The Shiva Dance

by | May 1, 2018 | Senza categoria | 0 comments

danza di shiva

The God Shiva in his manifestation as “Nataraja”, the “Lord of Dance” (South India, Chola period, 888-1267 d.C. From  Clarke, M. e C. Crisp, The History of Dance, Crown Publications, New York 1981).

In the Olympus of Hindu deities, Shiva represents the creative and destructive force. These aspects are emphasized in his dance thanks to which, according to myth, the cosmos is drawn from the primitive chaos and led to creation. It’s dance that generates the circle of creative energy. The god dances with the right foot on the demon’s head, to show the defeat of evil. Of the four arms, which point to the four directions of space, two support the attributes of divinity: the drum, which represents the sound and the rhythm impressed to the process of creation; the flaming tongue which represents the destructive fury. The other arms and the hands are engaged in communicating to the believer not to be afraid, as the god is always present beside him. The lifted foot shows relief.
If Shiva is the cosmic actor and dancer, the whole universe is nothing but the image of Shiva’s gestures and actions. The importance of gestural expressiveness, in prehistory as well as in the archaic world, can be deducted also by the role it takes in the process of formation of the most ancient forms of writing. According to philologist Tciang Tceng Ming, many of the marks used in the most archaic developing phases of Chinese writing do not represent directly natural objects, but they are schematic reproductions of the gestures used to describe those objects. The study by  Cushing on the Zuni’s sign language (Manual Concepts. A Study of the Influence of Hand-Usage on Culture-Growth, 1892) has shown that the way of shaping the thoughts of this community (like many others) of native Americans, was conditioned by their way of gestural expression, just like we westerners are unable to formulate a thought in our minds without mentally articulating the words (Fano, Origini della scrittura e del linguaggio [Origins of Writing and of Language], Einaudi 1973).

La Danza delle Origini

Versione cartacea

di Gaudenzio Ragazzi


C’era una volta il Torchio

Versione digitale

di Gaudenzio Ragazzi


L’ Albero del Tempo

Versione digitale

di Gaudenzio Ragazzi



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