This extremely rare and finely detailed dancing bodhisattva probably served as an attendant figure flanking a central image of a Buddha on an elaborate shrine, such as the Tang dynasty example illustrated by H. Trubner et. al., Asiatic Art in the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 1973, p. 154, no. 101. Small-scale gilt-bronze bodhisattva figures of this period are typically shown in a more frontal, less animated posture, and very rarely in the act of dancing. Compare the Tang dynasty gilt-bronze figure of a dancing bodhisattva illustrated by S. Matsubara, Chogoku bukkyo chokokushi ron (The Path of Chinese Buddhist Sculpture), vol. 3, Tang, Five Dynasties, Sung and Taoism Sculpture, Tokyo, 1995, fig. 669b.