Land of Dances
The world dance day is celebrated on April 29th every year. In the land of India, every festival is an occasion for dance, be it the dance for Holi, be it for Bihu in Assam, be it the dance of Dandya for Navaratri, be it the cowherds dancing for Mattu Pongal. So, every occasion, every festival is a reason to dance in this land.
Difference dances in Indian tradition
There are various dances that are innate to that festival, to that region.
Popular Dance festivals in India
Some of the popular dance festivals today in India being,
- Mamalpuram dance festival in front of Arjuna’s penance bas relief
Mamalapuram dance festival
- Konark Dance festival
Konark dance festival in the foreground of Konark Sun Temple
- Chidambaram dance festival
Chidambaram dance festival
- Khajuraho Dance festival
Khajuraho dance festival in the foreground of Lakshmana temple
Dance is not unique to humans alone. Even the animals, the birds and beasts have their own varieties of dance. The plants and trees also dance swaying gently in the breeze. So, everything in nature dances. This dance is just not random movement or flaying of one’s limbs but is a movement that is aesthetic, beautifully and most importantly in rhythm with nature. This rhythmic movement of all components exists in this universe, in the cosmos, which is why it is called Cosmic Dance. Nataraja is the embodiment of this cosmic dance.
More on the correlation and details between the cosmic dance, Nataraja and the underlying principle, Shiva Tattva is discussed in our book “Understanding Shiva”, which is a part of the Bharath Gyan series.