Image - Shiva Dances for Ravana, an illustration from the Shiva Tandava Stotra India, Himachal Pradesh, Kangra, ca. 1810 Ink, gouache, and gold on paper Private Collection

San Francisco

Shiva’s Many Dances: The Tandava Nritya

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Robert Del Bonta will share how Shiva’s Many Dances and the celebrated ‘Nataraja’ pose is a culmination of how the ultimate depiction of Shiva’s essence evolves over time in a dynamic conception among the Hindu trinity of gods (the Trimürti).

Del Bonta creates an engaging aspect of one of the Hindu trinity gods, reflecting on how the iconic image of Shiva Nataraja the "Lord of Dance" illustrates a creative and destructive power over eons of time. Shiva’s nature as both male and female is also a constant theme. Shiva manifests many other forms suggestive of power and mythological stories of dance or in prayers. It's but a tiny introduction to a major dance visualization heritage.

Teacher and curator Dr. Robert Del Bonta's work has been presented in exhibition venues such as San Francisco's Asian Art Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Mills College, Notre Dame de Namur University, Art Passages in San Francisco and New York City, Portland Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art. He has lectured widely at museums and institutions in the United States, and published numerous articles and exhibition catalogue contributions on South Asian art with thematic focus largely on Indian art of the Jainas.

MLF Organizer
Anne W. Smith and George Hammond

This program is in-person only. 

Safety Protocols for in-person attendance:

  • We follow best practices laid out by the CDC and state and local guidelines.
  • We strongly recommend vaccination for guests, staff, and volunteers.
  • Masks are strongly encouraged while indoors (if you do not have one and would like one, inquire at our front desk for a complimentary mask).
  • We reserve the right to require different rules for specific events as necessary.

Our LEED Gold-certified building is designed to cool with outside air, using digitally controlled moveable windows and large ceiling fans. We are deploying additional HEPA filters inside to scrub the air. This is all in addition to increased cleaning of surfaces throughout the building.

The Commonwealth Club of California is a nonprofit public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our programming.

An Arts and Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

This Commonwealth Club Arts Forum and Humanities Forum program is in partnership with SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India.

Main image: Shiva Dances for Ravana, an illustration from the Shiva Tandava Stotra India, Himachal Pradesh, Kangra, ca. 1810 Ink, gouache, and gold on paper Private Collection

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Mon, Jun 12 / 5:30 pm PDT

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Robert Del Bonta

Dr. Robert Del Bonta

Teacher; Curator; Author, Divine Visions World Lovers: Highlighting Indian Paintings from the Collection of Barbara Janeff

Image - George Hammond

George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates; Chair, Humanities Member-led Forum, The Commonwealth Club of California—Moderator


5 p.m. doors open & check-in
5:30–6:30 p.m program
(all times PDT)