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Tamil Nadu - Tamil Nadu Dance Festivals

Tamil Nadu Dance Festivals

Tamil Nadu is a state at the southern tip of India. The bordering states/territories are Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The island nation of Sri Lanka, which has a significant Tamil minority, lies off the southeast coast.

Tamil Nadu has the Largest urban agglomeration nationwide and is the second most industrialized state in India. Unlike most other parts of the country, Tamil Nadu gets its rainfall largely from the "North-East monsoon" in the months of October-December. There is a long standing dispute with Karnataka over the matter of water from the Kaveri River. The river flows south from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, and both regions draw on water from the river, prompting concerns over whether the upper riparian Karnataka has released its fair share of river water to the lower riparian Tamil Nadu.

Dance Festivals In Tamil Nadu

Time: January-February
Duration: Four Weeks
Location: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) during the reign of Pallavas, was a port town and is renowned for its Rathas or temples in the form of chariots, Mandapas or cave sanctuaries built by the Pallava rulers. Mamallapuram is one of the World Heritage Sites declared by the UNESCO. It also has a wonderful beach and makes for an ideal tourist destination.
Mamallapuram Dance Festival is organized every year from early January to first week of February for a period of four weeks. Exponents of classical dances like Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, and Kathakali gather and perform in an open-air stage against the backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures. Folk dancers add local touch to the festival. The renowned festival is organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamilnadu.
This four week Mamallapuram Dance Festival is held at the venue of Arjuna's penance, a bass-relief sculpted on the face of two enormous adjacent rocks, in Mamallapuram. The magnificent backdrop that is provided by the Pallava Rock Sculptures provide an aesthetic touch to this cultural dance festival.
The open-air stage and the dancers from far and wide come to watch the best folk dancers in India perform in front of them under the open skies in an open-air theatre style ambience. This open-air stage was created about thirteen centuries ago, the incredible monolithic rock sculptures of the Pallavas, next to the sea in this ancient city of Mamallapuram.
Time: February
Duration: Five Days
Location: Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu

The Natyanjali festival, which brings all the prominent dancers of India, together on the same platform, opens on the auspicious occasion of Mahasivaratri, in the month of February. Lord Nataraja, according to the Hindu mythology is a cosmic dancer. He is called the Lord of dances. This is an opportunity for all dancers, from all India, to perform and to pay their tribute to Lord Nataraja.

It is performed at the 'Prakara' of the temple, and the dancers, full of intense bliss and devotion, with their evocative performance, offer their dance to the great divinity, Lord Nataraja. Natyanjali festival is jointly organised by The Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, The Ministry Of Tourism, Government of India and The Natyanjali Trust, Chidambaram. It is designed to promote a universal message of 'Unity in Diversity' conveyed in the universal language of music and dance.
Time: Mid December-Mid January
Duration: One Month
Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu

The Chennai Dance and Music Festival is held every year in Chennai from mid December to mid January. The month long musical extravaganza is a celebration of classical music and dances of South India and features performances by various artistes from different parts of India. The festival is held at various venues around the city. These include auditoriums, well-known temple premises and heritage bungalows. The festival is popularly known as the `Margazhi Festival of Dance and Music'. The Tamil month of `Marghazi' is considered a sacred month by the Hindus and South Indian classical music, which is devotional in nature, has been a traditional form of worship from time immemorial.
The festival attracts Indians from all over the world and gives a glimpse of our rich cultural heritage. Performances include Vocal and Instrumental music, Dance - solo and group. The festival provides wonderful opportunity for upcoming artistes to display their talent. The city becomes alive with the festival which has now developed into a cultural extravaganza with more than 2000 participants. The music includes songs in various South Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada and 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 'Margazhi festival of dance and music' started early back in 1927; to commemorate the anniversary of Madras Music Academy every December was later adopted by various organizations, which held art festivals in different parts of the city.
Time: January
Duration: One Day
Location: Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Jallikattu or Taming the bull, an evenment happening with Poongal, the Festival of the harvest starting at 15 January every year.
'Jallikattu' is kind of bull-fight, held in Madhrai, Tiruchirapalli and Tanjore in Tamil Nadu. Bundles containing money are tied to the horns of ferocious bulls, and unarmed villagers try to wrest the bundles from them. Bullock cart races and cock-fights are also held. Ballads, folk dances, dramas and songs have rich cultural heritages. Myths and legends, festivals and ceremonials have helped to fashion an exquisitely charming type of handicrafts.

The products of Tamilnadu workmen cater to as much beauty as to utility, which include metal-ware, wood carving, pottery, leather goods, carpets, pith work, palam left products, etc. handloom textiles both cotton and silk have won global appreciation. Cattle are decorated with garlands, their horns colored, and mango leves hung round their necks. Then they are led about in procession exempted from all labor, and virtually, if not actually, worshipped.
Thyagaraja Music Festival
Time: January
Duration: 8 days
Location: Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu

Thyagaraja music festival, as the name suggests, is celebrated in the memory of the great saint cum musician Thyagaraja. It is held on an annual basis in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamilnadu, where Thyagaraja exhausted his whole lifetime and also attained Samadhi. The celebration is an eight day long musical demonstrate, which is graced by the leading Carnatic singers and musicians from all parts of the country. Thyagaraja musical festival is usually hosted in the month of January.
The main draw of the Thyagaraja music festival is the group presentation by the famous musicians of the Pancharathna Krithis. To honor the works and pay respect to the great saint Thyagraja, what can be a better idea than the presentation of Pancharathna Krithis, his five compositions that came to be popularly known as the five gems. Thyagaraja is accepted for his five gems even today. He is and will remain the role model for all those associated with Carnatic music.





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