Hundred Charmers

About the Project

Hundred charmers was first conceived for Jeevika foundation on the request of Bahar Dutt inorder to create awareness about the snake charmer community. The snake charmer community is slowly diminishing since they have been banned from using snakes as a part of their performance. Bahar thought it important to bring this to the notice of the government so that alternative vocations could be found for them using their own traditional skills. Roysten Abel then thought about getting 100 beens, the instrument the snake charmer’s play and putting them together. Traditionally the snake charmer would have his been and a snake and would play the been and make the snake dance there by attracting crowds which gave him a living. Been is essentially a solo instrument and it is for the first time that an experiment like this was tried. Traditional tunes were restored back to them and contemporary tunes were also taught. Methods had to be devised to allow them to play as an ensemble. The experiment involved restoring old tunes. The experiment worked and the show became a huge success. The repertoire ranges from traditional tunes to contemporary Bollywood tunes and also a few Scottish Bagpipe tunes.