Chennai is the land of celebration for the South Indian classical performing arts, in the form of Carnatic Music and Bharathanatyam, among other forms. The Dance and Music Festival, commonly known as the 'Margazhi Vizhaa' celebrates these classical art forms in the Tamil month of 'Margazhi' , with the time duration of mid December to mid January. The birth of the festival dates back to 1927 when it was first celebrated in order to rejoice the first anniversary of Madras Music Academy. Soon this concept was picked by many other organizations and venues in Chennai and by many other cities around the globe as well.
Below...Shishya troupe performing in the Chennai festival on December 31st, 2019, at the vintage R.K. Swamy Hall.
This world famous festival attracts many sought after artists, who vie for the opportunity to perform here. Equally attracted are the audience for whom the festival is like a religion. Memberships to the 'Sabhas' or organizations are usually sold out and passed on from generation to generation. Tickets to these programs are also usually sold out months ahead of time. The festival is performed at several fascinating venues like venerated temple complexes, heritage bungalows and renowned auditoriums such as 'Narada Gana Sabha, R.K Swamy Hall and Music Academy. The festival is also famously known globally as the 'December Season'.
Over time, the festival has become greatly popular, gathering about 2,000 participants in more than 300 concerts in its duration, honoring the spirit of the festivity.
The festival holds great importance, as music and dance are considered primary ways to pay homage to the Gods. The festival displays variety of performances, from vocal and instrumental musicians to dancers and theater artists. Solos and group performances of both junior and senior artistes are displayed to art connoisseurs and critics. Senior artists encourage the junior artists while junior artists learn from their senior mentors.
Chennai comes alive at this time with lights, amazing food stalls and men and women in their colorful finery.
This year Shishya School of Performing Arts is hosting a mini 'Margazhi Vizhaa' to encourage our young artists to try their hands at solo dances on our small make shift stage. Although the stage was small and the performance virtual, it gave the students who tried it, a forum to try solo dancing. We kick this festival and the new year of, with a previously taped homage to mother Earth. Then everyday, we will either have one very young artist showcased, or a snippet of our troupe performing in the 2019 actual Dance festival in Chennai. Please overlook the flaws of our young dancers from this year, which mainly stemmed from technical and stage difficulties and celebrate their courage and initiative to take this venture on despite challenges! We will then end the week long mini online festival with an item performed by our troupe in the actual 2019 Chennai dance festival. Click here to go to our Festival Playlist and start watching...
Everyday this week we will release a link which will either be public or unlisted (to protect our young dancers). Unlisted videos will still be on our Margazhi Vizhaa playlist but can be accessed only when you get the links from the school.