A 100 snake charmers, minus the snakes. And minus Sridevi. Check out what Roysten Abel came up with and is touring the whole world with.
On the occasion of the 7th Krishnakriti Annual Festival Of Art & Culture
from 7th to 11th January, Kalakriti Art Gallery is presenting a unique music opera called "The Hundred Charmers", on 9th January at Taramati Baradari. The concert will be presented by Roysten Abel.
"A Hundred Charmers" was first conceived for Jeevika foundation, on the request of Bahar Dutt, in order to create awareness about the snake charmer community. The community is slowly diminishing since they have been banned from using snakes as a part of their performance. Bahar thought it important to bring this to the notice of the government so that alternative vocations may be found for them using their own traditional skills.
Roysten Abel then thought about getting 100 beens
, the instrument snake charmers play, and putting them together. The been
is essentially a solo instrument, and it is for the first time that an experiment like this was tried.
Traditional tunes were restored back to them, and contemporary tunes also taught. Methods had to be devised to allow them to play as an ensemble. The experiment involved restoring old tunes.
The experiment worked, and the show was a success. The repertoire ranges from traditional tunes to contemporary Bollywood tunes, and also a few Scottish Bagpiper tunes.
Born in Kerala, Roysten Abel graduated from the National School Of Drama, and then went to do his apprenticeship with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has recently started to work with musicians, and his two productions, "The Manganiyar Seduction" (with 50 Manganiyar musicians) and "A Hundred Charmers" (with 100 snake charmers), are currently on world tour.
Roysten also just finished directing his latest production at the historic Red Fort in New Delhi, with 2,000 folk artists. He is also working on two operas, which are to premiere in 2008 and 2009.
The Krishnakriti Art And Culture Festival
The Krishnakriti Art And Culture Festival is being organised every year by the Lahoti Foundation, which was established by artist Prashant Lahoti in memory of his father Krishnachandra B Lahoti.
On the occasion, art camps are organised by eminent artists, and the works are auctioned off at the end of the festival. The proceeds from the sales go to the Krishnachandra B Lahoti Scholarship, which sponsors holistic education for deserving and needy students. Last year's proceeds have supported 70 children.
Entry is by invitations only, available at Kalakriti Art Gallery on Road No. 10, Banjara Hills. Please contact Kalakriti Art Gallery at 6656-4466 for further details.