Dancing the Night Away

In Tamil mythology, Nataraja is the cosmic ecstatic dancer form of Shiva. The dance form is either referred to as Tandavamor Nadanta, based on the context of the dance. Narataja (which means the lord of dance) is usually performing nadanta inside a ring of fire, which standsfor the recurring cycle of death and rebirth and the cosmic fire that create sand consumes. He holds a drum (the sound of creation) in one hand and the fire of destruction in another. One foot crushes illusion. Fearlessness is shown in a third hand that form sabhaya mudra, while the fourth hand pointing to a raised leg symbolizes refuge. Nataraja dances to release humans from the trap of illusion and the nadanta depicts the forces of nature and the universe.

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