Monday February 19, 2018

Ramli Ibrahim: A Malaysian steeped in Indian classical dances

GANJAM, Sutra's newest Odissi production, stired by powerful folk dances and music traditions of the culture-rich Ganjam district of South Odisha

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Ganjam
Datuk Ramli Ibrahim via- kln.gov.my
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By Yajush Gupta


“It was always there in me. Even as a 3-year-old, I used to like to dance. I used to dance in the fields instead of walking..it was innate in me”

His latest choreographic work “Ganjam” staged recently in New Delhi advocating his Guru Deba Prasad Dais’s Tridhara, union of the three dance streams, showcasing the contemporary and novelty of the much aged tradition.

Malaysian dancer Datuk Ramli Ibrahim, 62,has famously been alluring audiences with his performances and choreography of various Indian traditional dances for more than
three decades now. He has gone on to perform and win awards both locally and
overseas, and has also groomed many a talented dancer.

A cultural icon and a dynamic force in Malaysian playhouse, he is trained in both Indian classical dance and modern dance styles. In Malaysia, Ramli is hailed as a pioneer dancer and choreographer of international footing in numerous dance forms namely – Bharatanatyam, Odissi as well as Contemporary Dance.

 Tridhara is the union of the three dance streams, namely, tribal, folk and classical.Produced more than 40 original dance repertoires in the traditional and contemporary idioms. For Ramli, theatre is the all-obsessing instrument for his creative vision.

oddisi -via flickr
Odissi
-via flickr
  • Born into a liberal muslim family, Ramli Ibrahim’s father was a teacher. His Mother Kamariah was secretary of United Malays National Organisation .He went to the University of Western Australia in Perth to be a mechanical engineer and pursue dance alongside my academic activities.
  • Ramli learnt Malay folk dances and ballet and has performed with the Sydney Dance Company in Australia, New York, London and Europe.
  • He joined the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne and took rigorous ballet training, before taking on Bharatnatium in various forms.It was then that he mastered the art of Bharatanatyam from Adyar K Lakshman in chennai, and used to perform Indian classical dance under the name of Ramachandra
  • From 1980 onward, he started to perform in chennai. At that time from London Kamadev was sent to study Bharatanatyam by Ram Gopal, Radha Anjali from Vienna was also studying under Adyar Lakshman. Swapnasundari was also taking lessons in Bharatanatyam and regularly started to performed in Chennai at major Sabhas, and at Kalakshetra.
  • Unfortunately, despite being raised into a multi cultural society,Ramli Ibrahim faced a lot of critisism from various religious groups. He was the  Muslim who performed Hindu dance form while taking on the traditional dance of India. Although Malasyan society did not object to the cultural expressions of Indian Diaspora , also the fact that  not many chose to go to the theater in Malaysia and this was the reason that the Malaysian audiences loved his performances. Ibrahim envisions unity within the diversity of all of Sutra’s artistic endeavors. Perhaps this is not surprising, given that although Islam is currently the state religion, historically Malaysia has honored cultural ties with Buddhist, Christian, Persian, Hindu, and other cultures.

“But I stood my ground. I argued that the Malaysian constitution and policies did not object to Indian Diaspora’s dances.

                                      -in an interview with The Hindu
  • His attraction towards Odissi as against the structured, too steeped in tradition Bharatanatyam prompted him to  go to Puri and learn from a disciple of Guru Deba Prasad Das.In London when performing Nijinsky’s role in Poppy ballet,he had invited Ram Gopal who  performed before Nijinsky. He loved Ramli Ibrahims dancing and immediately introduced him to Indrani in Delhi.But he soon found that he wasn’t learning what he wanted to and became a direct student of Guru Deba Prasad Das
  • The intense guru-shishya relationship that Gajendra Kumar Panda had with Guru Deba Prasad Das inspired him to write ‘Adorations’ which culminated in many performances.

Indian Government has honoured Ramli Ibrahim with Sangeet Natak Akademi award for my contribution to Odissi.He has also been awarded Datukship, which is similar to Padma Awards in India.

