Monday, 13 August 2012

Article - Shiva's Dance in Stone: Ananda Tandava, Bhujangalalita, Bhujangatrasa - Liesbeth Bennink with Kandhan, Jayakumar and Sankar Deekshithar

Nataraja or the Dancing Shiva is one of the best known and possibly most studied representations of the divine form within Hindu art. Shiva is pre-eminently the deity who expresses his divine being through dance. Although many different Tandavas or heroic dances are known from the tradition, the one called Ananda Tandava or Dance of Bliss is without doubt the one best known both for its artistic beauty and for its philosophical merit. The temple city of Chidambaram is especially associated with Shiva Nataraja who is the presiding deity of its great temple. Dancing with his right leg on the back of a dwarf, the left foot raised across in an elegant curve, and with four arms, the Nataraja represents the cosmic activities of Creation, Dissolution, Preservation, Concealment and Salvation.

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