegie Hall because of the latter’s international reputation as one of the world’s top performing venues but I think this is not the best achievement in my career. Actually, the recent one-month long “Stirring Odissi 2008 Festival” that Sutra presented in Kuala Lumpur was the culmination of our achievement.

“The festival’s grand success has put us on the highest pedestal as far as Odissi is concerned. The festival had set a significant Odissi benchmark and is an act that would be difficult to follow,” Ibrahim said.

The festival in Kuala Lumpur had Malaysian and Indian artistes and was well received, both for the performances and for the discussion on research in this dance form.

Besides Odissi, Bharatnatyam is popular among Malaysia’s over two million Tamils.

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