|Bharatanatyam Dancer Displaying the Vishnuswaroopa.|
Can liberation be found through the Arts (i.e. Dancing, Music and even painting)? Yes.
The medium of devotion will always be different, praying sitting, standing, dancing, painting or playing an instrument etc.. But the feeling (Bhava) will be the same devotional love. I have met a classically trained Bharatanatyam dancer who have explained the emotions during a devotional dance, its the same as someone reciting mantras, playing an instrument or even meditating (More on Bharatanatyam later on). The love through dance is a devotional and spiritual aspect that allows the dancer to connect with a higher power. Same for the musical instrumnets as you will read below.
The Swaha International Article adds to the point above. Music is also looked upon as a spiritual connection just like Bharatnatyam. Article Can be found here also pasted below from the Swaha International Site;
Article from Swaha International:
There are various routes to God-realisation; Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga and various other pathways, but one of the easiest, cheapest, quickest, safest and surest way to attain God-realisation is Sankirtan Yoga. It is a universally-accepted fact that sangeet or music is the fountain-source of all our being. The emotional appeal that it arouses embellishes the inner aspiration of humanity. The science of music goes hand in hand with Bhakti Yoga. “Music is a synthesis of the various Yogas or paths to God-realisation” (Swami Sivananda.)
The art or science of music is a means of shuffling of this mortal coil, and for enjoying a sacred pleasure while yet living. Music is Naada Yoga and many adepts in Yoga have recognized that there are vital centres in the subtle body of man which vibrate and produce certain astral sounds. Great minstrels of the Lord such as Mirabai, Purandaradas, Surdas and Narsi communed with their Master through music. When Mantras are chanted or kirtan sung, these inner vital centres are influenced and the spiritual power latent in them is made manifest. This power enables the Nadopasaka-(the spiritual aspirant who has made music his spiritual Sadhana) to acquire absolute control over his mind and senses, thereby enabling him to ascend to the super conscious realms of Samadhi(total absorption in Divinity).
Sangeet breaks the three Granthies or knots of ignorance: Brahma Granthi, Vishnu Granthi and Rudra Granthi. It purifies the Naaries (Naari Shuddhi) and the Praanamaya-Kosha (vital air sheath) and easily awakens the dormant Kundalini that is coiled up in Muladhaara Chakra and eventually induces a divine ecstatic mood (Bhava Samadhi).
In addition, music also destroys the Rajas(materialism) and Tamas(sluggishness) modes of nature and fills the mind with Sattwa (truth). The aspirant who practices this ‘Naad Yoga’ succeeds in rising above Dehadyaasa(identification of body) ,shifting his focus to the spiritual. His choice of music, songs, etc. is guided by ‘bhakti ras’- the essence of devotion. Here it is noteworthy to remember that vulgar music and obscene songs which are usually accompanied by intoxicants is invariably the outcome of passion and base thoughts and has a deep tinge of lust and other negativities. Such songs and music appeal to the gross, lower animal instincts that arouse likewise behavior.
The Lord says to Saint Narada, “I dwell not in Vaikuntha (Heaven), nor in the hearts of Sages and Saints, but where my devotees sing. There I am, O Narada.” Music is not to be neglected or brushed aside. It must be a legitimate ambition of everyone, to be able to sing or play some instrument. Music gives peace and tranquilizes our minds when we are agitated. It is the duty of every one of us to lose no time to earn and keep this rare means with which to propitiate God and enter “Vaikuntha,” the highest aim of life in this human birth. Music is a sacred science, its goal being God- Consciousness.