Once a year, Kyoto's Geisha community puts on a show allowing ordinary people to see Geisha perform their arts. The most famous show is the Miyako Odori. "Miyako" means capital city and "Odori" means dance. So the Miyako Odori is the Capital city dances, as Kyoto used to be the capital city of Japan. This performance is also known as the "Cherry Blossom Dances" as they take place in Cherry Blossom season (April). The dances are held in the historic Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theatre.
We booked in for a tea ceremony first, where we saw a Geisha and Maiko (apprentice) prepare the tea. We then entered the theatre to watch the show. Each performance has about eight scenes which depict aspects of Japanese life. Performances include dancing, singing and mini-dramas with an orchestra of Geisha playing traditional instruments. The performance lasts about an hour. The kimono and costumes were truly amazingly beautiful, as were the Geishas and their dancing, and it was very interesting to see the traditional arts being performed after having read so much about it in various books and novels. If you ever have the chance to visit one of these performances - I thoroughly recommend it !
Some more detailed information about the Miyako Odori can be found here: http://www.unmissablejapan.com/events/miyako-odori
Below are some Geisha paintings I have done in the past - all available as posters and prints:
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.