The Manganiyar Seduction by Roysten Abel

Drop in for an astonishing audio-video set created with the vision of theatrical director Roysten Abel. This mass ensemble of more than 40 singers and musicians from the Rajasthani deserts will be set up on the stage in a four-storey bank of small, lit up pods – each pod occupied by a single performer only. Not only will the music and sound pick up momentum, but as the show progresses you’ll be in for a beautifully dazzling light show that is brilliantly executed.

Date: 7th January, 2017

Time: 7 pm onwards

Venue: Liberty Square, Phoenix Marketcity, Pune

The Manganiyar Seduction was first created for the Osians to open the film festival in Delhi 2006. The success of the show got the show on the road.. This project allowed Roysten Abel to collaborate with the Manganiyar musicians for the first time. The concept creates a dazzling union between the Manganiyar’s music and the visual seduction of Amsterdam ‘s red light district. The sets are a combination of the Hawa Mahal and the Red light district of Amsterdam. It can also be compared to a magic box. 43 musicians are seated in 36 red-curtained cubicles arranged in four horizontal rows one on top of the other; and the concert begins when a single cubicle lights up and the first singer begins his song. Soon another cubicle lights up and then another thus creating a dramatic and astounding build-up of musical instruments and voice as young men, women, children and the elderly of the Manganiyar community take you into a world which is even beyond yours or their own. The Normal practice is to take and use music for theatre but here Roysten reverses the process and uses theatre to create magic in music.

The Manganiyars are a caste of muslim musicians who traditionally performed for the kings of Rajasthan in India . Over the years their patrons have shifted from the kings to a person who could give them a meal. Their repertoire ranges from ballads about the kings to Sufi songs written by various mystics. They also sing songs for various occasions like birth, marriage, rains, feasts etc. Even though they are classified as folk musicians their traditional music is classical and it clearly indicates the roots of classical music in India . However the rawness of the folk and the complexness of classical music is what makes their music so special. They live in the deserts of Rajasthan and are one Muslim community who also worship Hindu Deities.

 

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