Into the Centre


Into the Centre,” billed as “an international dance collaboration celebrating the timeless spirits of both Eastern and Western dance traditions,” premiered in Kuala Lumpur on September 22, and was performed through September 25. The Sutra Dance Theatre of Kuala Lumpur and the Battery Dance of New York presented “Into the Centre,” featuring the dancers of both companies.  Under the artistic direction of Ramli Ibrahim and Jonathan Hollander, the dancers, including Guna, Rathimalar, Harenthiran, and Ramli himself from Sutra Dance Theatre and Sean Scantlebury, Robin Cantrell, and Carmen Nicole from Battery Dance, performed four pieces combining the music, choreography and stylistic impressions of both the east and the west.

Co-sponsored in part by the U.S. State Department’s Performing Arts Initiative and the Sutra Foundation, “Into the Centre” is, in the words of U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Paul W. Jones, “an awe-inspiring example of the collaboration which can be achieved between our peoples… the discipline, dedication and devotion to their art of the dancers of both countries blended together to create something new: a fusion of the disparate experiences, hopes and dreams of the people of two nations on opposite sides if the world.”

Choreography: Jonathan Hollander and Ramli Ibrahim


Act 1: L’Après Midi d’un Faune 

Inspired by Nijinsky’s history-making work created more than 100 years ago, this work was created on Debussy’s well-known score. Ramli’s version was performed by himself in 1984 when he returned to Malaysia. Inspired by the athleticism and sensuality of Battery Dance Company’s Sean Scantlebury, Ramli decided to revive Faune for this amazing dancer.




_ASW9335Act 3: Into The Centre

In to The Centre imbibes the spirit of Kuala Lumpur alluding to the aspiration to find new creative spaces where all could come together. Jonathan Hollander has devised a series of vignettes for both companies celebrating the universal art of dance.