On the occasion of the 5th Krishnakriti Annual Festival Of Art & Culture from 7th to 11th January, Kalakriti Art Gallery is presenting a unique music opera called The Manganiar Seduction, on 10th December, at the Taramati Baradari Cultural Complex, Gandipet Road, Ibrahimbagh. The concert will be presented by Roysten Abel.
The concept is a dazzling union of Manganiyar's music and the visual seduction of Amsterdam's red light district. The normal practice is to take and use music for theater, but here Roysten reverses the process and uses theater to create magic in music.
The sets are a combination of the Hawa Mahal and the red light district, and 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 voices of young men, women, children and the elderly of the Manganiyar community.
The Manganiyars are a caste of musicians who traditionally performed for the kings of Rajasthan in India. Over the years, their patrons have shifted from kings to any person who can give them a meal. They sing ballads about the kings and also Sufi poems written by the mystics. They also have songs for various occasions like birth, marriage and feasts.
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 complexity of classical music is what makes their music so special. They live in the deserts of Rajasthan.
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 creating theater in music, 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 be premiered in 2008 and 2009.
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 this 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 gone a long way in supporting 70 children.
The 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.