Ganesha in dancing posture is one of the most popular and the earliest iconographic manifestations. Lands and traditions effected variations in his dancing postures, but despite his dance forms have always been closer to 'Lasya' rather than to 'Tandava'. Even in great ecstasy and rapture or even in exuberance he is not rompous or rowdy. A slightly tilted head, a little raised legs, minor body curves, tenderly moved arms and over and above all a kind of divine sublimity define the dance form of the loving god. Shiva danced to create or destroy, Kali for suppressing and eliminating evil and Krishna for subduing wrong but the secular god Ganesha danced for aesthetic delight. In this representation the intrinsic rhythm bursting out powerfully and yet effortless, a few curves of his figure and the rapture reflecting on his face are used to define his dance.
Lord's upper left hand is raised in 'Alapa'. He seems to be modulating his voice on a high pitch. He is singing a ballad or a song of victory and it seems a large crowd has gathered round the village 'chaupal' for hearing him. He is supporting his song by his 'vina' which he himself is playing. The movement of fingers on 'vina' seems to strike its strings and create music. For the time being the Lord has put off his attributes, 'pustaka', 'laddu', rosary, noose etc. He is carrying just a battle axe to perhaps ward off evil and protect weak and poor as these are his prime obligations. He is wearing various ornaments upon his neck, arms, wrists, ankles, feet and around his waist. He is in loin cloth which is tied on his waist with a lavish girdle. In dance his sash seems to have descended on to his thighs and its ends are trailing to ground where on both sides they create alongwith the container of 'modakas' and deity's vehicle mouse an arch-like base to support the image of the deity.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.
Of Related Interest:
Comic Book: The Sons of Shiva
Jewelry: Ganesha Sitting on OM
Dolls: Fifteen inch high sitting Ganesha Doll
Textiles: Shri Ganeshai Namah Prayer Shawl