Venue: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Time: Mid-December to Mid-January
Duration: One month
Highlights: A rich cultural extravaganza, with amazing vocal, instrumental as well as dance performances
Chennai Music and Dance Festival is a celebration of classical music and dance of South India and is held between mid December to mid January in Chennai. The festival lasts for a period of one month. It is held at a number of venues around the city by various 'sabhas' or organizations. Besides the auditoriums, well-known temple premises and heritage bungalows are being used as venues. It comprises of performances of famous artistes from various parts of India. The festival is generally organized in the Margazhi month which is famous among the people of Chennai, as it brings along with it a carnival time. The city comes alive during the Chennai Music and Dance Festival which has now developed into a cultural extravaganza with more than 2000 participants. Performances include vocal and instrumental music, dance - solo and group, by both junior and senior artistes.
Chennai is situated in the southern part of India. It presents a splendid and refined culture as well as glorious history. The culture is reflected through its performing arts. The ancient dance forms that originated in the city are mostly classical in nature. Thus, Chennai can be aptly called the 'Land of Classical Dances'. The oldest Classical style Bharatanatyam has been nurtured in the temples. This classical dance is associated with mythology, philosophy and spiritual beliefs of the Hindu culture. These factors represent the celebration of Chennai Music and Dance Festival.
The Tamil month of Margazhi starts from mid-December and lasts till mid-January. It's during this period the dance festival is held in Chennai. The Chennai dance festival has its origin from early 1927. At that time, it was known as Margazhi Dance Festival which was conducted by Madras Music Academy to celebrate its anniversary. This was later adopted by many organizations. More than 2000 participants from all over India take part in over 300 concerts. The performances attract Indians and classical music and dance lovers from throughout the world.
Performances in the Chennai Dance and Music Festival include vocal and instrumental music, dance - solo and group, by both junior and senior artistes. Even upcoming artists get a chance to perform along with well-established artists. The music includes songs in various South Indian languages such Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. They also use numerous instruments like Flute, 'Veena' (a large string instrument) 'Goottuvadyam' (similar to Veena but without frets), 'Nagaswaram' (pipe), 'Thavil' (percussion instrument), 'Mridangam' (drum), and even 'Ghatam' (a mud pot). The season goes on till mid-January when the scene shifts to Tiruvaiyaru to celebrate the birth of one of the greatest Carnatic composers and one of the trinity of music - Thyagaraja.
Spread of Festival
Since its inception, Chennai Dance and Music Festival has brought about a rage in the classical dance and music lovers. People from all over the world flock to this historic city to get a first-hand taste of the cultural extravaganza. Ethnically, the festival holds a great importance, as Carnatic music is considered the best means for paying reverence to the Gods. The festival is an ideal platform to witness an amalgamation of melody and divinity. Furthermore, it is popularly known as the December Season amongst the expatriate Indians and scholars, who come from across the globe to participate in the festival. With every year, the number of participants and spectators are contsntly on the rise in the Chennai Dance and Music Festival.
Chennai Tourist Attractions
One of the metropolitan cities of India, Chennai holds great industrial as well as cultural importance. While you are attending the festival, there are a number of places that you can visit, as Chennai forwards numerous places of tourist interest. To start off with, you can visit the Marina Beach that stretches over an area of 13 km and is the second largest beach in Asia. While the beach promises fun and frolic, the numerous temples are great places for being in unison with the Almighty. Parthasarthi Temple which is built in memorial of the Lord Krishna and Kapaleeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva are significant Hindu temples. Additionally, you can also visit the St. George Fort, Kamaraj Memorial House, MGR Memorial and other monuments present in Chennai.
How To Reach
By Air: Meenampakkam Airport in Chennai has both domestic and international terminals. Regular flights connect Chennai with the major cities within the country and also with countries abroad.
By Rail: Chennai is well connected by rail with the important towns and cities within and beyond the state.
By Road: State transport buses and private buses connect Chennai with the major towns and cities within the country. For local transportation local trains, city buses, auto rickshaws and taxis are available.