In an interview with the Narthaki magazine, when asked, about his views on guruship, he replied:

“I don’t like people diving at my feet! Whatever you do, you must start with a pure inner heart, not just an outward ritualistic show. When it comes to a performance or class, if they don’t come up to expectations or make me wait, they get hell from me. That’s the guru in me. If you do not have respect for your art or for your parents’ money, why are you wasting my time and yours? That’s why we have performed very few arangetrams. We do not recommend arangetrams unless the student is serious about making dance a very important part of his / her life. Otherwise, it has no relevance. For a lot of students, arangetram is the beginning of an end. Most of them start a kitchen class. Too many mediocre teachers and dancers around. Over popularizing Bharatanatyam has resulted in this.”

Yajush is studying journalism in New Delhi. Twitter :@yajush_gupta

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Most Famous Railway Stations Of India

Indian railways stations are not only railways stations but are also one of the apexes of India pre and post-colonial history

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India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Indian Railways is one of the biggest railways networks in the world
  • India has railways stations which are famous for various reasons
  • Indian railways stations are famous for various reasons from being beautiful to being a haunting place

India has one of the biggest railways departments in the world. And also, one of the largest numbers of railway stations as well. Indian railways stations are not only railways stations but are also one of the apexes of India pre and post-colonial history.

Railways is of great importance for India because of its economic as well as historic significance. Wikimedia Commons
Railways is of great importance for India because of its economic as well as historic significance. Wikimedia Commons

Railways have a huge behind the increasing Indian economy, the revenue generated is huge. Railways were introduced by Britishers in India and since then it has become of the biggest assets of India. They are not only a mode of transportation but also have a huge historical background.

Here is the list of some of the most famous Indian Railway Station.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) or the Victoria Terminus (VT) as it popularly known is in Mumbai. It is one of the largest railways stations in India. It is also one of the most famous and has found a place in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its magnificent gothic architecture. The station was built in 1887 to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the oldest and largest railways stations in India. Wikimedia Commons
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the oldest and largest railway’s stations in India. Wikimedia Commons

Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station

It is one of the most beautiful railway stations in India. It has 9 platforms and other 4 which are under construction. The Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station has a magnificent architectural masterpiece. It was built in 20th century by the British and looks more like a monument than a railway station. It is one of the two major railways stations in Lucknow and is well-connected to the whole country.

Also Read: Indian Railways to use artificial intelligence

Howrah Junction 

Howrah Junction in Kolkata is the oldest railway station in India. It is also one of the largest railway stations in India with 23 platforms. Howrah Junction can handle more trains than any other Indian railway station. Despite being renovated several times, it still holds the magnificence of the British and Bengali architecture.

Howrah Junction is the oldest railway station in India. Wikimedia Commons
Howrah Junction is the oldest railway station in India. Wikimedia Commons

Cuttack Railway Station
Cuttack is a city in Odisha. The Cuttack Railway Station in Odisha is one of the most beautiful and cleanest Indian railway stations. This railway station is famous for its architecture which is said to be inspired by the Barabati Fort, which is located in the Kalinga region of Odisha.

Vijayawada Junction Railway Station

Vijayawada Junction is one of the largest railway stations in India and is situated in Andhra Pradesh. It was constructed in 1888 and is famous for its architecture. It is also one of the busiest railway stations in India. It is also famous for its white structure.

Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons
Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons

Begunkodor Railway Station

Begunkodor Railway Station is in West Bengal. This station us famous because it is said to be haunted. Due to this, the station has been abandoned for 42 years. The station is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman draped in a white sarees.

Also Read: Facts about Indian Railways you can’t miss

New Delhi Railway Station

New Delhi Railway Station is one of the largest railway stations in New Delhi and India. It is also the main railway station of Delhi. The railway station situated between the areas of Ajmeri Gate and Paharganj and sees the one of the largest crowd of commuters.

New Delhi Railway Station is famous for being the largest metro station in the capital, New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons
New Delhi Railway Station is famous for being the largest metro station in the capital, New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

Barog Railway Station

Barog in Himachal Pradesh is a little railway station which is famous for its elaborate history. The railway station is surrounded by beautiful mountains. It is also famous for the ghost of its engineer which is said to be haunting the railway station. The station is also famous because of various folklores surrounding it.