Nataraja or Nataraj, The Lord (or King) of Dance; is a depiction of the god 'Shiva' as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for the god 'Brahma' to start the process of creation.

The sculpture is usually made in bronze, with Shiva dancing in an (Aureole) of flames, lifting his left leg (and in rare cases, the right leg) and balancing over a demon or dwarf (Apasmara) who symbolizes ignorance. It is a well known sculptural symbol in India and popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture.

The two most common forms of Shiva's dance are the Lasya (the gentle form of dance), associated with the creation of the world, and the Tandava (the violent and dangerous dance), associated with the destruction of weary worldviews - weary perspectives & lifestyles. In essence, the (Lasya) and the (Tandava) are just two aspects of Shiva's nature; for he destroys in order to create, tearing down to build again