Energy, Power, Myth, Movement and Magic, that is the Tandav-Shiva!
Having explored Shiva as the all-auspicious one, today as part of the 45 Days of Dance Stories, I wish to talk of the Tandav.
Originating from the Sanskrit verb “Tand”- which means “to restore balance”, this word is a symbol for Lord Shiva himself and all associated activities of destruction and regeneration connected to him.
In the world of Dance, especially folk and classical forms of Indian Dance, as well as their primitive, local and modern offshoots, the Tandav is according to me, probably the most popular and the most complex of dances in the Indian performing arts repertoire.
Why? Because you are literally trying to out-dance, and out-perform a God. A Dance that you only have references to, visual and lyrical, that may aide you in your endeavour as artist, dancer and performer to recreate the energy and dynamism of this dance.
In Indian pop-culture the Tandav has been reproduced on celluloid thanx to Bollywood and accomplished actors such as Madhuri Dixit and Siri-Devi. The most iconic being the latter’s Tandav in her movie Chandni – where the balance must be restored to her Lover’s (played by Rishi Kapoor) physical state and their attachment to one another.
Merging the classical, pop and contemporary, Shakti Mohan, and her sister Mukti guided and joined by fellow dancer and choreographer Tushar perform the Shiva-Tandav on India’s Dancing with the Stars, called Jhalak Dikh Laja. Set to a modern composition of an ancient text written by the Demonic King Ravana (who was a learned devotee of Lord Shiva), titled the Shiva-Tandav-Astottram (the audio for this composition in full can be heard here). This lyrical glorification of the Tandav-Shiva is an integral part of any and all Hindus when invoking the form and energies of this powerful personification of the Divine, as Shiva!