The Chennai Dance and Music Festival is held in December in the Southernmost Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The dates of the festival coincide with the traditional Tamil month of 'Margazhi' (December). Marghazi is considered a sacred month for Hindus in Tamil Nadu
and is considered a time for worship and spiritual devotion.
South Indian classical music, popularly known as Carnatic Music as a genre, has its roots in religious worship. For many centuries, music and dance have been used as a vehicle to depict zealous devotion to the Gods and has been encouraged in its traditional forms in temples and religious institutions of learning across India.
The Chennai Dance and Music Festival celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the region. The festival is held at multiple venues in the city by a number of organizations and averages performances by over 2,000 participants. It is an amazing experience to visit Chennai during the course of the festival as the city transforms itself into a hub of cultural activities as opposed to its traditional role as a bustling commercial metropolis.
The Chennai Dance and Music Festival was originally started in the year 1927 and was titled the Marghazi Festival of Dance and Music. The Chennai Dance and Music Festival features performances by both upcoming and established performers in many languages including Kannada, Telgu and Tamil. There are a number of concerts using traditional musical instruments that have been of great interest to foreign visitors.
The high point of the Chennai Dance and Music Festival however is the dance performances that are held during the festival. The ancient dance form has its roots in the Natya Shastra art form which was conceived in the 2nd century by the Hindu sage Bharat. Natya Shastra as an art form is used to depict drama through a combination of dance, mime, speech as well as music.