Glossary entry for
Lord of the Dance

Shiva/Siva, along with Brahma and Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu gods. He performs the cosmic dances that typify the ordered movement of the universe. "Lord Shiva danced and the wheel of the seasons turned". He personifies the destructive forces of the universe,e.g. as the dancing destroyer of the ego. His destruction is not simply negative, it is the elimination of old forms to allow new forms to emerge. Thus he also represents regeneration. He figures in many legends, where he may dance to punish enemies, or in some cases to instruct people in right conduct. Shiva is said to have 1008 names, e.g. Great Lord, Animal Lord, Lord of Yoga.

Contributed by Alan Pert, Sydney, Australia

"Lord of the Dance" is also a hymn, written in our era by Sidney Carter, and now invariably sung to the Shaker tune "Simple Gifts" ("Tis a Gift to be Simple"). The Clancy Brothers had a hit record (in Ireland at least) with "Lord of the Dance" and it's really because of them that everyone knows the meme.

Contributed by Ozro W. Childs

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