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Inspiring young voices

09 Feb 2017

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Indian theatre director Roysten Abel is returning to Melbourne on March 7 to bring audiences of Melbourne Recital Centre more magic from Manganiyar, India.

Famous for The Manganiyar Seduction, which brought this Indian community’s largely unknown folk and classical music to the world stage, Abel returns with a production showcasing a much more youthful narrative.

The Manganiyar Classroom is a one-hour performance featuring 35 young Manganiyar boys who will stun audiences with their talent – each of them a repository of song, dance and rhythm.

However, this performance is moving not only for its musical brilliance but also for its sense of activism as Abel brings to centre stage an India that is not shining but is left far behind.

He told Southbank Local News the children of Manganiyar came from a community of musicians and sadly their elders had never been educated or even been to school.

“I created the choir with the Manganiyar children three years ago,” Abel said. “What touched me was that these children could sing even though they had lost their confidence.”

“What I wanted to do was to instead of forming a choir, form the Manganiyar Classroom where we talk about issues, address the issues of the education system, the present day homogenised education system and the petered down version of it by the time it reached the religious teachings of Rajasthan.”

However, in spite of all the hardship they faced, Abel said what stood out the most about the performance was the exuberance of innocence and joy that came out of the young boys.

For tickets and more information visit melbournerecital.com.au

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