I went to see the Kyō-odori !
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I went to see the Kyō-odori on the 7th of April.
Even though Kyoto is covered with cherry blossoms, the weather is still cold.
Every year during this season, Kyōto gets filled with maikos (apprentice geishas) and a bustling atmosphere settles in.
For maikos, spring is called “the dancing season”, and for that reason, you can see dance performances being offered by them in every Hanamachi.
In Miyagawa-chō, at the occasion of the performance called “Kyō-odori”, the local maikos gather on the stage and perform a gorgeous traditional dance that they have practiced many times before.
All the maikos who took part in “Enchanted time with Maiko” are from Miyagawa-chō, so I wanted to see the maikos I had met before and experience their stage presence.
It was my first time watching a dance on the stage. It was very fun!
※ Unfortunately, taking pictures was not allowed anywhere in the hall, so I’ll send other images.
◼First, the tea house
With the ticket for the dance performance, refreshments are first offered in the tea house. That tea house is a place where maikos and geishas will prepare some matcha green tea and traditional Japanese sweets for you. Having the ceremony prepared in front of your eyes and enjoying tea in that same room, I was filled with a feeling of luxury!
Then, I received the plate on which the sweets were held as a souvenir!
Yes! I’m so happy! I will definitely use it.
◼Finally, the dance!
※ Since photographs are not allowed in the building where the dance took place, these are images from the public domain.
This year’s theme was Princess Kaguya
The dance unfolded, following the plot of the tale.
Even though, there were dialogs, it is possible to enjoy the show without understanding them. There were a lot of foreigners present that day.
I was particularly impressed by Princess Kaguya’s fast change of costumes, as well as the scene where she goes back to the moon, when smoke filled the stage as the princess disappeared, hoisted to the ceiling. The whole stage production was amazing.
All the male roles were performed by maikos and geishas as well, with the result that they were all very pretty men!
During the development of the story, there was dancing and singing, and it was as enjoyable as watching a musical.
Also, I laughed when the lady playing the princess held out a golden apple-pen! It made the dance somewhat contemporary..!
When the tale was over, the maikos and geishas all came back on stage to perform a last dance.
On both sides, there was a jikata (a seated geisha playing the shamisen and singing as an accompaniment) while the whole cast of maikos and geishas danced.
It was so beautiful and so cute. I was so impressed that my mouth was agape for the whole time!
To me, the moment when all the dancers came together and the stage was packed was definitely the best part!
As the show was nearing its end, the maikos came down the stage and close to the audience. Even from afar, you could see that they were gorgeous, but from up close, their beauty was spellbinding. I could not believe that they were all still in their teens.
It seems that yesterday, the 16th, was the conclusion of the dance festivities.
The performances are held yearly, and next year will have a brand-new theme!
People who are interested in participating next year should inquire about prices.
It’ve been 20 years to live in Kyoto.
No place to I possibly can live except Kyoto.