Indian culture today has a distinct identity enlivened through Temple traditions. Indian dance forms associated with the evolution and development of Temple arts speak volumes of the great cultural endeavour. Indian dance forms as practiced today have captured global attention sensitising the Indianness in all the cultural vistas of the world.
The Poet Sings
With each step He took
He scattered stars in space
With each movement of his outstretched arms
He enveloped space and time
With his long hair flying in the wind
He dances in ecstasy to the delight of his devotees
These words are reflected almost like a mirror image in painstakingly crafted images in stone and bronze. Shiva in a dancing pose is known all over the world as Nataraja, The King of Dance.
The dance of Shiva symbolises the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, birth and death. His dance is therefore the dance of the Universe. The parallel is seen in modern physics, which has shown that the cycle of creation and destruction is not only reflected in the turn of seasons and in the birth and death of living creatures but is also the very essence of inorganic matter.
For centuries, our culture has accepted that the dance of Shiva is the dance of life, myths, symbolism, mystic responses and philosophical explanations all merely add to the strength of such belief in a power that transcends the merely mortal.When the human dancer enacts this act encompassing concept, he or she only makes a humble offering of acknowledgement.