Lord Siva is a great master of dance. He dances every evening in order to relieve the sufferings of the creatures and entertains the Gods who gather in the Kailash. Hence called as Sabhapathi or Nataraja. 108 modes of dancing known to the treatise on dancing have sprung from him.
Nataraja dance indicates a continuous process of creation, preservation and annihilation. Nataraja icon shows him with four hands and two legs, in the dance posture. There is Damaru (Drum ) in the upper right hand and fire in the left. Lower right hand is in Abhayamudra (Protection) and the left is pointing towards uplifted foot.
Damaru represents the principles of Sabada (Sound) and hence Akasha (Ether). Fire represents the Pralayagini, the fire that destroys the world at the time of the dissolution of the world. The other two hands indicate that who takes refuge at the feet of Lord will have nothing to fear or worry. Apasmara the dwarf under the foot symbolises ignorance, which makes us to lose our balance and consciousness.
Several dancing postures of Siva are Anandathandava, Thirupurathandava, Urdhavathandava and many.