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           In India dance is considered a form of worship. There is an interesting myth about how dance performance started. The gods were bored with routine heavenly activities. So they sent Indra  to request Brahma to write a play in which they could see, hear and understand the real nature of joy. Brahma therefore started to write a Veda, known as the fifth Veda or Natyaveda, for which he extracted parts from other Vedas. He took recitation from the Rigveda, song, mime and rasa respectively from the Sama, Yajur and the Atharvaveda. Thus was created the Natyaveda, the Veda of theatre. Then Brahma called upon Viswa karma, the vastukar or divine architect, to build a theatre in Indra's heaven.

           When the theatre was completed, sage Bharata took over the production of the play. Siva was the dance artist who performed the famous tandava nrtya which symbolises the motion of cosmos. Parvati, his wife performed the lasya dance. Vishnu also gave a performance. The play was such a success that Bharata was asked to bring the knowledge of the Natyaveda down to the humans. Here he wrote the famous Bharatanatyashastra which means science of dances of Bharat, the document which is the source of all Indian dramas. A dance hall is therefore always constructed in a temple for a performance before the deity. Even today a dance before the deity usually constitutes a ritual as a part of the daily worship and prayer.

             In India, apart from dance before a deity, a group dance is performed on any joyous occasion, be it a marriage, change of season, harvest time, onset of rains, winter, spring and so on. Every region and every state of India has its own dances. The diversity of the Indian subcontinent is seen in the abundance of a variety in dances.