Music theatre performance The Manganiyar Seduction by Roysten Abel performed in Holland Festival 2009.
In a ‘magic box’ décor inspired by the sex cabins in Amsterdam’s red light district, 43 musicians sit in 33 stacked red-curtained cubicles framed in cheap carnival lights. The curtains open one by one, and the build-up of musical instruments and voice unfolds into an orgiastic spectacle of melody, rhythm and song. The Manganiyars are a community of Muslim musicians from Rajasthan, India. They developed into itinerant folk musicians performing gypsy-like classical Indian music for all occasions. Director Roysten Abel, trained in Shakespeare and creator of Othello in black and white (which was performed in Amsterdam in 2008), frequently works with out-of-work street performers. For The Manganiyar Seduction, created for the opening of the 2006 Delhi film festival, he reverses the customary process by using theatre to create magic in music.