Sutra Foundation has been vital in sustaining Sutra’s activities during a most challenging period when sponsorship in the arts is difficult. Sutra continues its creative efforts in providing Malaysia with sustained activities in the performing arts, exhibitions and teaching. Sutra Dance Theatre is an innovative nerve center of dance that has, over the last three decades, cultivated and nurtured the Malaysian performing arts scene. Established in 1983 by Ramli Ibrahim, Sutra Dance Theatre has groomed a generation of Malaysian dancers and has taken original Malaysian works to reach out to national and international audiences, promoting the cultural diversity and vibrancy of Malaysian dance. Sutra has also collaborated with Malaysian and overseas theatre makers in costume and set design, script, and music. Its activities include performances, exhibitions (Sutra Gallery) and teaching (Sutra Academy). Sutra’s multi-racial dancers of Malay, Indian, Chinese and mixed races speak well of Dance transcending racial and cultural barriers in Malaysia.
Sutra Dance Theatre is known internationally and in Malaysia for its excellent performances of the Indian classical dance of Odissi. Multi-racial Sutra dancers, consisting of Malay, Chinese, Indian and mixed races, represent the broad-based and diverse cultural perspectives of the nation. Sutra dancers, apart from their training in Indian classical dance, are also adept in ballet and contemporary modern dance techniques and are therefore able to inject a different dynamics to their dance. Sutra demonstrates in its performances of Odissi that modern ideas can be explored within traditional performing arts. Dancing Sutra, Sutra's offering to the Blossom Festival, will feature five highlights from its Odissi repertoire (duration 1 hr 20 mins without interval) specially commissioned and directed by its artistic director, Datuk Ramli Ibrahim.