From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Nrttamurti literally means ‘icon in the dancing posture’.
Occasionally we come across some stories in the purāṇas describing the reasons for such dancing. They are:
- Śiva danced the tānḍava dance to please the gods who had assembled in Kailāsa and had requested him to exhibit it to them.
- Gaṇapati was immensely pleased and started dancing when the four-faced Brahmā, the creator, bowed down low before him in great reverence.
- Kṛṣṇa’s dancing is connected with his subjugating the terrible serpent Kāliya who was residing in the river Yamunā making it's water highly poisonous.
- For the apsaras like Rambhā and Urvaśī, dancing is a part of their professional discipline.
- Nṛtta means dancing.
- Apsaras means celestial nymphs.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore