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The Manganiyar Seduction in Washington DC

Washington DC, Sep 30 (udaipur kiran) ‘The Manganiyar Seduction is headed to Washington DC. The ensemble – comprising more than 40 Manganiyar singers and instrumentalists from Rajasthan – will be performing at The Kennedy Center of Performing Arts on November 1 and 2.

Directed by Indian director Roysten Abel, ‘The Manganiyar Seduction’ uses theatre to create magic in music. The musicians are seated on the stage in a four-storeyed bank of lighted pods – a combination of Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal and the Amsterdam red light district. The set, which looks like a magic box, has 36 red-curtained cubicles arranged in four horizontal rows one on top of the other.

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 beyond yours or their own.

As the ensemble grows in number and the sound gathers momentum, a dramatic and astounding build-up of music and voices results in a dazzling union of a highly energetic sound and seductive visual.

The Manganiyars are Muslim minstrels, who traditionally performed for the kings of Rajasthan. 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 live in the deserts of Rajasthan and are one Muslim community that also worships Hindu deities.

–udaipur kiran

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