The title says it all. The 42 Indian musicians of The Manganiyar Seduction work their wiles in the glare of red and light-bulbs, piled up in a grid inspired by Amsterdam's red-light district.

Clearly, they have an agenda, hoping that, after their 80-minute set, they will have taken just a little piece of your heart.

This is the music of the Manganiyars, Indian singers and musicians with a difference.

These men are Muslim and, later, Roysten Abel, the group's director and founder, jests about the difficulties of getting visas when nearly all his cast share the surname Khan.

Their hypnotic music, usually underlaid by the trance-like rhythms of the dholak drum, seems to meld Indian with Arabic. Florid, exultant singing contrasts with pungent oboe-like instruments and the string sonorities of the kamancha and sarangi.

We may not know exactly what is being sung, although the ecstatic delivery and the occasional hailing of Allah suggest the spiritual. However, such is its seductive power that it is easier to surrender than resist.

For visceral thrills, what could compete with the rousing sound of these men in full-voiced song, laced with the sort of inflections that remind one Mecca is only a few oceans away.

A sharp and snappy lighting scenario moves the focus between the various musicians, both solo and group. The morchang, or jew's harp of Carnatic music, makes a particularly dramatic entrance, as do two booming bass drums.

Dancing is not an option in the Civic, however tempting the sway of the music, but we are coaxed into some call-and-response clapping with conductor Deu Khan.

Having peppered most of the Manganiyar music with a castanet-like crackle on his khartal, he ends up challenging us with whirring rhythms beyond the clap of mere mortal hands.

A love song is dedicated to the people of Christchurch, as love is the best way of healing.

The name of Krishna, the Casanova of Hindu mythology, is called and we realise, seduction had indeed been achieved.

*The Manganiyar Seduction runs at the Civic Theatre until Saturday