Dance performances

A geisha and a young maiko in Kyoto prepare for annual spring dance performances

A “maiko” apprentice geisha from the Miyagawacho entertainment district has her kimono adjusted during a photoshoot on stage in Kyoto’s Kamigyo district on February 17, 2022. (Mainichi/Kazuki Yamazaki)=Click/tap photo for more pictures.

KYOTO — Geisha and their apprentices in this western Japanese city’s “hanamachi” entertainment districts, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, prepare for their annual spring dance performances.

The Miyagawacho district, one of the main entertainment spots in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district, announced the schedule for the 72nd “Kyo Odori” dance performance on February 17. photo sessions before the program.

Kyo Odori will be held from April 2 to 13 at the Kyoto Prefectural Center for Arts and Culture in the city’s Kamigyo district, instead of the usual venue of the Miyagawa-cho Kaburenjo Theater in the Higashiyama district, as the latter theater is in renovation course.

Toshinami, a 20-year-old maiko, said, “I hope people will feel the spring season and become happy watching the dance performance.

Apprentice geisha “Maiko” from the Miyagawacho entertainment district learns to pose for stage photos in Kyoto’s Kamigyo district on February 17, 2022. (Mainichi/Kazuki Yamazaki)=Click/tap photo for more images .

Screenwriter and director Sawako Kitabayashi, 61, commented, “I would like to produce a performance that will make the audience feel like spring has returned to Kyoto amid depressing days (due to the spread of infections) .”

In other Kyoto entertainment areas, the Gion Kobu area in the Higashiyama district will hold the “Miyako Odori” dance performance from April 1 to 24 after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. The Pontocho district in the Nakagyo district also organize the “Kamogawa Odori” performance, which has been held online for two consecutive years, in May this year. Meanwhile, Kamishichiken District in Kamigyo Ward, which usually stages the “Kitano Odori” show from late March to April, plans to hold an autumn “Kotobukikai” show between April 24 and April 30.

(Japanese original by Yoko Minami, Kyoto Office)