India + Amsterdam = Seduction

The red-light district of Amsterdam has always been known for its “women of the night” who are lit up in windows, showing their wares silhouetted under the glow of a red light. The Manganiyars, on the other hand, are a tribe of people from northern India known for their nomadic, minstrel/musical tradition. Back in New Delhi, director Roysten Abel decided to mix the audio up and visuals. The result is The Manganiyar Seduction, a multimedia, multicultural event that’s hard to categorize. After a lulling musical introduction — or seduction — of ancient Indian instrumentals evocative of the Manganiyar’s desert origins, cubicles start to light up, on by one, in a stage set composed of four stacked rows of cubicles, each one framing one or two musicians and singers in turbans and classical outfits. One musician and instrument is joined by the next when the white lights come on, one after another. Once the whole set is alive with lights, the music kicks up, incorporating vocals as well, in a crescendo reminiscent less of Rajasthan than of Madison Square Garden.
Fri., Nov. 8, 8 p.m., 2013

 
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