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TDX ArtStories Content Outline Editorial Authored by Draft date Edited by Edit date Reviewed by Final date
Risha Lee 7/29/14 TG 8/25/2014 RL 10/20/2014
ABOUT Tombstone Accession # 29.2 Title Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) Artist / Geo Near Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India Date Late 11th or early 12th century Additional Same as shown in TMS? Yes No Intro Text – 110 words He dances wildly, his left leg lifting in a powerful, graceful gesture and his arms swaying elegantly across his body. This is the god Shiva in his Nataraja form, the embodiment of his supreme powers. The sculpture is the MIA’s first donated work of Indian art and one of the cornerstones of the collection. Ancient texts speak of Shiva’s dance, ananda tandava (literally translated as “furious bliss”), as wreaking havoc and destruction—sending false prophets scampering and humiliating rival gods and goddesses.
Risha Lee 9/24/2014 11:15 AM Deleted: was
TDX ArtStories Content Outline Can we put in a comparative image here? If so, I’d like to show the Nataraja from
DETAILS Annotation 1 – 35 words Title (2-‐3 words) Demon or dwarf Text Shiva stands on the back of a fat, child-‐like creature clutching a snake. The creature’s identity is still debated. Some scholars believe it represents a dwarf, which turns up in early texts as an assistant to Shiva’s dance. Others argue it is a vanquished demon, named Apasmara or Mushalagan, that personifies ignorance. Image view Close-‐up of demon
Risha Lee 9/24/2014 10:22 AM Deleted: child-‐
TDX ArtStories Content Outline Ref. image
Annotation 2 – 35 words Title Holy hair (2-‐3 words)
Shiva sports an impressive up-‐do. The topknot is decorated with crane feathers and a cluster of spiky leaves from the wild cassia (kondrai) plant. His dreadlocks, worn by some Hindu holy men and women, are adorned with his sacred flower (the datura), a seated woman personifying the Ganges River, and a crescent moon.
Imag e view
Ref. imag e
Paige Patet 8/18/2014 10:25 AM Comment : Josh: Focus photography on right side of Shiva’s hair
Close up of Hair Hindu dreadlocks: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sadu_Kathmandu_Pashupatinath_2006_Luca_ Galuzzi.jpg Cassia Leaves:
http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Datura_stramonium_page.html Annotation 3 – 35 words Title (2-‐3 words) Goddess Ganga Text The goddess Ganga is a personification of the Ganges, India’s most sacred river. Her body is half-‐human and half-‐snake, features which characterize many divine half-‐human, half-‐snake creatures (nagas and naginis) that dwell in the waters of Indic mythology. Shiva offered to receive the mighty river into his dreadlocks so that her descent would not destroy the earth, and he gently placed his dreadlocks on the earth. Image view Close up of Ganga Ref. image
Annotation 4 – 35 words Title (2-‐3 words) Right side
Risha Lee 9/24/2014 11:17 AM Deleted: , and one of
Risha Lee 9/24/2014 11:17 AM Deleted: ndic mythology
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Image view Ref. image
There is no single reason for Shiva’s four arms, but multiple arms typically suggest a god’s immense power, and the ability to perform many tasks at once. Typically, four arms indicate a god in a beneficent attitude, while multiple arms portray an active, warlike mode. In one hand, Shiva holds a damaru drum, emitting what some experts interpret as the rhythmic sound of creation. In another, he makes the abhaya mudra, a gesture of protection from evil.
Risha Lee 9/24/2014 10:29 AM Deleted: ability to do more than
Risha Lee 9/24/2014 10:30 AM Deleted: humans
Paige Patet 2/6/2015 2:38 PM Deleted: beneficient
Annotation 5 – 35 words Title (2-‐3 words) Ball of fire Text Shiva holds a ball of fire in his upper left hand, which he can hurl at his enemies. Or it may allude to the cremation grounds where he dances.
TDX ArtStories Content Outline Image view
Ref. image Annotation 6 – 35 words Title (2-‐3 words) A godly face Text Shiva wears two different earrings, symbolizing the union of male and female. In his left ear, he wears a large circular ring of the sort generally worn by women, and in his right ear a lion or aquatic creature (makara). According to myth, the ubiquitous vertical third eye opened when his wife, Parvati, covered his two eyes in jest, unintentionally flooding the earth with darkness. Image view Ref. image
Annotation 7 – 35 words
TDX ArtStories Content Outline Title (2-‐3 words) Text
Ring of Fire This Shiva Nataraja would have been encircled by a now-‐lost ring of flames that emphasized the dance’s destruction.
