Chola Bronze Statue
The Cholas came to power in the late 9th century, and until the late 13th century. Chola rulers were active patrons, and during their reign, poetry, drama, music, and dance flourished. Some of the best-known artistic remains from this time period are the bronzes that were commissioned for temples.
It was Rajaraja Chola who gave a great boost to the Chola sculptures ands architecture. One of the main features of the Chola sculptures was that the most trifle details were taken into account. The sculptures were intricately done. They were very expressive. Created using the lost-was technique, they possessed grace, elegance and above all else, they had life. Besides the usual images of gods and goddesses foliage sculpture, perforated windows, animal imageries and others were recurrent motifs as well. The elegance and stateliness of these temples and their sculptures are impressive beyond doubt.
Above is a cola bronze sculpture of lord Shiva alongside his wife Parvati. In this 12th century example, the space between Shiva and Parvati would once have been filled by a small image of their son Skanda, who is worshipped as both a divine child and the god of war. Small sculptures of Skanda are easy to remove and are often missing from images of this type. Shiva can be recognized by the crescent moon and skull in his hair while Parvati can be recognized by the conical crown and triple bend -Tribhanga pose. One of her hand is positioned in a way symbolic of holding a flower while the other rests on the floor behind her, supporting her body in its current position.
Bharatnatyam is the manifestation of an ancient idea of a celebration of the eternal universe through the beauty of the material body. A dance form over 2000 years old, it is popular in the southern parts of India and is known to be native to the people of Tamil Nadu. Bharat Muni’s Natya Shastra has in it imbibed the texts of this dance in Sanskrit and talks about the elements of dance such as Bhav, Raag, Shringar and so on. Some of the renowned dancers and gurus belong to Devdasi families. Bharatnatyam is all about expression. The dancer on stage has a message to convey or a story to tell which is put across without words, through Mudra’s –hand gestures and facial expressions. The dance begins and ends with a ‘namaskar’ where the dancer bows down to the earth and thanks her for allowing the dancer to dance on its ground. In multiple simple ways as this, the dance celebrates the universe and existence in itself.
Natraja – God worshipped by the dancers.