The celestial, traditional culture of Tamil Nadu perceived in Ken Kandiah’s documentary ‘Divine Musical Dancers’

Asha Bajaj
3 min readMar 30, 2021


#Tamil Nadu; #Celestial Culture; #Tradition; #Divine Dances; #Divine Musical Dancers

Canada/Canadian-Media: Directed, produced, and written by Canada’s Ken Kandiah, the documentary ‘Divine Musical Dancers’ reflects the traditional and sanctimonious culture of Tamil Nadu through the performances by a celebrated dance group from Tamil Nadu — comprising of 4 states namely Chennai, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhrapradesh — in South India.

Image credit: ​

This dance group performs with two musical instruments Nathan Nathanvaram and Melam. Together when they are played they produce a most sanctified music Mandala Isai, which is part of the essential component of traditional festivals and ceremonies in South India.

Image credit: Screenshot from the video
Image credit: Screenshot from the video

They are used in celebrations and welcoming ceremonies generally played in the procession of the day-to-day temple festivals and most commonly in wedding ceremonies. These are based on the song produced by Lord Shiva who performs his celestial dance called the Shiva Tandava.

These performances are based on the song produced by Lord Shiva who performs his immortal dance called the Shiva Tandava, which describes Shiva’s power traditionally attributed to Ravana, the King of Lanka, who is considered to be a great devotee of Shiva.

Shiva Tandava Stotra. ​Image credit: Wallpaper Cave

The sounds of the ritual ceremonies by the farm musical instruments can be easily identified when they are played together to produce the most pious melodious tuneful quality.

Bharatanatyam, one of the oldest Indian classical dance originated in Tamil Nadu, depicted in this documentary is accompanied by the Karnataka music which is led by one of the females performing those dances.

Bharatanatyam. Image credit: Pinterest

The female performances also play Samboo or some other instrument. Their texts are in 5 languages, namely Malayalam; Tamil; Telugu; Kannada, and Sanskrit.

The song Vallik Kanavan sung by Sudha Ragunathan and E. Gaayathri sings the song Edayyagati Ð Koteeswarayer Ð Chalanata — Adi.

Many other performances by musical instruments which are showcased include Raga Hamsathwani; Thaalam Adi; Raga Sheniurutti; Raga Nashighapooshani; and Raga Gambheera Nattai.

The cinematography is done by Francesco Bori and the sound provided by David Moffat.

Post-production of this documentary is expected to be completed by Aug 1, 2021.

The expected release of this documentary is unknown.



Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women