MORE Options for formatting each page, with suggested word counts: • Text only – 120 words • Portrait image with caption – 120 words • Landscape image with caption – 50 words • Image comparison (side by side) with caption – 50 words • Video with caption – 70 words
Story Title The Meaning of Nataraja
Page 1 Text/Caption The Nataraja form has been differently interpreted, with one version suggesting it symbolizes both Shiva’s creation (the drum) and destruction (the fire) of the world during the cosmic cycle. His open palm gives protection to devotees and his raised foot offers release and enlightenment, while his planted foot shelters the soul. The dwarf symbolizes ignorance. Through his dance, Shiva delivers the soul of the devotee from the bondage of ignorance. Image(s) Photo of Coomaraswamy-‐Wikipedia page? 7
The prevalence of Nataraja iconography in Indian art has several possible explanations. The dancing form of Shiva was said to dwell in Chidambaram, an important South Indian religious center. Around 900, South Indian royalty began founding temples with Nataraja images carved into the exterior, to align themselves with the powerful religious authority of Chidambaram.
Video Page 3 Text/Caption Another interpretation springs from the cobras that encircle Shiva’s arms as living jewelry and from the name for his raised leg position: “frightened by a snake.” Cobras are symbols of protection and fecundity, and Shiva is associated with cremation grounds, deserted places where venomous snakes are said to slither freely. Image(s)
Risha Lee 9/24/2014 11:01 AM Deleted: Image of Shiva from Chola period temple-‐Risha’s own
TDX ArtStories Content Outline
A trio of stone icons with snake iconography decorated with red sacred powder (kumkum) and jasmine flowers. https://www.flickr.com/photos/tse_tse/6843495024/sizes/l
Video [Copy / paste to add additional pages]
Story Title An Indian icon
Page 1 Text/Caption If you’ve eaten at an Indian restaurant, you may recognize the Nataraja image. From posters to postcards to mini-‐bronze reproductions, the Nataraja is one of the most familiar visual associations with India today. Image(s) Photo Courtesy of Ragamala Dance Co. Video Page 2 Text/Caption In modern Bharatanatyam, a classical South Indian dance form, performers mimic the iconic Nataraja pose—a movement one must see in person to fully appreciate its elegance and power. Image(s) Video Video of the dance? Page 3 10
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Story Title Portable Gods
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Large bronze images of gods, adorned and treated like royalty granting benediction to their people, process outside the temple in a ritual that goes back millennia. For paraiyan communities from the “untouchable” caste, still barred from temples in many places, it’s a chance to see the holy images in person.
Paige Patet 2/6/2015 2:39 PM Formatted: None, Space Before: 0 pt, Don't keep with next, Don't keep lines together Paige Patet 2/6/2015 2:39 PM Deleted: gods
http://www.pbase.com/neuenhofer/image/122851721 Temple procession in Chidambaram, Nataraja Image in front
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TDX ArtStories Content Outline Text/Caption In the inner sanctum of a temple, priests tend to the most holy icons, including bronzes. “Awakened” with chants, the sound of bells, incense, and candlelight, the deity is perceived as temporarily residing within the icon. At this moment, devotees may commune with the god, receiving darshan: the moment a god is seen and the god looks back, transferring grace. Image(s)
A priest performs a puja, and devotees receive darshan from a Nataraja icon at the Sri Ekambaranathar temple in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. http://www.lotussculpture.com/my_articles_puja.htm
Video Page 3 Text/Caption South Indian temple bronzes are created using the lost wax technique, in which images are formed from beeswax then finely carved with a wooden chisel. The wax model is then encased in several layers of clay and heated, allowing the wax to melt and run out. Metal is then poured into the mold and, when cooled, the clay model is broken open to reveal a unique bronze.
Paige Patet 8/5/2014 11:47 AM Comment : Look for videos of lost wax technique, connected to India; potential for larger “Lost Wax Technique” story
TDX ArtStories Content Outline Image(s)
A new bronze still embedded in its clay encasement. http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/0210/Pillai-‐0210.html